Historical Timeline


June 20, 1890

John William Stone, for whom Stone Schoolhouse was named, passed away.


Rainey T. Wells heard the world's first broadcast in a private demonstration by Nathan B. Stubblefield.


Local inventor Nathan B. Stubblefield was granted a patent when he created the first wireless communication later known as a radio.

Nathan B. Stubblefield


William P. Dulaney opened a mercantile business at Kirksey, which he operated for 20 years. Dulaney served as postmaster, as well as president of the Kirksey Bank.

William P. Dulaney druggist ad in the Calloway County Gazette, 1911


The Register of Physicians in Calloway County noted nearly 40 doctors.

October 15, 1897

More than 3,000 confederate veterans met in Backusburg. Every county west of the rivers as well as Lyon and Livingston were represented.

Confederate photo - courtesy Ernie Bailey.


The Spanish-American War began.


William Jennings Bryan spoke in Murray with 8,000 attending.


Land was deeded to trustees for the Calloway County Normal College of higher learning which was established under the leadership of Rainey T. Wells.


Woodmen of the World was established in Calloway County.

Woodman of the World headstone.


There were 17,375 White, 1,258 Black, for a total county population of 18,633.


Members of Little Rock Methodist Church (established prior to 1852) decided to move to Kirksey. They purchased the lot of the present-day location on Highway 299, building a frame structure and changed the name to Kirksey United Methodist Church.

Original Kirksey United Methodist Church photo from 1901.


By an act of the Kentucky legislature, the first Monday in September was designated as a legal holiday known as Labor Day.

March 20, 1902

The first ship to shore transmission was made from the steamer Bartholdi to Nathan B. Stubblefield on the banks of the Potomac River.


Sheriff Walter Holland killed Hardy Keys because of political disagreements.

Hardy Grizzard Keys - photo provided by Bill Utterback.


The Murray Male and Female Institute burned. The rumor mill erupted that perhaps the newly added chemistry lab might have caused the fire, though that was never proved.


The Murray Woman's Club was established by eight young women: Maude Cook, Kate Diuguid, Betty Thornton, Hattie Cook, Gray Gatlin, Mary Diuguid, Mrs. John McElrath and Edna Jennings


The second brick courthouse, built when the county seat moved to Murray, was destroyed by fire. Most of the records were saved and are used today.


Dr. James Victor Starks established his medical practice at Kirksey.


Black Patch Wars raged in west Kentucky with the American Tobacco Company pitted against the Planters Protective Association and the Night Riders.


Lucile Grogan, a teacher of the Stone Community, defeated incumbent Luke Langston, becoming Calloway County's first female elected officeholder for the office of school superintendent. 

Lucile Grogan Jones.


The first Calloway County Board of Education was organized. (photo and names are in the July 2, 1976 bicentennial page 16)

First Board of Education for Calloway County.

May 1908

The first black man to receive political recognition in Calloway County was Chester Clark from the East Murray precinct. He was elected as a member of the Republican County Convention. Republicans engaged in a controversy over the matter and declared that Clark was illegally elected. He was succeeded by George W. Downs.


The Republican Party wrestled three of the four major county positions away from the Democrats in the general election, all but jailer.


Murray Milling Company paid a dollar a bushel for wheat.


The Murray Church of Christ was organized with 13 members. They worshipped in the old courthouse for a period of four years before building a church.


The Lynn Grove Bank was organized after a delay of several months when the state banking commissioner held there was no need for another bank in Calloway County.

An advertisement for the Lynn Grove Bank.

May 19, 1910

Haley's Comet appeared for the first time in 75 years.

August 23, 1910

Doctors and spouses Will and Ora (Kress) Mason established Mason Memorial Hospital and began their medical practice on South 4th Street across from First Baptist Church.

The first Mason Hospital on 4th Street.

October 5-8, 1910

The Calloway County Fair was formally established. The first county fair was washed out by an 11-inch rain. The racetrack was a sea of mud, so all horse and mule races were drowned out to the disappointment of 10,000 attendants. The Paducah Sun headline read: "Murray's Water Carnival a Belly Buster." The next year, local Baptist preachers demanded that it be closed down because its "girlie shows" diverted men's minds from work, their own and the Lord's.


The Murray Woman's Club organized a clean-up event that resulted in piles of debris on every street that took three weeks to clear.


The first Boy Scouts of America troop organized in Murray.

Boy Scout pledge.


Women were authorized to vote for the first time; however their participation was limited to the office of county school superintendent.


The City of Murray installed 60-watt bulbs at all residential street intersections with all night service. The business section was also illuminated with new iron posts erected at 40 locations.


The current courthouse was built at a cost of $40,435 by the John Nuveen Company of Chicago. The Fiscal Court used bonds to finance construction.

The Calloway County Court House under construction.


Cora Lockhart was injured when hit by a car driven by Deputy Sheriff Tom Jones on the court square, thus marking the first pedestrian injury by an automobile machine.


The World War I draft was instituted; Calloway County men fought and died in Europe.

World War I monument.


H. Boyce Taylor, pastor of First Baptist Church, began a new approach to church finance which was adopted in 1925 by the Southern Baptist Convention in Memphis. It was known as the Cooperative Program.

December 9, 1916

Guthrie Diuguid was murdered by Lube Martin. Martin was arrested, tried, found guilty, and executed after his appeal was denied.

Martin Diuguid trial.


Moonlight schools opened in Temple Hill and Hazel in order to teach adults to read.

May 1917

The Murray Confederate Memorial arrived in Murray by train. The sculpture was made of granite and marble from Italy and was carried to the courthouse lawn on a freight wagon. It was donated by the J.N. Williams Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy and Henry Dees, a local banker.

December 13, 1917

The Tennessee River froze over and the county was blanketed with 14 inches of snow. Drifts up to five feet were recorded.


George Colvin, superintendent of public education, requested a survey of educational needs be conducted within the state, resulting in the founding of Murray State Normal School.

November 1, 1918

A false report that WWI had come to an end brought forth county politicians speaking from the courthouse steps, only to be drowned out by the cheers of a wild and enthusiastic crowd. On November 11th another cheering crowd assembled to celebrate the actual end of hostilities.


The New Concord Milling Company was established by Albert Gallatin Smith. It was moved to Murray in 1925.

July 1, 1919

The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, was enacted to carry out the intent of the 18th Amendment which was established to prohibit alcohol throughout the United States.

Volstead Act headline.

1700-1820 | 1820-1839 | 1840-1859 | 1860-1889
1890-1919 | 1920-1939 | 1940-1959 | 1960-1979
1980-1999 | 2000-2019 | 2020-2022



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