Historical Timeline



Ben F. Schroader operated a dogwood shuttle mill near the railroad tracks in Murray.


Out-migration to northern manufacturing centers, especially Detroit, began. Whites eventually returned, but many African Americans did not.


So many skilled mechanics and auto-body workers returned to Murray from northern factories that it became known as the "Used-Car Capital of the Nation."

Murray was the "Used Car Capital of the World".


The City of Murray purchased a new fire truck for $8,750.

Murray Fire Department.


Lynn Grove and New Concord built new brick school buildings, two-thirds of which were funded by the communities.

Lynn Grove School - 1919-1932.

March 1, 1921

After two years of construction, a new hospital building was finally opened for patients.


Murray raised $100,000 and was selected, despite stiff competition from larger western Kentucky cities, for the site of a new state teachers' college.


Faxon built a small building to accommodate a two-year high school, with one-half the funds raised by the community.

April 16, 1923

"Uncle Henry" Dees, president of Dees Bank of Hazel, passed away.

September 26, 1924

Members of the Inaugural Murray State football team played in the school's first-ever game against Union, Tennessee.

December 5, 1924

Popular quarterback Gilbert Graves died from injuries sustained while playing a football game at Murray State Normal School at Moore's Field on Thanksgiving Day.

Gilbert Graves in the 1925 edition of The Shield.


The Works Progress Administration (WPA) office opened in Murray. 

August 16, 1925

Carlisle Cutchin was Murray State's first director of athletics in 1925, a position he served in until 1940. Cutchin also coached football, basketball and baseball.


The city streets of Murray were paved for the first time with funds obtained by selling the city's electric system to the Kentucky-Tennessee Light and Power Company.


The National Hotel opened in Murray.

The National Hotel.


The Murray Ledger and Times and the Times-Herald consolidated and for the first time in more than 20 years, there was only one newspaper.


Murray Milk Products organized.

The Murray Milk Plant.


The Murray Magazine Club sponsored the erection of the City Cemetery receiving vault.


The Keys-Houston Clinic opened at the corner of North 5th Street at Walnut Street.

The Keys Houston Clinic.


The first public hearing was held by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the construction of Kentucky Dam.


A $45,000 bond was issued to construct an additional building on the campus at Murray High School to accommodate the expanding needs of the school. The new building was to be built of the same brick and placed on the west side of the original building.


Hazel Graded Schools merged with Calloway County Schools.


Illegal sales of alcoholic beverages and bootlegging skyrocketed as a result of prohibition; 200 stills were in operation in Calloway County.


Hughes-Houston and Hood-Moore, two Murray lumber companies, consolidated into the Murray Lumber Company, Inc.


A new brick high and graded school for Black students was built in northeast Murray, to become known as the Douglass School. A dorm for men and a library were built on the college campus.

Douglass High School.

March 28, 1930

The New York Supreme Court ruled that the heirs of Nathan B. Stubblefield had proved every detail in their claim for patent rights, but the statute of limitations made their claims void as to royalties. The grateful citizens of Murray erected a monument to Stubblefield on the campus of Murray State College.

The Nathan B. Stubblefield monument at Murray State.


The federal census for Calloway County reflected a loss of 3,134 residents, down from 20,802 in 1920 to 17,668.


Forty school children and two teachers were preparing for their Christmas program and barely escaped injury when the two-room, frame schoolhouse burned at Palestine.

September 27, 1931

The Lerman Brothers Dry Good Store opened in downtown Murray.

Lerman's Department Store in downtown Murray.


In their Archaeological Survey of Kentucky, William Funkhouser and William S. Webb described the Backusburg Mounds and a floodplain site below it as, "probably the most important prehistoric sites in the western Kentucky region."

July 13, 1932

The new $90,000 post office at the southwest corner of the square was opened for business.

The old post office in downtown Murray.


A relief organization prepared to assist 200 families through the winter, double the amount from the year before.

March 16, 1933

During the Depression, banks were ordered to close until government audits declared them solvent. The two Hazel banks were authorized to open after the national banking holiday. First National Bank of Murray closed March 28, 1933, and was placed in the hands of a conservator, John Ryan, who successfully negotiated for the Bank of Murray.

December 5, 1933

The Eighteenth Amendment, also known as The Volstead Act, was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment. It is the only amendment ever repealed.


Aunt Mary Stubblefield, 110-year-old former slave, died at the home of her son, Rufus G. Stubblefield, between Pine Bluff and Hamlin.

The Calloway County Court House under construction.

October 5, 1934

Cutchin Stadium opened on the Murray State College campus.

Cutchin Stadium completed in 1934.

November 5, 1934

The defunct First National Bank was reorganized by stockholders in the old quarters at North 5th and Main Streets under a new name, Peoples Bank.

World War I monument.

January 18, 1935

The Murray City Council passed the "blue law" ordinance preventing businesses from opening on Sundays.

February 18, 1935

Forty-two patients were either saved or escaped on their own from the William Mason Memorial Hospital when it was razed by a fire of unexplained origin that began in the basement.

Fire at Mason Memorial Hospital.

May 22, 1935

The community mourned the passing of well-known "Uncle Tom" Gardner, the beloved former slave who, among other work, served as custodian for Murray High School.


A Western Dark Fired Tobacco Association storage barn burned with 714 hogsheads of tobacco. Fortunately, the tobacco was insured at the appraised value.

Article regarding the fire.

December 1935

Memorial Baptist Church officially opened at 906 Main Street.

Memorial Baptist Church VBS.

January 1, 1936

Patients were moved into the new Mason Memorial Hospital.


Gilbertsville, Marshall County, was announced as the site for the construction of Kentucky Dam.

October 25, 1936

First Baptist Church dedicated their third structure with a crowd of over 1,000 in attendance.


Calloway Countian Alice Waters concluded her career as a missionary in China that began in 1892.

Alice Waters


Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) barracks were built in Murray, and trees were planted to stop erosion

January 28, 1937

The epic Flood of 1937 was a major natural disaster for Calloway County and Western Kentucky.


An outbreak of smallpox erupted during the year when two persons became ill from the disease. However, new methods of treatment and prevention of contagious diseases marked the beginning of the end for smallpox in Calloway County.


The Hazel Bank merged with the Dees Bank of Hazel.


Blacktopping of the Coldwater Highway had reached the midway point, providing a shorter modern road to Mayfield.


A new bus terminal was built at the corner of Walnut and North 6th Streets.

Bus station at Walnut and North 6th Streets.

June 25, 1938

The National Minimum Wage was signed into law as the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Calloway County rural area merged with the Rural Electric Administration in Graves County with electric lines being installed in Calloway County bringing electricity to county residents for the first time.


Joseph H. Holland, Calloway County's best-known sportsman in fishing, hunting and skeet shooting, won the Tri-State skeet tournament in Texas.


Gertie Farris and Sylvia Packman traveled to St. Louis to attend the fashion merchandise market for Lerman Brothers store.


Varsity Theatre opened in Murray, built by the small regional chain, Columbia Amusement Company of Paducah.


The Murray Woman's Clubhouse was built with the National Youth Administration providing labor.


Ty Holland Stadium was constructed as a Depression-era public works project during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. The stadium is one of the few remaining Kentucky state structures from this era.

September 7, 1939

World War II erupted in Europe.

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