Historical Timeline



Calloway County's population was 19,041, an increase of 7.8 percent from the previous decade.


The City of Murray voted to approve bonds up to $25,000 to maintain a parks system.

March 28, 1940

The first Mule Day was held at the court square with 67 entries vying for honors. The Lions Club was filming," We're in the Movies" throughout the day and caught many shots of the crowd and the mules which was shown when their movie was presented in the Murray State Teachers College auditorium the following month.

Mule Day at the court square.


Calloway County Black teachers were Ruth Keys, Ione Finsley, Madge Green, Elizabeth King, Jessee McGeehee Jr., Sarah Sleet, and Fanny Willis.


A decision was made by local leaders to locate a new park on Chestnut Street between 8th and 10th Streets, encompassing 13 acres. Mayor George Hart received a telegram from President Roosevelt approving $49,697 for construction of the new Murray Park and the project began on November 23rd at a cost of $480,545.


Lewis Chester Dodds, U.S. Navy, was the first reported Calloway County casualty of World War II.


The first war rationing books for Calloway County were issued.

October 20, 1942

Fire destroyed the former Peoples Bank Building at the corner of North 5th and Main Streets.


Evacuations of Calloway County residents began in the Tennessee River bottomlands for the creation of Kentucky Lake.


Dr. Ralph H. Woods became President of Murray State Teachers College where he served for 25 years.

Ralph Woods.

June 8, 1944

The opening of Murray City Park (now Chestnut Park) was held with enthusiastic participation from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and the Murray High and Training School Bands.

September 19, 1944

Calloway County's first Black overseas fatality during WWII was technician Rufus G. Stubblefield, son of L. D. and Anna Stubblefield.

Rufus G. Stubblefield - from The Ledger & Times.


Tappan Stove Company of Mansfield, Ohio, located their operations in Murray.

The Murray Tappan plant under construction.

October 10, 1945

President Harry Truman dedicated Kentucky Dam at Gilbertsville.

President Truman dedicating Kentucky Dam.


Fire destroyed the Faxon school building, and the high school was phased out.


Barbara Jo Walker, a former Murray native, was crowned Miss America, the last winner crowned in a swimsuit. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Walker who ran a dental laboratory.


Mason Memorial Hospital was purchased by the Murray Hospital Association, Inc. and the name was changed to Murray Hospital.

The Mason Hospital.

February 26, 1948

The Swann Grocery Company opened in their new building across from the post office. The owner was Robert Swann and the facility featured two stories and a full basement.

Images from an ad for Swann's Grocery in 1937.


Murray Broadcasting Company received a license to operate radio station 1340 WNBS, the last three call letters honoring native son Nathan B. Stubblefield.

The Keys Houston Clinic.

November 25, 1949

The Murray State Thoroughbreds practiced in Orlando for their appearance in the Tangerine Bowl, as a result of winning the football program's first OVC title.


Calloway County's population was 20,147, an increase of 5.8% from the previous decade.

January 5, 1950

The Calloway County Fire-Rescue squad began operations.

June 1953

The first worker's strike occurring in Calloway County began at Murray Manufacturing Company.


Murray State Training College was racially integrated.

Desegregation marker on the campus of Murray State.

February 7, 1954

Calloway Manufacturing Company began making sports and work clothing in Murray on East Poplar Street in the former Swann Tobacco building.


During the school term, the Almo High School (for Whites) and the Murray High School (for Whites) began to integrate.

June 24, 1957

The largest fire loss on record destroyed the A. P. Farmer & Company warehouse on Railroad Avenue where Murray Manufacturing Company was storing 2,200 ranges.

A. P. Farmer Warehouse burning.


Woods Hall was erected on Olive Boulevard.

April 25, 1957

Murray Police Chief Novel McReynolds was gunned down at City Hall by a mental health patient.


Plans were announced for consolidation of five Calloway County high schools – Almo, Hazel, Kirksey, Lynn Grove, New Concord – into one school to be located in Murray.


The Murray City Council voted to pay $7,750 for a new ballpark in the southeastern section of the Murray City Park, now Chestnut Park.


The Harry Lee Waterfield Student Union Building was opened on the campus of Murray State Teachers College.

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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