Census numbers tell the tale of Murfreesboro’s growth
MTSU freshman Tammy Li of China gets her picture taken with her certificate of citizenship after becoming a U.S. citizen during a naturalization ceremoney at MTSU's Murphy Center Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.
Historian Greg Tucker recounts the story of OUR FORGOTTEN FOUNDERS
Faith has long played an important role in Murfreesboro’s history
Historic school houses to teaching colleges
PHOTO COURTESY OF LINEBAUGH LIBRARY
2 • THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL
Murfreesboro’s military runs the gamut: from the Civil War to the Gulf War
Military heroes: A photo gallery
Celebrating 200 Years of Growth Reeves-Sain is proud to help celebrate Murfreesboro’s bicentennial year!
From Cannonsburgh to The Avenue, from agriculture to manufacturing, Murfreesboro has seen a few changes in its 200-year history. A rich history, our music, our people and so much more combine to make this a great place to work, live and play – today and for years to come. We’re proud to join in Murfreesboro’s Bicentennial Celebration and look forward to an exciting future.
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Population booms in ’Boro City remained small for much of first century By Mealand Ragland-Hudgins
ennessee became a state in 1796, and Rutherford County was formed from several surrounding counties, including Davidson, Sumner and Wilson in 1803. Very few Tennessee counties have all of their federal census counts on file. The state’s territorial census schedules and the 1800 census were lost or destroyed, and with the exception of Rutherford and part of Grainger County, files from 1810 are also missing. Robert Lee of the Tennessee State Library and Archives said no census numbers for Murfreesboro are available prior to 1850. In1830, census information was listed by county and, in 1840, only major cities were set apart. Nashville was considered the state’s lone major city at that time.
Growing in spurts
More than 400 Riverdale graduates prepare to receive their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at MTSU's Murphy Center on May 20, 2012 in Murfreesboro. Murfreesboro’s population swelled to more than 108,000 as of the 2010 federal census. GANNETT TENNESSEE FILE PHOTO 4 • THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL
The earliest data from the U.S. Census counted just 1,917 citizens residing in Murfreesboro’s city limits in 1850, with just small increments of growth seen each year. It wasn’t until around 1920 when the city finally topped 5,000 residents. Thirty years later, the city’s population had nearly tripled with a count of 13,052.
MURFREESBORO BY THE NUMBERS U.S. Census numbers tell the story about Murfreesboro’s growth from a small farming community of just a few thousand residents to today’s bustling community of more than 108,000 people.
1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
1,917 2,861 3,502 3,800 3,739 3,999 5,367 7,993 9,495 13,052 18,991 26,360 32,845 44,922 68,816 108,755
Each decade until 1980, the city added between 5,000 and 7,500 new residents. But Murfreesboro’s population really began to take off in 1980, growing by nearly12,100 new bodies by 1990. Close to 24,000 residents were added between 1990 and 2000, and another 40,000 followed by 2010.
Reasons to grow In the last decadeplus, Murfreesboro and Rutherford County have made several national lists for livability, including Money Magazine in 2006. Proximity to Nashville, major interstates, ample jobs and a major university are all contributing factors.
Firefighter Capt. Joe Bell collects census information from George Zachery during a door-to-door count. DNJ FILE PHOTO
Murfreesboro today extends well beyond the Public Square, as seen in this photo from atop the NHC building. JOHN A. GILLIS/DNJ THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL • 5
Some seldom get credit for Murfreesborough’s beginnings
our men of Rutherford County chose the location for the new town of Murfreesborough, negotiated and concluded the property purchase, laid out the earliest streets and lots, sold the first lots to finance development of the new county seat, designed and built the first courthouse and jail, and governed the new town for its first year. But they seldom get credit for their efforts.
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Stewarts Creek Farmer Owen Edwards built a home on Stewarts Creek in 1787 and eventually owned several hundred acres and a number of
slaves. His name was on the petition to create Rutherford County, and he was one of the first town lot purchasers when Jefferson was established as the county seat. Edwards served as a county commissioner and as a captain in the county militia. Land Dealer Hance Hamilton, a resident of Guilford County, N.C., in 1794 took title to 4,800 acres in the eastern part of what became Rutherford County. This tract was the whole of a North Carolina grant which came to Hamilton through Thomas Hamilton, an heir of Revolutionary War surgeon Hance Hamilton. The land lay on both sides of the Stone River and included the mouth of Cripple Creek. While still in North Carolina, Hamilton sold portions of the tract to John Sloss, Joseph White, Samuel Bell and Isaac
The Colonel John Thompson was one of the earliest settlers in what became Rutherford County, buying and selling lands originally granted to Revolutionary veterans. While the area was still a part of Davidson County, Thompson served as a road overseer working with William Lytle and Thomas Rucker. Thompson was among the original petitioners for formation of Rutherford County in 1803. With Charles Ready in 1804, Thompson presided over the first session of the Rutherford County Court. In 1806 the state named him as one of five original trustees for Bradley Academy. Greg Tucker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Surveyor Hugh Robinson (various spellings) was a surveyor and Rutherford County commissioner during the county’s first two decades. Although he owned 437 acres near Jefferson, he voted with the majority and was subsequently given the task of surveying and platting the new town. (Robinson, as the town’s original surveyor, was likely responsible in part for including about 20 acres that William Lytle did not own and could not legally transfer.)
Wright. Tax records indicate that Hamilton’s total land holdings increased and diminished from year-to-year. His properties were located in both east and west sections of the county. He appears to have arrived in Rutherford in about 1806. During the county’s second decade, Hamilton served as a county commissioner and state legislator.
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Diverse faiths enrich city’s past and present
Churches woven into fabric of the community
By Nancy De Gennaro
Central Christian is located at 404 E. Main St. Its golden dome is a noted feature. NANCY DE GENNARO/DNJ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was constructed on Spring Street in 1897. The actual building was moved in 1926 to its present location at 315 E. Main St. and covered in a stone veneer. NANCY DE GENNARO/DNJ
East Main Church of Christ on Main Street in downtown Murfreesboro is shown as it stands today. HELEN COMER/DNJ
COURTESY RUTHERFORD COUNTY ARCHIVES
8 • THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL
Church life has been a major part of local culture since Murfreesboro was established 200 years ago. From First Presbyterian Church, which was organized in 1812, to African-American churches such as Allen Chapel A.M.E. founded in 1860 and pre Civil War congregations like
Key United Methodist, Christianity was a cornerstone for the community. “I think, clearly, this congregation and other congregations within Murfreesboro ... are woven into the thread of our community. Our stories are clearly connected to the stories of this city,” says the Rev. John Hinkle Jr., pastor at First Presbyterian, located at 210 N. Spring St. Murfreesboro has always been home to a variety of denominations, too, mostly the major five: Presbyterian, Methodist, Church of Christ, Baptist and Episcopal. Allen Chapel A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal), established in 1860, has roots in several denominations. “(Church) was very important to those people. They worked hard for everything and the country was founded on Christian principles,” says Mintie Welchance, administrative assistant at East Main Street Church of Christ, which was established in 1833 and first met in a log cabin on Lytle Street before moving to its current location in 1859, when the lot was purchased. Worship services weren’t the only assem-
blies in churches, either. Many have been used for multiple purposes over the years. “(First Presbyterian) is the only church that has been used as a state capital (where the Tennessee General Assembly met between 1818 and 1826),” Hinkle says. “That’s amazing in and of itself, and also consider people also worshiped here — (presidents) James K. Polk ... Andrew Jackson — that’s pretty neat,” Hinkle says. First Presbyterian celebrated 200 years earlier this year and Hinkle says the church mission is the same, and that’s why the congregation has endured. “Its members had vision for serving this community and that vision remains today,” Hinkle says. African-American communities embraced religion, too. First Baptist Church, East Castle Street, was begun in the early 1860s by ex-slave and Baptist minister Nelson Merry. Eventually the congregation moved to the former property of the white Baptist church, which was located at the corner of Spring and Sevier streets. During the Civil War, the building was used as a hospital and later as a school, where both white and black children attended. Urban renewal took the historic building and they moved to the located on East Castle. During the early years of First Baptist, several members withdrew and formed Mt. Olive Baptist Church, which later became Mt. Zion Baptist, now located on the corner of Maple and Lytle streets. The culture of church remains strong throughout Murfreesboro. Note: Information from the Rutherford County Archives
First Baptist Church was once located on property at the corner of Sevier and Spring streets. That building was torn down during urban renewal and the congregation moved to its present location at 738 E. Castle St.
Farris Chapel United Methodist Church in the Barfield community is over 100 years old. HELEN COMER/DNJ
Allen Chapel A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) was established in 1860 and is the oldest African-American congregation in Murfreesboro.The building at 224 S. Maney Ave. was dedicated in 1889. NANCY DE GENNARO/DNJ
Central Christian Church on Main Street in Murfreesboro is shown. HELEN COMER/DNJ
The late afternoon sun illuminates historic Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Maple Street. HELEN COMER/DNJ
First Presbyterian Church, now located at 210 N. Spring St., was originally erected on the site where the Murfreesboro City Cemetery is located. The church celebrated its bicentennial this year. DNJ
Now home to Mid-South Bank, the building at the corner of East College and Church streets is the former home to First United Methodist Church. The original building was erected in 1888. HELEN COMER/DNJ THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL • 9
City made education an early, ongoing priority Education thrived from Bradley to MTSU
By Mealand Ragland-Hudgins
ducation has traditionally been a priority in Rutherford County, long before Andrew Jackson was elected governor in 1853. Though Jackson’s administration had a heavy emphasis on public education,Murfreesboroand outlying areas were already home to several schools. Nineteenth-century schools included Bradley Academy, established around 1811 as an elite white male school. It was attended by future President James K. Polk. Polk graduated in 1814 and delivered the commencement address that
year. After the Civil War, the Freedman's Bureau came in to help blacks with school and helped build communities. By 1884, the school on South Academy Street was specifically set aside for the education of Murfreesboro’s black students. Construction of the current building began in 1917 and, when Bradley opened a year later, it was home to elementary and high school students. It served as somewhat of a community center, with an orchestra, glee club and heralded sports teams. When Holloway opened in 1928, Bradley reverted to serving elementary students until 1960 and operations moved to
a new campus on Mercury Boulevard. Since 2000, the South Academy Street site has served as a museum highlighting national and local black history.
High schools built The 1909 Education Act led to the establishment of seven public high schools in Rutherford County, including Rockvale, Smyrna, Kittrell, Eagleville, Murfreesboro, Christiana and Lascassas. The seven schools had a combined enrollment of 299 students who paid $6.49 a month to attend. Today, Murfreesboro is
Bradley Academy’s class of 1919, the first to graduate from the school on South Academy Street, is shown.
Long before school buses were used to transport students, wagons were the preferred mode of transportation. LINEBAUGH LIBRARY HISTORICAL RESEARCH COLLECTION
The Campus School, used as a training ground for future educators attending Middle Tennessee Normal College, was located in the basement of the college’s administration building, known on the MTSU campus today as Kirksey Old Main. MTSU COLLEGE OF EDUCATION PHOTO 10 • THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL
The caption on this 1910 postcard reads, “The Murfreesboro School for Boys, also known as the Mooney School, was built in 1903. The large school building has been demolished, but the smaller dormitory still stands at 1028 East Main Street.” This postcard shows the exterior of Central High School prior to it being destroyed by a fire in 1944.
home to two school systems — Murfreesboro City and Rutherford County schools. The city system — 30th in size based on student enrollment of 136 school systems in Tennessee — has about 7,200 students and an operating budget of about $54 million for 2012-13.Itisoneofonlythreein the state that follows the K-6 grade structure. Murfreesboro City operates 12 schools, including a preschool with three locations. Rutherford County is the sixth largest district in the state according to the 2012 state report card. It has 39,941 students in grades K-12, but also supports a Pre-K program at 13 other schools. RCS has an operating budget of $280 million and runs 45 schools, with another under construction.
McFadden School McFadden School is the first in the county to be named after a woman. Elvie McFadden worked among the poor in her neighborhood. Before her death in 1925, she started a church and was promised a school named in her honor. In 1927, the school was built. Since then, it has fallen victim to four fires. A year after it opened, two classrooms and the auditorium were damaged and the school burned to the
ground in 1932 following a stove fire. Arson was believed to be the cause of a1939 fire. In 1953, four classes were damaged by fire. Teachers at McFadden then also served as cafeteria workers. If they prepared soup for themselves using an in-room stove, they also gave some to studentstheyknewmaynotreceive a hot meal at home. The school is located today on Bridge Avenue.
Campus School WhenMTSU,thenknownas Middle Tennessee Normal College,openedin1911,anelementary school was located in the administration building on the university’scampus.Knownas Campus School, the school was created as a laboratory school for the university’s Education Department by an act of the General Assembly in 1909. The school was officially named Homer Pittard Campus Schoolin1985aftertheRutherford County educator who had served as principal at McFadden and Central High schools and director of university affairs at MTSU.
Central High When local school officials opened Central High in 1919, they were determined to give
This postcard shows what Murfreesboro Public School looked like while in operation from 1891 to 1922. This school was the basis of the Murfreesboro City Schools system.
students the best education possible. A community announcement sent out the the summer before the academic year began read: “It is our purpose to make this high school one of the leaders among those of its kind throughout the state. No pains and effort will be spared to reach this worthy end.” Upon its opening, Central wasconsidered as the most
modern in the state with 16 classrooms, cloakrooms, a library, bicycle room and 800seat auditorium. One of the most impressive features were the sanitary drinking fountains located on each floor. Students were so committed to attending school, that they would board trains in FostervilleandChristianaandride into town. Central burned to the ground March 30, 1944, be-
fore being rebuilt. Those who attended CHS all four years were moved to different locations. In the fall of 1944, freshmen students attended classes in Cox Memorial Gymnasium and at Crichlow School (on property now occupied by the Rutherford County Health Department). Grades 10-12 attended classes at MTSU. Today Central is a magnet school. THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL • 11
City’s residents answer the call
Community was center of conflict, training By Doug Davis email@example.com
A print shows the Union artillery behind infantry lines firing at Confederate troops on the far right during the Battle of Stones River, Dec. 31, 1862. RUTHERFORD COUNTY ARCHIVES HISTORICAL IMAGE COLLECTION
Confederate Civil War Veterans pose in front of the Confederate monument on the Public Square in Murfreesboro in this photo dated on Sept. 27, 1929. RUTHERFORD COUNTY ARCHIVES HISTORICAL IMAGE COLLECTIONS
12 • THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL
URFREESBORO — From
the Battle of Stones River during the Civil War to conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, Murfreesboro has been there to defend our country’s freedom. A list of those who have given their lives in service to the United States during World War I, World War II, Vietnam, the Korean War, Afghanistan and Iraq are listed on memorials on the Public Square outside of the Rutherford County Courthouse. Another monument on the square honors the Confedarate dead from the Civil War. United States casualties from the Civil War are buried in the near the Stones River National Cemetery on Old Nashville Highway. Others are interred in Evegreen Cemetery. A few soldiers from the Revolutionary War are buried in the old City Cemetery on Vine Street. A Veterans Memorial, dedicated in 2009, also honors veterans on the MTSU campus outside the Tom Jackson Building. Each fall, veterans are recognized during halftime of an MTSU football game as part of a Salute to Armed Services/ Veteran’ Day program. Veterans walk across the field as their branch of service’s mil-
Veterans Charles Griffith and George Hagglund pay their respects during a Veterans Day service on the Public Square in Murfreesboro.
itary song is played by the MTSU Band of Blue. This year’s event is scheduled for Oct. 27. Today, the Tennessee National Guard’s 269th Military Police Co., based in Murfreesboro, has served several tours of duty in Iraq.
The military and MTSU MTSU has a long relationship with the military and defending the Red, White and Blue. According to historian Homer Pittard, in 1917-18, several years after the founding of the Middle Tennessee Normal School, some213 “Normalites” served in World War I. A Student Army Training Corps and a machine gun regiment formed from the university’s student body. “The regiment drilled on campus, and appar-
ently they were very loud and boisterous,” said Derek Frisby, associate professor of history and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps himself, having served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the early 1990s and in the Panama Canal Zone. As with all wars, World War I cost the lives of several American soldiers from the Normal School. “We know they served largely in Europe and at least five of them died, including the author of the original alma mater (W.J. McConnell),” Frisby said. In 1940, civilian pilot training was introduced with an airstrip on campus. Between 1941-44, 772 Middle Tennessee State College (newly named in 1943) students served in World War II. Male students almost completely disappeared
There are 7,123 headstones in Stones River National Cemetery. JOHN A. GILLIS/DNJ
from campus during World War II, but pilot training brought many Army Air Force cadets back to campus for training in 1943. “President Q.M. Smith (who served from 1938-1957) worked very hard to keep the university operational by bringing in military training programs and grants to the pilot training program,” Frisby said. “There was an airport in the middle of campus, where the ROTC building is now.” The campus continued to have classes during World War II, but schedules were altered to teach preparedness, physical fitness and make care packages. Thirty-seven MTSU veterans lost their lives during military service in World War II.
ROTC program born at MTSU In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the enrollment of MTSC more than doubled as soldiers returning from World War II took advantage of the GI Bill’s education benefits. “In 1950-51, buildings
from the old Camp Forrest in Tullahoma were moved to Murfreesboro for veterans to live in,” Frisby said. “They created Vet Village; a lot of the students who were veterans (and their families) would live (there).” In 1950, the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program began. “The department began in the basement of the Alumni Memorial Gym,” said Nancy Garner, executive aide for the Military Science Department. “Forrest Hall was completed in August 1954, and we’ve been there ever since.” In 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and his Murfreesboro wife, Jean Faircloth MacArthur, filled MTSU’s stadium on a farewell tour of the U.S. “The Military Science Department received three M-4 tanks and one M-24 tank for students to train with in October 1952,” Frisby said. In 1956, ROTC became compulsory for freshman and sophomore male students, but that ended in 1972. ROTC students typically earn a minor in mil-
Members of the 115th Field Artillery Tennessee National Guard are shown during a training exercise.. RUTHERFORD COUNTY ARCHIVES HISTORICAL IMAGE COLLECTIONS
Navy veteran David DuBrucq bows his head during the benediction at the 2010 Veterans Day Ceremony on the Public Square. DuBrucq served from 1968 to 1992. JOHN A. GILLIS/DNJ
itary science, but major in any number of programs at MTSU, Kast said. When they graduate and complete ROTC instruction, they are commissioned as second lieutenants. These students are typically obligated for a three- to four-year commitment in the Army National Guard, Army Reserve or active duty.
Ultimate sacrifice The university’s service flag presently contains 68 gold stars, representing those who have died in the line of duty. MTSU alumni were some of the first to give their lives in World War II, as they saw action just after Pearl Harbor in defense of the Aleu-
tian Islands in Alaska. Throughout World War II, MTSU students served and fell in the Pacific Islands, Italy, North Africa, Western Europe (including DDay), Eastern Europe, and the China-India-Burma theater. Two died on Iwo Jima, one during the pre-invasion reconnaissance as a member of an Underwater Demoli-
tions Team (predecessors to today’s Navy SEALs), and another while trying to fend off the enemy. In 1965, support for troops in Vietnam was expressed through a signature-filled petition that was presented to Gov. Frank Clement, who passed it on to President Lyndon Johnson. A “Give Peace a Chance Rally” was held in 1969, the same year that the first woman cadet enrolled in ROTC. Eighteen Blue Raider veterans lost their lives during the Vietnam era. MTSU students, faculty and staff have since served the U.S. with great distinction all over the globe, Frisby said, including many who trained as aviators in MTSU’s renowned aerospace programs. Many other students also served in civilian roles with the American Red Cross, with the Oak Ridge National Research Laboratory, or in other service-related agencies. Even today, this “Blue Raider Spirit of Service” continues to make vital contributions to U.S. national security. THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL • 13
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NHC joins all our proud neighbors in celebrating Murfreesboro’s 200th year!
HONORING OUR MILITARY
Webelo Ryan Tumbleson helps place flags at the graves in the Stones River National Cemetery in this May 2009 photo. JOHN A. GILLIS/DNJ FILE PHOTO Civil War re-enactors shoot a Model 1841 6-pounder cannon at the Stones River National Battlefield. JOHN A. GILLIS/DNJ Names ofo the fallen are inscribed on the MTSU Veterans Memorial on campus . JOHN A. GILLIS/DNJ
General Douglas MacArthur and other dignitaries salute during a visit to Murfreesboro in April 1951. RUTHERFORD COUNTY ARCHIVES HISTORICAL IMAGE COLLECTIONS
World War II veterans Frank Hayes, left, and Willie Stem place a wreath at the Veterans Memorial during a Veterans Day ceremony on Public Square on Nov. 11, 2010. The two were classmates at Rockvale High School in the 1930s. JOHN A. GILLIS/DNJ
Soldiers of the Tennessee National Guard's 230th Signal Col. stand in formation as they deploy for Afghanistan at Smyrna Airport on July 21, 2011. JOHN A. GILLIS/DNJ
Pvts. Bruce Loveall, Justin Klockow and Sow (no last name listed), and Sgt. John Gatton march toward camp as part of a June 2007 historical reenactment of Confederate Nathan Bedford Forrest's raid on Union soldiers at the Maney House, located on the Oaklands grounds. DNJ FILE PHOTO THE DAILY NEWS JOURNAL â€˘ 15
Fall Preview Day October 20th 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Preview Day gives prospective students a chance to visit campus and meet current faculty, staff and students. For for information and to RSVP: www.mtsu.edu/rsvp
MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth, and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them: “I am True Blue.” “II am True Blue” Blue and “True True Blue” Blue are the expressions of MTSU’s brand. It represents a studentM centric culture in all aspects of MTSU’s operations; a the University’s standing as an accessible, affordable g and quality institution; and its goal to provide the m options and opportunities of a major comprehensive smalluniversity while retaining small-college roots and approaches to student success. Every new student at MTSU take takes the True Blue pled commits each Pledge at convocation. The pledge
new Blue Raider to practice the core values of honesty and integrity; have respect for diversity; engage in the community; and commit to reason, not violence. For members of the faculty and administration, pledging to be True Blue signals a renewed commitment to the success of students. In short, True Blue stands for the very best of what Blue Raiders expect from one another. MTSU, now more than a century old, offers terriﬁc opportunities, exceptional value and a beautiful campus. No wonder it is the No. 1 choice of undergraduates in Tennessee, as well as the No. 1 choice of our state’s transfer students and veterans.
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MTSU is an AA/EEO employer.
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