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History

History of Murfreesboro

Murfreesboro, TN is in Rutherford County and is the sixth largest city in Tennessee. The city sits just 35 miles outside of the home of country music, Nashville, TN. The town of Murfreesboro was first established in the 1780’s and 1790’s. The Revolutionary veteran, Colonel William Lytle and was a landowner and he was the one who provided land to establish the Public Square, the First Presbyterian Church as well as a community cemetery.

The town was actually originally called Cannonsburgh, which was named after Newton Cannon who was a political dignitary – however, Lytle later renamed the town Murfreesboro. He named the town after a close War friend, Colonel Hardy Murfree. In 1813 the first Courthouse was built and was the capital of Tennessee from 1818 to 1826. Murfreesboro could have remained the capital but the public officials refused to pay the one hundred dollars required to move the official records of Tennessee to Murfreesboro from Nashville. The city relied on wagon and riverboat transportation to markets until 1851 when it received railroad service.

In later years, Murfreesboro became well-known for the role that it played in the Civil War. At one point the city was occupied by the Union army but was later driven out by the Confederates. The two forces later collided in 1862 in the area and fought a battle that had over twenty-four thousand casualties. There was a burial ground established specifically for the casualties of the Union. The Union forces then set up a base and supply depot known as the Fortress Rosencrans. In the 1920’s, the government established the Stones River National Military Park. The National Park is still there now and it administers the battleground and some of the remnants from the Fortress Rosencrans. The park began to suffer form all of the drastic growth of the city in the 1990’s.

Things got much better for Murfreesboro after the war was over in 1865. The city played a big role in both agriculture and market retail. The first schooling academy was established in 1806. The 11th president of the United States actually graduated from this academy – Mr. James Knox Polk. This academy later consolidated with the Union University and after the Civil War it became a black education center and community center. The early city schools were leaders in the education reform movements. These city school actually developed the ESP which is the Extended School Program. This program gained national attention and praise. In 1906 they founded the Tennessee College for Women. The legislation then enabled them to create regional colleges in each of the three grand divisions in Tennessee.

In the 1930’s the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center was established in the outskirts of town. There was some decline in agriculture following World War II which led the city to start diversifying it’s economy. The city continues to utilize it’s history and build new museums and further service it’s national parks and historical sites. Murfreesboro was established as the “Most Livable Town in Tennessee” in the 1990’s.