Murray Precinct

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Map of Murray Precinct in 1876.


Murray Precinct is bounded as follows: Beginning at the mouth of Rhodes Greek, No. 2, thence up same to McLean County line, thence with same eastward to Ohio County line, thence with Ohio County line to Panther Creek, thence down same to the beginning. The precinct was named after Mr. Murray, who established and kept a store in this neighborhood for a number of years.

Along the creeks the land is generally low; the upland is undulating and moderately hilly. The higher hills are underlaid with coal, which is about fifty-two to fifty-four feet below high water mark. The quality of the land is various, but as a whole it will average about No. 2. In this precinct are several good quarries of sandstone.

The ponds used to contain small fish and reptiles, and the scenery around them was wild and picturesque. One of them was made by beavers constructing a dam at the outlet. Crane Pond was filled up and obliterated prior to 1883.

Early Settlement

The settlements made in Murray Precinct were among the earliest in the county. Captain Ben Field settled here in 1793. He came from Culpeper County, Virginia and came to Kentucky as surveyor for the State of Virginia. He finally settled fifteen miles south of Owensboro, where he built the first house between Owensboro and Hartford. He died in 1843. William Tanner came in 1798, and settled in the edge of McLean County. Adam Shoemaker came about 1795. Fields gave him 100 acres of land to come and live next to him. He lived there till 1815, then settled on Green River, at Huston's Ferry, McLean County. Mark Howard came from North Carolina and settled here in 1803. He had fourteen children and his descendants are numerous here. His land was purchased of Harry Ennis in 1800, and was surveyed by Captain Field; 1,100 acres were originally purchased, but only 400 could be obtained. Nelson Mason came in 1815 with "William Newton, who died in 1820. His wife, Elizabeth, was sister to Ben Field. Mr. Newton's son, William, married Mr. Field's daughter, and they had eleven children; all died prior to 1883 except Mary, who lived about four miles above Owensboro.

Joshua Griffith, John H. McFarland, Samuel and James Johnson, Baxter Davis, Robert Tarlton, Andrew Barnett, Warner Ashley and Mr. Clifford were early settlers. Most of the early settlers came from North Carolina. Numerous families of Johnsons came from that State. William May came in 1830, and settled on a farm one mile south of Panther Creek.

The first magistrates in the precinct were William Layton and William H. Davis, who were elected and served under the new Constitution of 1850. Previous to this they were appointed by the Governor.

The first religious services were held in what was called "Tanner's meeting-house" in 1820. Thomas Downs was the first preacher.

The first whisky and peach brandy made in this county was made by Walter McFarland, father of the honored octogenarian, John H. McFarland.

An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map Of Daviess County, Ky. Published by Leo McDonough & Co. 1876.

Source: David Rumsey Map Collection, Online Copyright ©2000 by Cartography Associates.

Source: History of Daviess County, Kentucky. Chicago: Interstate Publishing Co., 1883. Print.