Papers 1795-1937
(Predominately 1830-1900)

East Tennessee State University
Archives of Appalachia
Box 70295
Johnson City, Tennessee 37614

Telephone: (423) 439-4338


Title: Murray Family Papers
Collection Number: Accession No. 180
Physical Description: 2.5 linear feet; 1 oversize folder, 77 photographic prints (in one flat box)
Creator: The Murray family of Washington County, Tennessee
Repository: Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University



Provenance: The papers of the Murray family were transferred to the Archives of Appalachia on August 25, 1983 by Helen Roseberry on behalf of the B. Carroll Reece Museum. The papers were donated to the museum by Mrs. I. G. Murray.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Processing Information: Karen House, Ed Speer, and Norma Myers completed processing and the papers were opened for research in September 1987. Marie Tedesco revised the Findaid in 1991.


The first member of the Murray family mentioned in the collection is Ephraim Murray, who apparently moved from Maryland to Washington County, Territory South of the River Ohio (now Tennessee), in the 1790s. By 1830 he owned more than 900 acres of land in the Cherokee Creek section of Washington County. Ephraim died in late 1834 or early 1835. His wife Margaret was the daughter of Richard Doyl (Doyle?) of Baltimore County, Maryland.

Ephraim Murray's son Isaac (1792-1877) was married to Matilda Gartrell (1798-1864), a native of Wilkes County, Georgia. In 1822 Isaac and Matilda were residing in Madisonville, Monroe County, Tennessee, where their son Ephraim was born. About 1834 the Murrays returned to Washington County.

A physician and surveyor, Ephraim Murray married Martha J. Burson (1823-1899) on April 15, 1852 in Washington County. A native of Bedford County, Virginia, Martha was the daughter of Reverend Thomas and Sarah A. W. Burson. She moved to Tennessee with her mother and her brother Zachariah L. Burson. Sarah Burson died at Jonesborough on October 12, 1854 at the age of sixty-seven.

The Murrays' eight children were born at the family residence located four miles north of Jonesborough in the Boones Creek section of Washington County. In 1872 they moved to the "old Murray farm" on Cherokee Creek south of Jonesborough. Dr. Ephraim Murray died at his home in Jonesborough on November 25, 1891, and his widow died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. A. K. Brown, in Bristol, Tennessee. Isaac, Matilda, Dr. Ephraim, and Martha J. Murray are buried in the Murray family cemetery located about 2 1/2 miles south of Jonesborough.

The youngest child of Ephraim and Martha Murray was Isaac Gartrell Murray. Born on May 7, 1865, he was educated in Washington County schools and Carson-Newman College. After three years of additional study, he graduated from Southern Baptist Technological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, on May 30, 1895. He married Ida Lawrence in Sweetwater, Monroe County, Tennessee on October 10, 1895

Ordained on February 22, 1893 at the Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville, Reverend Murray served until 1922 as pastor of seventeen churches in Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and South Carolina. In the mid-1920s, the Murrays moved to Johnson City, Tennessee. Reverend Murray died about 1937 or 1938, and Mrs. Murray died in 1939. Both are buried in Jefferson City, Tennessee.


The Murray Family Papers reflect the personal and business activities of three generations of the Murray family. The papers include a personal diary of Mrs. Isaac G. Murray; sermon notes, a hymnal and homiletics notebook of Reverend Isaac Murray; survey appointments, land grants, and lists of state money in relation to Ephraim Murray's work as a surveyor; and correspondence, and photo album, inventories of estates, deeds and receipts relating to family lands, property and education.

The papers date from 1795 to 1937. The bulk of the collection dates from 1830 to 1900 and relates to Dr. Ephraim Murray's work as a surveyor or Reverend Isaac Murray's education and work in the ministry.

The papers are divided into three series: Series I, Ephraim Murray Papers; Series II, Isaac G. Murray Papers; and Series III, Miscellaneous Murray Family Papers.

Important subjects covered in the collection include:

Ashburn, Paul
McFarland, J. L.
Murray, C. S.
Murray, Ephraim, d. 1891
Murray, Ida Lawrence--Diaries
Murray, Isaac Gartrell, b. 1865
Murray family
Washington County (Tenn.)--Surveys




Series I, EPHRAIM MURRAY PAPERS, 1795-1890, Box 1.

Series I consists of survey appointments, land grants and lists of state money in the hands of Murray. The papers relate to lands in Washington County, Tennessee, which were surveyed by Murray. The files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series II, ISAAC G. MURRAY PAPERS, 1892-1922, Boxes 2-3.

Series II contains sermon notes, a hymn book, Bible and homiletics notes concerning Isaac Murray's preparation for and service in the ministry. A biography of the "Milroys of Cherokee" is also included. The files are arranged alphabetically by subject. Oversize: One folder, containing diplomas and certificates earned by Murray, 1895-1922. (Map cabinet, Drawer 16)


Series III includes estate inventories, receipts, deeds and land grants, bank book, correspondence, photo album, a diary of Mrs. I. G. Murray, and memorabilia relating to the three generations of the Murray family in Washington County, Tennessee. This series is divided into two subseries: Subseries III-A, Business Papers and Subseries III-B, Personal Papers.

Subseries III-A, BUSINESS PAPERS, 1800-1938, Box 4.

Subseries III-A contains inventories of estates, indentures, deeds, land grants, and bank book relating to family lands, debts, education and financial dealings. The papers are arranged chronologically with undated items placed at the end. A bank book, September 1929-June 1937, is placed in front of the series.

Subseries III-B, PERSONAL PAPERS, 1812-1938, Box 5.

Subseries III-B contains the diary of Mrs. I. G. Murray; personal account books; correspondence; newsclippings; printed political speeches; legal documents such a wills, indentures and agreements; and printed programs and announcements. The papers reflect the interaction between family members and friends; family members' interests in education, social issues and politics; and ownership of family lands and personal property. The files are arranged first alphabetically by type of document and then chronologically.

A photo album was removed and photographs were placed in the photographic storage area.



Two leather wallets were removed and placed in the Appalachian Artifacts Collection. A pamphlet on the First Annual Report of the Chief Engineer to the President and Directors of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad Company was removed and placed in the vertical files.



Series I, EPHRAIM MURRAY PAPERS, 1795-1890, Box 1.

Box 1

1. Land Grants to Ephraim Murray, North Carolina, 1795.
2. State Money in E. Murray's Hand, ND.
3. Survey Appointment, A-B, ND.
4. Survey Appointment, C-D, ND.
5. Survey Appointment, E-G, ND.
6. Survey Appointment, H-L, ND.
7. Survey Appointment, M-R, ND.
8. Survey Appointment, S-Z, ND.
9. Survey Appointment, Miscellaneous, ND.

Series II, ISAAC G. MURRAY PAPERS, 1892-1922, Boxes 2-3.

Box 2

1. Bible-December 25, 1892.
2. Bible-Loose Pages, 1893.
3. Henning Church Members, November 28, 1920.
4. Homilitics Notebook, Volume 1, ND.
5. Hymn and Praise Book-Baptist, 1904.
6. Milroys of Cherokee-I.G. Murray, ND.
7. Sermon Notebooks, ND.
8. Sermon Notes from New Testament, 1893.

Box 3

1. Sermon Notes, (TR) 65.116.29.A, ND.
2. Sermon Notes, (TR) 65.116.29.B, ND.
3. Sermon Notes, (TR) 65.116.29.C, ND.
4. Sermon Notes, (TR) 65.116.29.D, ND.
5. Sermon Notes, (TR) 65.116.29.E, ND.
6. Sermon Notes, (TR) 65.116.29.F, ND.


Items included in the folder:

1. Diploma, High School Department, Jonesboro Graded School, Jonesborough, Tennessee, March 5, 1889.
2. Diploma, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, May 30 1895.
3. Diploma, Convention Normal Course, Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee, November 29, 1912.
4. Sunday School Student (newspaper, published weekly by China Baptist Publication Society; in Chinese), Canton, China, February 26, 1911.
5. Certificate of Recognition from the Sunday School Board, Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee, July 3, 1922.


Subseries III-A, BUSINESS PAPERS, 1800-1938, Box 4.

Box 4

1. Bank book: Unaka and City National Bank, September 1929-June 1937.
2. Business Papers, pre 1800-1828.
3. Business Papers, 1830s.
4. Business Papers, 1840s.
5. Business Papers, 1850s.
6. Business Papers, 1860s.
7. Business Papers, 1970s.
8. Business Papers, 1880s.
9. Business Papers, 1890s.
10. Business Papers, ND.
11. Business Series, School Papers, 1861-78.

Subseries III-B, PERSONAL PAPERS, 1812-1938, Box 5.

Box 5

1. Account books, 1852-53, 1892.
2. Correspondence, 1931-41.
3. Correspondence, 1845-65.
4. Correspondence, 1866-1935.
5. Diary-Mrs. I. G. Murray, 1895-1919.
6. Genealogical information, ND.
7. Miscellaneous papers, 1812-91.
8. Miscellaneous printed materials, 1845-93.
9. Newsclippings, 1868-1935.
10. Political Speeches, 1856-60.


All prints are black and white, unless otherwise noted.

MU# Description and Date

Box 6

1. Street scene: unidentified town, ND.
2. Unidentified monument, ND.
3. Mountain forest scene, ND.
4. House, with four unidentified persons, ND.
5. House with woods, ND.
6. Tower, ND.
7. Two people on bicycles, in front of house, one person on porch, ca. 1900.
8. River scene, ND.
9. Unidentified persons in carriage, in front of house. These people on porch of house, ca. 1890-1900.
10. River scene, ND.
11. House, ND.
12. Unidentified adults (2) and children (2) in front of house, ND.
13. Wooden house, ND.
14. Old State Department, Washington, D.C., ND.
15. Unidentified child, ND.
16. Unidentified child, ND.
17. Church interior, ND.
18. The Capitol, Washington, D.C., ND.
19. The White House, Washington, D.C., ND.
20. Two unidentified adults and one child, ca. 1900-1920.
21. Landscape with creek and mountains, ND.
22. Unidentified public building, perhaps in Washington, D.C., ND.
23-25. River scenes, ND.
26. Field, ND.
27-34. Unidentified people, ca. 1890-1920.
35. Sevier's Monument, Knoxville, Tennessee, ND.
36. Farm, ND.
37. Field tents, ND.
38-40. Forest Scenes, ND.
41. Soldiers in forest, ca. World War I era, 1914-19.
42. Railyard, ND.
43. W. L. Wallace and bride, with preacher, ND.
44. Unidentified military park, ND.
45. Children on Mr. Warren's farm sliding down gullies.
46. Farm house, with fences in foreground, ND.
47. House, with five unidentified persons standing in front of it, ND.
48. House with two unidentified women standing in front of it, ND.
49. Swimming pool, Florida (color print), ND.
50. Two houses, with large lawn in front of them, ND.
51. House, Nd.
52. House on cliff, ND.
53. Old Mill place where mother was born, (a log house), ND.
54-55. Granny's house (a log house), ND.
56-60. Church exteriors, ND.
61-62. Black woman with pigs, ND.
63. Scene at Madisonville, ca. 1900.
64-65. Houses, ND.
66. Johnson City train station, ND.
67-69. Winter scenes, ND.
70. Ship at port, ND.
71. Unidentified house (color print), ND.
72. Florida: pool with seashore and palm trees in background (color print), ND.
73. House and pool (color print), ND.
74. George Johnston, Nellie Cate, King Walker, Ida Murray, ND.
75. George Johnson and school, ND.
76. Unidentified port (color print), ND.
77. Speaker of the House, Mr. White, New Mexico Legislature, November 20, 1935 (with autographed mat, in separate envelope).




MTC 12/00