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Why do they call it Murrayville?

Ben Steelman

This community in Cape Fear Township in northern New Hanover County, just off I-40, used to be heavily agricultural. Growth has been fast in recent years, though, along Murrayville Road, with subdivisions and shopping centers springing up where crops once grew. Murrayville Elementary School opened in 2005 at 225 Mabee Way, New Hanover County [Map this].

Not surprisingly, the name comes from the Murray family. Richard Sanders Murray (1847-1916), a Confederate veteran, settled there in the 1890s, according to family tradition. John W. Murray (1869-1946) worked as a “woods rider,” or forester, for D.L. Gore, who in 1904 deeded large tracts of land in the township to John and Richard Murray.

John W. Murray, incidentally, fathered seven sons and four daughters. Many descendents still live in the area.

Intriguingly, the 1968 North Carolina Gazetteer, several maps and even some contemporary members of the Murray family spell the community’s name as “Murraysville.” Other Murrays, though, insist there’s no “s.”

User-contributed question by:
Leo Teachout

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