In eighteen-ninety-eight, C. U. Murray, having just graduated from business school, came out to Marceline from rural Mississippi. The wholesale company, New York Racket Store had hired twenty-seven-year-old Murray to manage a retail outlet in a town only found on railroad maps. After two and a half years, he purchased the business and changed the name to Murrays. Mr. Murray moved the location of his store once more before settling on this location on Main Street in nineteen-twelve.
Twice a year Mr Murray took a buying trip to obtain goods for his store – clothing, dry goods, fabric and housewares. When the shipment arrived in its pine crates, they lined half the block waiting to be unpacked. Murray’s was especially known for it’s millinery, at one time employing three ladies to design and create custom hats priced from twenty-five cents to twenty-five dollars.
It was at Murray’s department store that Flora Disney bought Walt his first pair of overalls, a big step that completed his conversion from city boy to country boy.
After over fifty years of working full time in his store, Mr. Murray reduced his hours by half until he decided to retire at the age of ninety-three. His son kept the business going until nineteen-seventy-four, a year after his father passed away at the age of one hundred and two. The store had two more owners until it closed in two-thousand-seven, both continuing to sell inventory under the beloved name “Murray’s”.