Murray, Iowa was incorporated in 1880. Its largest population was 876 people during the 1920s. It has shrunk in size throughout the years and now is back up to around 700 people. Murray was my hometown even though I actually was from the farm. My ancestors met and married each other surround this town and Germans and Brits connected to created large families. Burgus, Abernathy, Turner, Reis are a few of the names I have in my family tree from around Murray. These were all from my dad's side as my mom's side came from the Lorimor, Iowa.
The location of the tracks are still the same today as the Amtrak now runs on these tracks. The tracks go all the way to California. The depot is long gone. Even so the history of the building has so many stories of people who were killed on this exact location. Older people would walk along the crossing next the building and would look the one way but not see the train coming from the other direction. I actually had a distant cousin that was killed on this track probably 50 years ago. I know all that seems to be confusing as I too think that they should hear a train coming. I do know during my youth an older lady was hit there but she was probably not knowing where she was and what to look for while outside or should I say confused.
The train station was torn down in the late 60's. The grainery in the background is also gone. The whole set up was for shipping of grain and also was the mail train. A person could post a card in Murray in the morning and the person in the next town could receive it. They could then reply to the card and send it back to Murray in the afternoon on a returning train.
I am familiar with this main street as it was all standing when I was growing up in the area. The corner fron building became the post office in later years. It looks like it could be a barber shop in the photo. A grocery store sat next to it. The post office is still there today and the grocery store closed a few years back. The next two sets of buildings are not standing now. I am assuming fire took them out.
This building always fascinated me. It sat empty most of my life as a youth. I never really noticed that the lodge was above the store until I saw this photo. I always seemed like a large building to me and I never understood why they couldn't keep business going it. I do know it would be hard in a small town.
My uncle Carl owned the building in the foreground. The photo was taken I believe in the late sixties. The major section of the buildings between the two buildings burned down in 1967. It had a movie theater there plus an empty store and a closed drug store. If you wanted to find the building in the top photo you can't as this building was added on the main street later after the photo was taken.
Uncle Carl bought the building before I was born in the late 40's. The first door was an entrance to a fancy barber shop with two barbers running the place. The next set of windows shows where my Uncle and Aunt lived in an apartment. They lived basically on main street with Venetian blinds separating them from the people walk down the street. I remember my Aunt Pauline watching every move of everyone going by that set of windows. The next set of windows and door had another barber shop and then a laundromat. The whole building originally was a dealership for Model T's and the windows were display areas for cars. The building was large with the garage being in the back of it. I remember a cafe originally was in the place of the laundromat.
Memory lane today for me as I have borrowed these photos from a friend on facebook. I have one more photo that will be a blog in itself to come in the future.
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