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William Rock Murrell Family
By Frances Fox
Taken from Ye Olde Ancestors, November 7, 1991
Written permission given by the New Boston Genealogy Society
to post this information to the Bowie County TXGenWeb site.

William Rock "Billy" Murrell was born in Russell County, Alabama in 1836.  His parents were David Jones Murrell and Nancy Lipsey who were married in Jones County, Georgia in 1823.  Billy Murrell had two brothers: Chappel and Dave.  Dave Murrell stayed in Alabama.  Chappel Murrell went to Clarksville, Arkansas and from there to the Hubbard Chapel Community about five miles south of DeKalb, Texas.  Billy Murrell moved to Franklin County, Texas.  Records show that he bought land there as early as 1870.  He moved to Bowie County, Texas in 1885.

William R Murrell was married twice and had nine children.  His first wife was Sara Stimp and they had three children:
1. Mattie, married W F Whitehurst
2. Nettie, married Cary C Babb
3. John, married Emily Peters
After Sara Stimp Murrell died, W R Murrell married Rebecca Laura Musgrove in 1877.  Billy Murrell sold his land in Franklin County, Texas to C C Babb in 1886.

W R Murrell and his second wife, Rebecca L Musgrove had six children:
1. Festis Eugene, 1879-1951, married Mittie Eubanks
2. Lucy Irene, 1881-1970, married Willard Marland Old
3. Sara Elizabeth, 1883-1960, married Lemuel McGee
4. Philip Chisholm, 1885-1963, married Lois Elizabeth Welborn
5. Jesse Franklin, 1888-1961, married Bonnie Bell
6. Leslie Edward, 1891-1966, married Nona O'Neal
P C and Leslie were the only ones born in Bowie County.

When Billy Murrell came to New Boston in 1885, he went into business with his son-in-law, W F Whitehurst and they went broke.  Billy managed to salvage enough money to buy a 200 acre farm 7 miles west of New Boston.  He continued to live on that farm until his death in 1907.  After his death, his son P C Murrell lived on the farm until it was sold in 1940.  Interstate 30 now runs across part of that farm.

William R and Rebecca L Murrell also helped care for other members of the family besides their own children.  Phillip Musgrove and his son Harris Author Musgrove lived with them.  They also raised a grandson, William Edward Murrell, a son of John Murrell.

The old home burned in 1934 and it cost $800 to build it back.  The neighbors all came over and helped to rebuild it.  Some of the jobs at home were chopping and picking cotton, picking black berries for jam and jelly, stripping cane to make syrup, digging sweet potatoes, and butchering hogs.  They also had to pick off the peanuts, shell the corn for the mill, milk the cows everyday and gather the eggs and feed the chickens.  They did not see any light bread until 1930.

When Rebecca Laura Murrell died, she died of T B and was laid out on two boards until the coffin could be made.  The neighbors came and helped build the coffin and dig the grave.  People were not embalmed then.  The coffin was lined with black satin material and padded with cotton.  Laura Musgrove Murrell died in 1919, just 62 years old.  William R and Rebecca Laura Murrell are buried at Reed Hill Cemetery, south of New Boston, Texas.

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