|Murfreesboro, North Carolina|
A postcard showing Holloman's Hostel, Main St., Murfreesboro in the 1930s
Location of Murfreesboro, North Carolina
|o Total||2.29 sq mi (5.93 km2)|
|o Land||2.24 sq mi (5.80 km2)|
|o Water||0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)|
|Elevation||85 ft (26 m)|
|o Estimate (2016)||3,023|
|o Density||1,266/sq mi (488.8/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|o Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1021587|
Murfreesboro is located in northwestern Hertford County at  on high ground south of the Meherrin River. U.S. Route 258 runs through the east end of the town, and U.S. Route 158 bypasses the town to the south. US-258 leads southwest 51 miles (82 km) to Tarboro and northeast 21 miles (34 km) to Franklin, Virginia, while US-158 leads east 10 miles (16 km) to Winton, the Hertford county seat, and west 37 miles (60 km) to Roanoke Rapids.(36.440983, -77.096901),
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.3 square miles (5.9 km2), of which 2.2 square miles (5.8 km2) are land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 2.27%, are water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,045 people, 919 households, and 574 families residing in the town. The population density was 946.7 people per square mile (365.5/km²). There were 986 housing units at an average density of 456.4 per square mile (176.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 60.00% White, 37.56% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.93% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.00% of the population.
There were 919 households out of which 23.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.82.
In the town, the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $29,716, and the median income for a family was $43,417. Males had a median income of $31,392 versus $21,523 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,054. About 11.5% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.2% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.
The last native inhabitants, the Chowanoke, were expelled after warring with the English in 1675 and 1676. After that, they were moved to a reservation east of the Chowan River in what is now Gates County.
The first known deed to property in the area is a land grant dated November 5, 1714, made to Henry Wheeler for a tract on the Meherrin River which included what is now Murfreesboro. Several other transactions quickly followed, and in 1735 Joseph Parker founded the Meherrin Church. It is the second-oldest Baptist church in North Carolina (now known as Meherrin Baptist Church).
On May 27, 1746, James Jordon Scott sold 150 acres (0.61 km2) on the Meherrin River (part of Wheeler's original grant) to an Irish immigrant, William Murfree from Nansemond County, Virginia. On December 12, 1754, the General Assembly designated Murfree's Landing as a King's Landing, where imports and exports would be inspected by a representative of the King.
On July 17, 1781, British forces led by Banastre Tarleton and Tarleton's Raiders attacked Maney's Neck near Murfree's Landing. William Murfree's son, Hardy Murfree, led a local militia that repulsed the attack at Skinner's Bridge.
William Murfree contributed 97 acres (390,000 m2) of land surrounding Murfree's Landing in 1787 to the growing settlement to form a town. The town was chartered by the General Assembly and renamed Murfreesboro on January 6, 1787. This act also provided for the establishment of a public dock, as the town was located at the northernmost point of navigation on the Meherrin River.
In 1809, the Hertford Academy was established in Murfreesboro, opening in 1811 for male students. In 1814, Harriet Sketchly and Martha Sketchly arrived and expanded the female department of the academy considerably. By 1849, it was renamed as the Chowan Baptist Female Institute, the forerunner of Chowan University.
In 1831 Murfreesboro was among towns that sent armed forces (these were led by Captain Solon Borland) to Southampton County, Virginia, to quell Nat Turner's slave rebellion. As a result of these events, Virginia and North Carolina reduced the rights of free blacks, prohibiting education of both free blacks and slaves.
Local children may attend Riverview Elementary School and Hertford County Middle School, both of which are part of the Hertford County Public Schools system.
Numerous buildings of the town, mostly grand houses, are on the National Register of Historic Places: the David A. Barnes House, The Cedars, The Columns, Cowper-Thompson House, Freeman House, Melrose, Myrick House, Myrick-Yeates-Vaughan House, Francis Parker House, William Rea Store, Roberts-Vaughan House, and John Wheeler House. In addition, Princeton Site and the Murfreesboro Historic District are listed on the NRHP.
The John Wheeler House is identified as the birthplace of John Hill Wheeler, a planter and politician who served as Minister to Nicaragua and North Carolina State Treasurer. In 2013 it was established that Hannah Bond, a slave who escaped to the North and wrote The Bondwoman's Narrative under the name of Hannah Crafts, had been held by him as a domestic servant. She escaped about 1857 from his plantation and wrote her manuscript on paper traced to his library. It was found in the early 21st century, authenticated and published for the first time in 2002 as the first known novel by an African-American woman.
The old Murfreesboro public school (which housed grades 1 - 12 until 1972) has been redeveloped as the Brady C. Jefcoat Museum. It houses the collections of Brady Jefcoat, a Raleigh native. It includes hundreds of well-preserved ordinary items from the late 19th and early 20th century, including functional phonographs, radios, washing machines, and agricultural implements, as well as a wide variety of other novelties.