Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Hertford County, NC
Old deeds indicate that settlers lived on the site of Murfreesboro as early as 1710. William Murfree, an Irish immigrant, established a King's Landing where exports and imports were inspected by a representative of the English Crown. The site was known as Murfree's Landing. In 1787 William Murfree donated 97 acres of land for the incorporation of the town, which was named for him; Murfreesborough.Murfreesboro was the port of call for 18th and early 19th century sailing vessels that brought New England, West Indian, and European goods in trade for the naval stores and agricultural products of eastern North Carolina.
This picture shows the Hertford Academy, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In the spring of 1811, this recently constructed building became the home of the Academy where Rev. Jonathan Otis Freeman taught reading, spelling, arithmetic, Latin, Greek, geography, English grammar, natural philosophy, logic, and the use of gloves.
Around 1825, Harriet Sketchley (Mrs. James Banks) purchased the building as a school for young ladies, and in 1848 it was acquired for the Chowan Female Institute which later became Chowan College. In 1855, Chowan sold it to Albert G. Jones, who remodeled it into a residence. In 1983, the Hertford academy was donated to the Murfreesboro Historical Association by the Murfreesboro Woman's Club.
Harriet Sketchley was married to James Banks. James Banks was the brother of my ancestor, Alexander M. Banks and the daughter-in-law of our Benjamin Banks, Revolutionary War Soldier.