there was a Murray League, or Ore City; Even before there were any
people here at all there was the land: streams, creeks and rivers,
hills and forests. This area has been called, "The Land Between the
Forks of the Cypress."
The first people who lived near the Cypress Bayous were the Caddo
Indians, a peaceful tribe, growing crops and living in villages. We
know they passed through this area because a major trail we know as the
"Caddo Trace" passed through where Ore City is now situated.
France, Spain and Mexico all laid claim to the land where we now live
at various times, but the first people to settle here in permanent
homes came from the United States. After Texas gained independence, and
even more after Texas became a state of the Union in 1845, many people
from the Southern states poured into the area. It was at this time that
towns such as Coffeeville and Jefferson began to prosper.
In the early 1850s some friends, neighbors and relatives from Haywood
County in Western Tennessee settled on a large tract of land which had
been divided into individual homes and farms. The land was part of a
grant of a "league and labor of land" made by the Republic of Texas to
a "William Murray." As far as we know, he never saw the land, but he
had it surveyed and the survey still bears his name.
The settlers from Tennessee were all members of the same church, The
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. They immediately formed a
congregation and school in their new community in East Texas which they
named, "The Murray League Methodist Episcopal Church, South" and "The
The Reverend Joshua J. Clark and Mr. William L. Coppedge were leaders
in the church and school. James Harvey Armstrong, brother-in-law of W.
L. Coppedge was also a leader of the church and community. Armstrong
bought 500 acres at the northwest corner of the Murray League survey.