Originally named Cannonsburgh when founded in 1811, Murfreesboro was incorporated in 1818 and named the capital of Tennessee because of its central location. The state capital reverted back to Nashville in 1826. The town is named for Colonel Hardy Murfree who was a friend of Captain William Lytle. Lytle owned the land on which Murfreesboro was created.
Murfreesboro lies about 35 miles from Nashville.
In 1811, the Tennessee State Legislature appointed a committee to select a new site for the Rutherford County seat. The site eventually chosen was 60 acres of land belonging to Captain William Lytle.
The General Assembly named the new town Cannonsburgh, honoring Newton Cannon, a young politician in Williamson County, but upon Captain Lytle's request, changed the name to Murfreesboro one month later. The naming was in memory of Lytle's friend, Colonel Hardy Murfree. In 1817, Murfreesboro was recognized as an official city by the State Legislature and, in 1818, was named the capital of Tennessee because of its central location. However, Nashville regained the title as the state capital in 1826.
In the early years of Murfreesboro, it was mainly an agricultural community, with corn, cotton, and tobacco being the main crops. By 1853, the Murfreesboro area was home to three colleges and several academies, prompting it to be called the "Athens of Tennessee" by a visiting religious reporter. Although education suffered from the military occupation and the trauma of the Civil War, by the early 1900's it began to regain momentum.
† History of Murfreesboro, www.murfreesborotn.gov, accessed February, 2023.