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Murray, KY

A Place Apart

Murray can seem like a world unto itself. The closest cities are all hours away, and the closest interstate is a 30-minute drive. But most people in Murray’s think that’s just fine. Some say things are a bit slower here, and that’s the way they like it. With one of the state’s lowest unemployment rates and a tradition of cultural blending, the area is all about simple, comfortable living.


Cash crop

Migrant workers on Billy Dale Smith’s farm harvest and fire-cure tobacco for salaries that they send home to their families in Mexico.

by Quenest Harrington


Deeper than the grain

After years apart, Jeff and Claude Miller share a workshop where they make cutting boards of laminated wood.

by Katie Simpson


Deeply rooted

Michael Bobo trains his Clydesdales for wagon racing before he drives to practice oral surgery in Murray and Union City, Tenn.

by Tanner Curtis


Early risers

Sisters Teresa Bast and Patty Dedmon, owners of Sammons' Bakery, spend their mornings making own baked goods.

by Delayna Earley


Eclectic chair

Linda Hayden, owner of the Southside Barber Shop, oversees maintenance of Murray’s myriad heads of state.

by Andree Kehn


Everybody’s angel

A monarch butterfly on her son’s coffin motivated Donna Herndon to open the Angels Attic thrift store to finance a free clinic.

by Britney McIntosh


Far from home

Ricky Hernandez supports his family in Mexico by leading a crew of migrant workers on a tobacco farm.

by John Adkisson


Fitness fanatic

Gary Collin, manufacturing quality analyst for Briggs & Stratton, uses much of his free time to keep fit for mountain bike racing.

by Travis Garner


High roller

Joe Nanny dabbles in art and runs circles around the competition with his self-proclaimed “world’s largest” roller rink.

by Joshua Lee Kelsey


Hoopster force

Science teacher Scott Sivills’ mentoring goes from the classroom to the gym where he coaches the girls’ basketball team.

by Earl Christie


Iron will

Steely determination keeps master blacksmith Gene Knight moving forward after a serious heart attack.

by Tyler Jones


Let them eat cake

Marla Thomason, owner of The Cake Lady, and her family offer customers creations with royal treatment.

by Todd Powell


Life goes on

Al Hough, a retired professor, fights blindness and tries to stay busy to fill the void left by the death of his wife of 50 years.

by Breanna Gaddie


Living on the job

Below their second-floor bedroom, Gloria and Stu Shull serve friends and patrons at Gloria’s World Village.

by Sarah Simonis


Man about town

With support from family and the community, Calloway County Clerk Ray Coursey Jr. doesn’t let disability slow him down.

by Allie Garza


Milk made

Calloway County’s last dairy farm is a source of family pride for Jim and Judy Stahler, who have been milking cows daily for 44 years.

by Jessica Ebelhar


Mother to all

With a school, a church and a large family of her own, Teresa Speed, the principal of Murray High School, cares for a community.

by Rebecca Barnett


Mr. Ed meets Dr. Adams

Outside of the medical center, Dr. Michael Adams operates a family farm full of horses, cows, dogs and cats.

by Brooke Grace


Pets and their people

Westside Veterinary Services, Murray’s largest animal clinic, has served pets and the people who love them for more than 25 years.

by Shane Noem


Raining supreme

A deluge fails to dampen the spirits at Murray High School, where the undefeated Tigers beat Crittenden County 24-7.

by Christopher Southard


Reeling in the dough

Murray State University bass angler Kalem Tippet casts his line, hoping to help his team catch a $50,000 tournament grand prize.

by Cassie Brooks


Rodeo drive

Ian Mathes, a member of Murray State University’s rodeo team, blazes a trail toward the life of a rodeo clown.

by Neil Blake


Twins with a difference

William Winchester, 14, is taking a different path through life than his twin brother Joseph. William has Down’s syndrome.

by Sara Naomi Lewkowicz


Tethered to Tradition

Each season, Brad and Karly Lowe sow new seeds the old way.

by Eileen Blass


The Cards You're Dealt

Mary Ruth Saywell

by Colin Kelly



After nearly 40 years as minister at the Glendale Road Church of Christ, John Dale is ready to step down from the pulpit.

by Ryan Rivet



Joey Miller is studying the euphonium and hopes his newfound musical gifts will earn him a college scholarship.

by Rhyne Piggott


Freedom to Forgive

On Dec. 1, 1997, high school freshman Michael Carneal opened fire in the Heath High School lobby in West Paducah, Ky.

by Bethany Mollenkof



Despite liquor critics’ fears, the town has not taken a turn for the worst since legalizing alcohol sales.

by Serena Wells


The Insights of Angels

Abby Reinhardt sees her adopted Liberian sister Joyce and brother Freeman as gifts from God.

by Liz O. Baylen



Jacob Hein, 25, never dreamed of standing in the bight lights of a stage on Broadway.

by Jose Osorio


A Place Apart

Murray, Kentucky

by Mountain Workshops

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by Leslye Davis

Picture edit

by Jan Diehm

Picture edit

by Kelly Lafferty

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by Samantha Rainey