Murray Township was created
in June 1886, out of territory taken from Cass and neighboring Robberson
Townships. It is comprised of Sections 13-36 of T30N, R23W. It is
bounded by Cass Township on the north, Boone Township on the west,
Robberson Township on the east, and Center Township on the south.
Its principal waterways include Asher and Clear Creeks. Willard
is the principal community.
Willard was originally
in Cass Township but when Murray Township was formed, became located
there. The development of Willard can be primarily attributed to
the coming of the Frisco Railroad. The town was laid out in 1884
by Dr. E. T. Robberson. At the time it was not given a name. During
this time the Frisco Railroad Company was in the process of obtaining
right of way and laying tracks for a new railroad between Springfield
and Bolivar in a rather indirect route through Walnut Grove. The
town laid out by Dr. Robberson was on the route. A surveyor for
the railroad named Bill Willard was working in the area and wanted
to put up a station in the newly laid out town. When the question
as to the name for the station came up, the residents living in
the area wanted to name it Robberson. Since there was another town
with the name Robberson in Missouri, this name could not be used.
For want of anything else, Bill Willard gave the town his name.
With the railroad depot
in place and the post office established in 1884, it did not take
long for development to get started in Willard. Private dwellings
lined the streets as people moved to town to open businesses along
the east-west main street.
to the list of Greene County's townships.