07/18/06 — Feed mill had long history

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Feed mill had long history

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 18, 2006 1:54 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Murray family feed mill, built nearly 60 years ago by brothers Bill and Durwood Murray to accommodate their farming interests, hadn't been profitable for several years.

But Durwood Murray, who is 87, kept taking care of some of his old customers until January.

"The feed business has gone haywire with the big mills," he said this morning at his home in Goldsboro. "We operated five and six days a week, depending on the season."

And business was good for a while, said Sarah Murray, Bill Murray's widow. He died in 2001 at the age of 86. Sarah is 89.

Tractor-trailer trucks would line up way down Breazeale Avenue waiting to either drop off their harvest or to pick up feed that the brothers sold in bulk. That was before farmers started getting equipment to separate the grains in the fields. The brothers continued selling grain for a while and then raised turkeys, hogs and cattle until they retired.

Mrs. Murray said somebody had expressed an interest in buying the land, and the family was trying to clean up the property. Durwood was trying to save every piece of equipment inside the building that he could.

"Most of the equipment is obsolete, but it's precious to Durwood," she said. "When you make something, you want to preserve it."

Sarah's son, Dan Murray, said his uncle started the business in the late 1940s as Murray and Price Equipment Co. His father became partners with Durwood, and it became Murray Supply Co.

The feed mill supplied their farming operation and some local farmers who were also growing poultry, hogs and cattle. And the brothers bought grain from local farmers, who brought in corn, soy beans and wheat.

He said it was in the late 1980s and early 1990s that the mill operation scaled back quite a bit, but Durwood kept it going as long as he could.