Campbell Flannagan Murrell House
Built ca. 1875, the Campbell Flannagan Murrell House Museum is Hinton's oldest home. It interprets the lives of its past occupants and the history of Hinton. The museum organizes the annual Festival of the Rivers, a free music festival in downtown Hinton.
Backstory and Context
Hinton's oldest standing residential structure, the house was built circa 1875 by Mr. Edgar Campbell and his wife, Elizabeth. The Campbells operated a general store, one of the first merchants in Hinton, out of the basement portion of the home. Little has changed since the home was constructed over a century ago. The entrance of the general store remains essentially the same today as it did in 1875.
In 1876, the Campbells deeded the residence to their daughter, Alice, and her husband John W. Flannagan. They married on December 2, 1875. John became an engineer for the C & O Railroad in 1871 and was the oldest in service, highly respected in the community; and, although at the age of 58 and considering retirement, he hesitated to give it up. Fascination, after 15 years or more on the fastest passenger train on the railroad, kept him at the throttle-- then tragedy struck in 1907. John was engineer on the west-bound “Fast Flying Virginian” when it wrecked on March 12, 1907 just eight miles east of Hinton. John was killed in this terrible train accident that also took the life of his fireman Mike Quinn and John Williams. Never in the history of the city was there such a turn out of people to attend the funeral and burial services of a departed friend. Pictures of the wreck and the engine plate from the old steam locomotive are on display in Hinton's Railroad Museum.
In 1902, the Flannagans daughter, Mary, married Robert O. Murrell and the home later became the property of the Murrells. Bob, as he was better known, began working for the C & O in 1896 in Covington, Virginia, becoming a star baseball player for the C & O. Hinton needed his athletic ability and in 1897 he was transferred to Hinton, where he transformed the team into the most famous and successful team in the history of the city. They were even selected to play in an exhibition game against the Cincinnati Reds -- and won! The uniform that Robert wore in 1897 can be seen today in Hinton's Railroad Museum.
After Bob's death, Mary Murrell lived on in the home and was cared for until her death by her daughter, Mildred, who was a highly respected teacher in the Hinton community. Mildred was a brilliant person who had a great appreciation for history. It is with grateful appreciation that we credit her with helping compile the colorful history of the family. The home was occupied by Mildred until her death in 1986.