The valley and region in which Murray is located was well known to the trappers and exploreres before the Mormon Pioneers entered the area. The Escalante expedition visited the general area as early as September of 1776, and left a description of Utah Valley and its inhabitants. While in the Utah Valley, the Indians gave the Spaniards information about the valley to the north and the lake there.
Come fifty years later, the region became well known to the fur trappers of the great fur companies. Peter Skene Ogden, Jedediah Smith, and Provost with their companies of men traversed the region and became well acquainted with it. After the arrival of the first trappers, the area was often visited by white men, either trapping or exploring.
With the Mormons entering the valley, came the settlers who were to make the first settlement at South Cottonwood. Green Flake, a member of the first party of pioneers is reported to have built a house for James Flake in the area where the Mississippi Saints settled in 1848. This area became known as the Amasa Lyman Survey and was the nucleus from which the South Cottonwood ard grew.