Murray State University was founded after passage of Senate Bill 14 by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which created two normal schools in the early 20th century to address the growing demand for professional teachers. One was to be located in the western part of the state, and many cities and towns bid for the new normal school. Rainey T. Wells spoke on behalf of the city of Murray to convince the Normal School Commission to choose his city. On September 2, 1922, Murray was chosen as the site of the western normal school, while Morehead was chosen for the eastern normal school. On November 26, 1922, John Wesley Carr was elected the first president of the Murray State Normal School by the State Board of Education. Believing it had the authority to elect the president, the Normal School Commission picked Rainey Wells as the first president. On May 15, 1923, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled for the State Board of Education, and Carr became Murray's first president.