Collierville is the second oldest town in Shelby County, Tennessee. Formally located on Poplar Pike in 1836, the settlement received its name from Jesse Collier, an entrepreneur who divided the land into lots, and advertised “The Town of Collier for Sale”, in the Memphis Enquirer. The first mayor was Richard Ramsey, as the town was incorporated in 1850.
Collierville received an early demise, however, due to “Sherman’s March to the Sea.” When Southern forces attempted to retake the Collierville depot and disrupt Union rail service on the morning of October 11, 1863, they had no idea that the most important General in the Western Theater, William T. Sherman, and his staff had ridden into their surprise attack. It was the closest Sherman ever came to being killed or captured during the Civil War. He lost his horse and his train, and as a result, the town of Collierville was burned to the ground.
Following the Civil War, the town was relocated when Harrison Irby and Virginus Leake purchased, divided and sold lots at the town’s present location. James B. Abington served as mayor for Collierville’s second incorporation on February 17, 1870.
The next century saw a time of steady growth for the town of Collierville, as it became the cotton industry hub for an area covering Shelby County as well as all those counties surrounding it. When the boll weevil took its toll on the cotton industry, the town turned its focus to the dairy industry and became known as the cheese-making capital of West Tennessee. Much of the history of the town can be viewed and read about at Confederate Park, also known as the Historic Town Square. The original buildings still stand, filled with thriving businesses, antique shops, and Collierville restaurants that help preserve the heritage and spirit of the town.
Now Collierville is a thriving community covered with mostly larger homes and a growing economic base. Somehow the town has managed to grow with a strong tie to its past, as well as an even stronger push to keep that friendly, small town feel that builds strong community.
If you would like to learn more about dining experiences in Collierville, especially those on the historical Collierville Town Square, then please visit http://ColliervilleRestaurants.net.