Collierville in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
History Of The Collierville Town Square
— July 21, 1866 - July 21, 2006 —
In July of 1866, Collierville, like much of the South, was beginning to recover from the ravages of war. Three years earlier, "Mister Collier's Village" consisting of several homes and a general store a few hundred yards east of the square on Mt. Pleasant Road, was burned, by order of General William T. Sherman, en route to begin his infamous "march to the sea". This action was taken to deny cover for the Confederate forces that had surrounded the town and were threatening the occupying Union Army's fortification.
Two notable citizens joined company to rebuild what Sherman and his army had left in shambles. Doctor Virginius Leake and Constable Harrison H. Irby, neighboring plantation owners and soon to be in-laws, purchased from Amy Kimmel of Franklin County, Ohio, 50 and ¼ acres, which would become the center of the town as we now know it. The purchase price was two thousand dollars.
They laid out the new town, based on the traditional towns of Virginia, from whence they both originated. They designed a subdivision of lots on three sides of the "Public Square". Leake and Irby set aside 2 acres already designated
Shortly thereafter, Doctor Leake built his office on the northwest corner of "The Square", on lot number one of the Leake and Irby Subdivision, as recorded in plat book D page 403 in the Shelby County Court House. The first lots sold were to Robert Waters on September 24th, 1866 for the sum of two hundred dollars. Mr. Waters was to build his drug store on lot number 5 and a future building on lot number 6. In the sales agreement, Mr. Waters was granted, by Leake and Irby, an equal interest in the "Public Square" as were all subsequent purchasers of lots in this Subdivision.
Originally the Public Square had a picket fence surrounding it on all four sides and deer were kept within. The square had a concrete walk similar to the one existing. It ran diagonally, from corner to corner and around the perimeter. The early residents said it was to represent the Confederate Flag. Later, a two story bandstand was built in the center where the walks crossed. The bandstand and several buildings on the square were destroyed by a tornado in 1955.
"The Square" has been the center of commerce and community pride since it's conception, thanks to these two gentlemen, their descendants and the town fathers who came after.
This monument is
Dr. Virginius Leake was a Tennessee state senator at the time of his death in 1873.
Erected 2006 by Descendants of Virginius Leake and Harrison H. Irby.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is July 21, 1866.
Location. 35° 2.556′ N, 89° 39.882′ W. Marker is in Collierville, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker can be reached from North Center Street just south of East Mulberry Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is within Collierville Town Square Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 98 N Center St, Collierville TN 38017, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Collierville, Tennessee Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Collierville (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wigfall Grays (within shouting distance of this marker); Collierville, Tenn. (within shouting distance of this marker); Collierville Civil War Battles Memorial (within The Battle of Collierville (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Memphis & Charleston Railroad (about 300 feet away); Collierville United Methodist Church (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Collierville.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 11, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 29, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 674 times since then and 262 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 29, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 3. submitted on May 10, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.