As agents for the State of Tennessee, Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby purchased land from the Chickasaw Nation in 1818 that eventually became West Tennessee. In 1819, with fewer than 400 inhabitants, Shelby County was formed and named for Isaac Shelby. From its early days as a valuable site on the Mississippi River for the French and Spanish, to the current world headquarters for FedEx, Shelby County has been a strategic location for commerce, whether in cotton, music, or overnight packages. The county’s diverse, and sometimes tragic, history includes Clarence Saunders’s creation of the first self-service grocery store, Beale Street, Elvis Presley, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the first Holiday Inn, and Stax and Sun recording studios. Images of America: Shelby County also looks at the municipalities that make up the largest county in Tennessee. Cities such as Bartlett, Collierville, and Germantown began in the mid-1800s as small farming communities and today have the highest growth rate in the state.
About the Author
Author Robert W. Dye has created a visual history of Memphis and the surrounding communities of Shelby County. A fourth-generation Memphian, Dye is a photo archivist and historian.
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