Rural Heritage Trust










1. To investigate and record, and to foster appreciation for, the heritage of constituent municipalities, communities, and countryside;

2. To sustain the area’s natural and agricultural characteristics and sense of place and enhance its quality of life;

3. To encourage preservation of the area’s historic structures and institutions; and

4. To link locales (e.g., though interpreted roads and trails) into interwoven, engaging networks of historical, cultural, agricultural, and natural amenities.





Paul Matthews

Paul Matthews is a partner at the Memphis law firm of Bourland Heflin Alvarez Minor & Matthews, PLC, and the author or editor of numerous published works on legal and historical subjects, including Early Families of the Memphis Area (2008).

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the West Tennessee Historical Society and the Mid-South Public Communications Foundation (owner and operator of PBS-affiliated WKNO-TV and NPR-affiliated WKNO-FM) and on the Shelby County Conservation Board, the Mid-South Greenprint Steering Committee, and the St. Mary’s Episcopal School Council of Advisors.

An early organizer of events for the Memphis-in-May International Festival and a graduate of Leadership Memphis, Paul served as president of the Davies Manor Association, the Duke Alumni Club of Memphis, and Descendants of Early Settlers of Shelby and Adjoining Counties, Chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission, Vice-Chairman of the Tennessee Historical Commission (on which he served for 20 years), and on the board of directors of the Memphis Bar Association and Friends of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Paul and his wife Sue recently restored his family’s place at Barretville, which is a Tennessee Century Farm and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Susan Jones

Susan Jones has worked on economic development, cultural tourism, and trail development for more than 25 years, first co-chairing the agricultural task force for the Memphis Jobs Conference, participating in the first class of Leadership Memphis, chairing the cultural tourism committee for the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission, and serving as a founding director of the Mississippi River (bicycle) Trail and organizational director of the Mississippi River Corridor Tennessee. Most recently, she was a member of the Shelby County Historical Commission and helped formulate the Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan, a long-term strategic plan that articulates a vision for more livable, sustainable, and connected communities across the region.

Susan is a former European history teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School. She and her husband Rudolph live on a historic family farm in Brunswick, settled by Rudolph’s forebears, who came to Tennessee through the Cumberland Gap in the 1830s. Susan and Rudolph have a deep interest in and love for “people’s history,” the “song in the air” that blends the voices of our predecessors in rural southwest Tennessee, telling


Jimmy Ogle

Jimmy Ogle has worked in parks, recreation, and tourism during his 40-year career in Memphis. Previous positions include Deputy Director of the Memphis Park Commission, General Manager of Mud Island River Park, General Manager of the Memphis Queen Line, Vice-President of Performa Entertainment (Beale Street), Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Memphis Rock’n’Soul Museum, and Dockmaster at Beale Street Landing. At present he is Duckmaster at The Peabody Hotel.

Jimmy is Shelby County Historian and serves in leadership positions on other local non-profit organizations, such as the Shelby County Historical Commission, West Tennessee Historical Society, Davies Manor Association, Shelby County Public Records Commission, Mississippi River Corridor Tennessee, Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, and Remember Libertyland.

Jimmy conducts over 200 talks or tours annually, including a popular series of walking tours on streets, parks, and historic buildings in downtown Memphis and the riverfront, as well as presentations in schools, senior living facilities, and civic meetings

Alex Ivy

Alex Ivy is a lifelong Memphian with childhood bonds and ancestral roots in the Gallaway /Arlington area, as well as surrounding portions of rural Shelby and Fayette counties. He is a CPA with the Frazee Ivy Davis accounting firm and devotes much of his free time to family, church, reading, food, and learning.




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