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.

Laura Tetley Todd

Laura has a strong commitment to building relationships thru partnerships which is a proven testimony of involvement of many regional boards and commissions. Currently serving on the Town of Collierville Historic District Commission, past Chair of the Shelby County Historical Commission, past member of the Tennessee Preservation Trust Board of Directors, grassroots committee member of the statewide coalition to promote the State of Tennessee Historic Tax Credit program, member of the Rural Heritage Trust board of directors, member of the Tourism Advisory Board for Memphis Area Association of Government, charter member of the Town of Collierville Tourism Advisory Commission, past member of the Collierville Rotary Foundation, University of Mississippi Kappa Kappa Gamma House Board, Past President of Leadership Collierville Board of Trustees (selected as the recipient of the annual Community Leadership award 2015), past Collierville Education Foundation board member (selected as the annual recipient of the CEF Harrell award 2007), past Board of Trustees member of the Collierville United Methodist Church, Past President of Women in Mortgage Banking (Memphis Area), served as President of the Memphis Metro Attractions Association and past board officer of the Collierville Chamber of Commerce.

Laura’s area of expertise and current primary duties as the principal owner of DOWNTOWN DISTRICT CONSULTING include the development of strategic planning, coordination and delivery of specific technical training services to Tennessee Downtown program communities as well as evaluation of local Tennessee certified Main Street programs. Past career as a mortgage banker underwriter 1983-2000 and served as the Executive Director of Main Street Collierville 2001-2016. Laura and her husband of 36 years reside in Collierville, TN and are the proud parents of one son, Trey, who is a licensed civil engineer in Murfreesboro, TN.


Jimmy Ogle

Jimmy Ogle worked in parks, recreation, and tourism during his 40-year career in Memphis. Previous positions included 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. He was also Duckmaster at The Peabody Hotel.

Jimmy was Shelby County Historian and served 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, Summer Avenue Merchants Association, and Remember Libertyland.

Jimmy conducted 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.



Board of Directors
Jay Bobo
Chuck Bryant
Dr. Marius Carriere
David Gwinn
Dr. Rita Hall
Alex Ivy, Treasurer
Daisy Jefferson
Susan Jones
Paul Matthews, President
Elaine Lee Turner
Jimmy Ogle, Secretary
Laura Todd, Vice-President

Ex Officio
Jimmy Rout, Shelby County Historian

Kelsey Lamkin, Representative from Memphis Area Association of Governments





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