Rural Heritage Trust















Germantown by Russell S. Hall, Images Of America


   The Town of Germantown was established in 1841 in the rural area called Pea Ridge. Located along the Middle Memphis-Pontotoc Indian Trail joining Pontotoc, Mississippi and the bluffs along the Mississippi River, German, Scotch-Irish, and English immigrants came west and settled in this agricultural community.


   The 1830s and 1840s saw the influx of commerce and religion. The Memphis & Charleston Railroad provided passenger service to Memphis, bisecting the town in 1852. The town’s borders extended out from the Depot, one 1/2 half mile.


   Northern troops during the Civil War burned much of the town in July of 1862. Many citizens served the South as members of the 4th Tennessee Regiment of the Confederate Army. Today, at Fort Germantown, a ‘redoubt’ or small earthworks remains, having served Union troops who were guarding the railroad that served to transport men, food and supplies for their war effort.


   Between 1867 and 1879, the Yellow Fever epidemic swept the entire area, reducing the town’s population by half. The balance of the 19th Century was spent in rebuilding the community.

   In 1917 during World War 1, Germantown changed its name to Neshoba (Chickasaw for “Wolf”) at the request of the soldiers battling Germany in France. The town’s name returned in 1922 after the war.


   The 20th Century was a time for volunteerism, and many groups, including the Germantown Civic Club and the Poplar Pike Improvement Association set the stage for others, who in the spirit of the day sought to improve the health, safety and welfare of the town. As Germantown grew and matured, it found it necessary to develop a professional staff and planning documents to guide the City of Germantown towards a quality residential lifestyle that measures itself against norms for social, economical, and environmental sustainability.



   In 2017, the City of Germantown, now a community of 40,203 people, was recognized for the implementation of best practices for performance excellence, and received the Excellence Award from the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TCPE). This philosophy is applied in every department, as evidenced by the City’s low crime rates, high bond ratings, short emergency response times and focus on education. The City’s defining goal is “Excellence Every Day”.


For current information about Germantown, please visit the official website:

Or, at the Germantown Chamber of Commerce:


Or, at the Germantown Historical Society:

Or, at the Germantown Regional History & Genealogy Center:
7779 Poplar Pike, Germantown 901-754-8480

Or, on Facebook:




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