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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Local family with deep roots in Collierville looks back at long, impactful history

The town of Collierville celebrates 150 years this year. With such a rich history, there are many people who played key roles in where the town stands today. If...

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The town of Collierville celebrates 150 years this year. With such a rich history, there are many people who played key roles in where the town stands today. If it wasn’t for one family, Collierville might not have made it through some rough times.

It’s the only thing you are born with and can leave behind. It is your name, a representation of legacy. 

“Let’s see, my great-great-great grandfather. His father is who moved out here,” said Evan Leake, Consignment Music Owner.

In Collierville, the name Leake goes back more than five generations.

“The original Leake that moved out here moved from Gutchen County, Virginia. He had two sons. One of them was the first doctor here in Collierville,” said Evan Leake.

That was Virginius Leake. During the Civil War, Union Army General, William Sherman, burned down the town. As people tried to rebuild, Virginius and a man named Harrison Irby, bought about 90 acres of land. 

“It was really a good gathering place and in fact when they built all the stores here, it was the community,” said Evan Leake. 

The Leake family later donated that land to the town. It is, today, the town square, but that’s not all the Leake family did.

“My great-great uncle, Dr. E. K. Leake. In fact, he brought in the very first automobile to Collierville. He brought the first motorcycle to Collierville. He started the first baseball team in Collierville,” said Evan Leake. 

A member of the family also started the town’s first water company. Evan no longer lives in Collierville, but he opened a music store right on the Town Square. 

“It’s coming home. That’s really what it boils down to,” said Evan Leake. “Collierville is just a good place to be. It really is.”

Although Evan doesn’t live in the town anymore, he still has family who remained. He said his family doesn’t get much recognition now, but that doesn’t bother him. He is just proud to be a part of Collierville’s history, which can also be seen at the Morton Museum of Collierville History.