Collierville is a town in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States, and a suburb located in the Memphis metropolitan area. The town had a population of 43,965 at the 2010 census. Collierville is a town of large houses and considerable retail expansion. Smaller, older houses are still found in the heart of Collierville, mainly between Byhalia Road and Collierville-Arlington on the east and west and Shelton and Highway 72 on the north and south. Some industry, notably Pepsi and Carrier, still dots the areas located south of Poplar Avenue. Collierville is home to the Avenue at Carriage Crossing, an 800,000+ sq ft shopping center which opened in October 2005. Baptist Hospital, Collierville, serves the medical needs of the town's residents. Collierville will soon become part of the Interstate 69 highway plan integrating Bill Morris Parkway (TN 385) as part of this USDOT project linking Canada and Mexico with the United States. Collierville was chosen as one of Relocate-America's Top 100 Places to Live in 2008.
There were two battles and two small skirmishes of the American Civil War that occurred late in 1863 at Collierville in Shelby County. The first Battle of Collierville occurred on October 11, 1863. Collierville was one of the garrisons established to protect the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. For the Confederates, the Union garrison was a source of fresh supplies. Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers' division of 3000 men attacked the garrison and earthworks defended by 550 men, including Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman. The Battle of Collierville on November 3 was the second Confederate cavalry raid that attempted to break up the Memphis and Charleston Railroad behind Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s XV Army Corps, then in the process of marching to the relief of Chattanooga. When Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers, leading a cavalry division riding up from Mississippi, learned that only two Union regiments defended Collierville, he decided to attack. Union Col. Edward Hatch possessed more men than Chalmers supposed, stationed at Collierville and at Germantown, 5 miles (8 km) to the west. Scouts warned Hatch of Chalmers’s approach from the south, so he ordered Collierville’s defenders to be prepared and rode from Germantown with cavalry reinforcements. Chalmers, as he had done only three weeks earlier, attacked from the south. Col. Hatch arrived with help. Surprised by the unexpected appearance of the enemy on his flanks, Chalmers concluded that he was outnumbered, called off the battle, and, to ward off Union pursuit, withdrew back to Mississippi. The Memphis & Charleston Railroad remained open to Tuscumbia, Alabama, for Union troop movements. Estimated casualties were 60 for the Union and 95 for the Confederacy for a total of 155. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman participated in the battle of October 11, and his monument in Washington, D.C. lists "Colliersville" as one of his battles. The Union commanders referred to it as "Colliersville" in the official reports.
Collierville has a humid subtropical climate, with four distinct seasons. The summer months (late May to late September) are persistently hot (between 68 °F (20 °C) and 95 °F (35 °C)) and humid due to moisture encroaching from the Gulf of Mexico. Afternoon thunderstorms are frequent during some summers, but usually brief, lasting no longer than an hour. Early Autumn is pleasantly drier and mild, but can remain hot until late October. Abrupt but short-lived cold snaps are common. Late Autumn is rainy and colder, December being the third rainiest month of the year. Fall foliage becomes especially vibrant after the first frost, typically November, and lasts until early December. Winters are mild, but cold snaps can occur. The official all-time record low temperature was -13.0 °F (-25.0 °C), which occurred on December 24, 1963. Mild spells are sometimes warm with temperatures as high as 75 °F (23 °C) during January and February. Snowfall is not abundant but does occur during most winters, with an annual average of 5.7 inches (14.4 cm) at the airport. Spring often begins in late February or early March, following the onset of a sharp warmup. This season is also known as "severe weather season" due to the higher frequency of tornadoes, hail, and thunderstorms producing winds greater than 58 mph (93 km/h). Average rainfall is slightly higher during the spring months (except November) than the rest of the year, but not to any noticeable extent. Historically, April is the month with the highest frequency of tornadoes, though tornadoes have occurred every month of the year. Collierville is sunny approximately 64% of the time. (It only snows about 3 times a year.)
As of the 2000 census, there were 31,872 people, 10,368 households, and 8,937 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,298.3 people per square mile (501.3/km²). There were 10,770 housing units at an average density of 438.7 per square mile (169.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.87% White, 7.33% African American, 0.19% Native American, 1.47% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.51% of the population. There were 10,368 households, out of which 52.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.1% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.8% were non-families. 11.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.34. In the town the population was spread out with 33.4% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 6.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males. According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $99,239, and the median income for a family was $106,634. Males had a median income of $63,986 versus $32,619 for females. The per capita income for the town was $30,252. About 1.9% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.
Collierville is home to many places of worship of various denominations. Among them is Central Church, a non-denominational mega-church of almost 6000 members and the Catholic Church of the Incarnation with nearly 4,500 members, and Collierville First Baptist Church with more than 3,200 members. Collierville is also home to numerous other Baptist churches, one United Methodist church, one meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) serving two congregations, a few Presbyterian churches, and a few scattered Lutheran churches.
Job growth from 2000 to 2006 was 12.06%.
Of residents 25 years of age and older, 93.2% have a high school diploma or higher, 41.2% have a bachelor's degree or higher, and 11.4% have a graduate or professional degree. Of current students, 95.6% attend public schools, 4.4% attend private schools. Until 2014, Collierville was served by the Shelby County School District, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Several private schools are also located in the town. On August 2, 2012, voters in the town overwhelmingly passed an ordinance establishing a separate school district for the town beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. It passed 10,615 (87%) to 1,519 (13%). However, the Shelby County Commission filed an appeal in the United States district court. On November 27, 2012 Judge Samuel Mays ruled that part of the enabling legislation was unconstitutional, thus halting the suburbs' plan to establish separate school districts. In particular Mays ruled that the bill violated Article 11, Section 9 of the Constitution of Tennessee. Therefore, anything the suburbs did to establish municipal school districts to that point was void, meaning that the Unified School District would become the public school jurisdiction for all of Shelby County. In March 2010, Judge Mays granted a request to dismiss the suit, allowing municipal school districts to form. Collierville Schools is the new school district serving Collierville.
Collierville's traditional destination for visitors is the Historic Square, in the center of downtown. This quaint shopping destination boasts trendy shops, fun eateries, and a tree-lined park, all overlooking the old train depot from which the town grew. Fair on the Square takes place every May on the Square. Collierville's Farmers Market is located just off the Town Square on Washington Street (behind McGinnis' Station/across from Mensi's Dairy Bar).