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Tom Leatherwood
 
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Herman W. Cox, Jr.

Herman W. Cox, Jr., life long resident of Collierville, was a 1939 graduate of Collierville High School. He served as an elected leader of Collierville, first as alderman in 1959 and Mayor in 1975, retiring in 1999 after serving for 40 years. Mayor Cox, a man of deeply committed faith in God, was a member of the Collierville Methodist Church for 70 years, singing in the choir for over 55 years. He began working for his grandfather at McGinnis Oil Company on the Town Square when he was 16. He operated the business and served the community from his office there until his death in 2003. He fought in World War II with the Army 81st infantry, Wildcat division, in the Pacific Theatre and was awarded the bronze star. Under his leadership many quality of life improvements also became a reality: outstanding schools, recreation facilities, the Greenbelt, Harrell Theatre, Johnson and Suggs Park, and award winning fire and police departments. During his tenure as Mayor, Collierville was the first town in Tennessee to man fire trucks with paramedics. He understood the need for excellent schools, businesses, recreation and safety to our future and his visionary leadership helped our "small town" become one of the nation's most desirable places to live. He had a deep connection and appreciation of the importance of the Town Square and championed a major renovation transforming the Square into the family destination that it is today. He believed in an open door policy and loved helping people day or night, he was a friend to all. He was quick to give credit to all of those who served for the betterment of the town. A close friend said of him, "Herman was a man of great vision. He wanted everyone involved."