United States Highway Bridge Named In Honor Of George T. Walker
by Trennie L. Williams, Sr.
The late George T. Walker has been memorialized in a historical way.
Walker, who is known for several firsts in Collierville, Tenn., has the town’s largest bridge named in his honor. Family, friends, elected officials and other supporters gathered on the crossover Mon., October 12, 2020 for the unveiling of George T. Walker Memorial Bridge.
Walker was a husband, father, military veteran, businessman and pillar in the community. He served as superintendent of bus transportation for the original Shelby County Schools; and the first African American business owner (George T. Walker & Sons Grocery), alderman, and policeman in Collierville.
His leadership roles included participating in community boards like the Collierville Parks and Recreation Board, and the city’s Habitat for Housing Board. Walker also served in the military during World War II.
Walker loved his family. Along with being married to Adell for 46 years, they raised 10 children (5 boys and 5 girls). From those children, they have extended a legacy of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Walker became a victim of murder while at his business in 2001. The case is still unsolved. There is a $20,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the person who committed the crime.
City leaders attending the bridge dedication ceremony included Mayor Stan Joyner; State Senator Paul Rose; State Representative Kevin Vaughan; Aldermen John Stamps, Taylor Stamps, John Worley and Billy Patton; several Collierville Municipal School District board members; other community leaders; and Walker’s son, Rickey Walker, who is the town’s first black fire department battalion chief.
According to data, U.S. Route 72, constructed in 1926, is an east–west United States highway that travels for 317.811 miles from southwestern Tennessee, North Mississippi, North Alabama, and southeastern Tennessee. The highway’s western end is in Memphis, Tenn., with its most eastern point routes back to Tennessee in Chattanooga.