Germantown, Tennessee

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Germantown, Tennessee
Germantown's water tower
Germantown's water tower
Location in Shelby County and state of Tennessee.
Location in Shelby County and state of Tennessee.
Coordinates: 35°5′20″N 89°47′38″W / 35.08889°N 89.79389°W / 35.08889; -89.79389Coordinates: 35°5′20″N 89°47′38″W / 35.08889°N 89.79389°W / 35.08889; -89.79389
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Shelby
Founded 1825
Incorporated 1841
 • Mayor Mike Palazzolo
 • Total 17.6 sq mi (45.6 km2)
 • Land 17.6 sq mi (45.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 377 ft (115 m)
Population (2011)
 • Total 39,161
 • Density 2,200/sq mi (860/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 38138, 38139, 38125
Area code(s) 901
FIPS code 47-28960[1]
GNIS feature ID 1285318[2]

Germantown is a city in Shelby County, Tennessee. The population was 38,844 at the 2010 census.[3]

Germantown is a suburb of Memphis, bordering it to the east-southeast. Germantown's economy is dominated by the retail and commercial service sectors; there is no heavy industry in Germantown. In the city center is the "Old Germantown" neighborhood, anchored by a railroad depot (a 1948 reproduction of the 1868 original) and railroad tracks that recall the community's earliest days of development as an outpost along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

The city hosts many horse shows and competitions annually, most notably the Germantown Charity Horse Show in June. Other major annual events include the Germantown Festival, an arts and crafts fair, in early September.

Germantown is one of a few cities in the nation possessing a triple-A bond rating from both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. It has the lowest crime rate for any city its size in the State of Tennessee and the police and fire departments have average emergency response time of five minutes. The parks and recreation department is nationally accredited. The Arbor Day Foundation has designated Germantown a “Tree City USA” for 23 consecutive years.[4]


Germantown is located at 35°5′20″N 89°47′38″W / 35.08889°N 89.79389°W / 35.08889; -89.79389 (35.089023, −89.793997).[5] It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.6 square miles (46 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2), or 0.17%, is water.


Germantown was founded along the Cherokee Trace on a ridge between the Wolf River and Nonconnah Creek, about 16 miles east of the Mississippi River.

The first white settlers arrived in Germantown about 1825. Between 1825 and 1830, Miss Frances Wright established Nashoba Plantation, a utopian community intended to emancipate slaves. By 1830, the first store was opened as more settlers moved into the area.

The community became known as Pea Ridge in 1833, town lots were laid out in 1834 by surveyor N. T. German and the name was changed to Germantown in 1836, reflecting the presence of German families.

The town was incorporated in 1841. The Memphis-Charleston Railroad was built through the community in 1852. Germantown experienced set backs through the period of the Civil War and the yellow fever epidemics of that era reduced its population to a few hundred.

The town rebounded slowly. Churches destroyed in the war were rebuilt, schools were constructed and the population began to return around the turn of the century. The city name was briefly changed to Neshoba, an Indian word meaning 'wolf', during World War I.

During the twentieth century, the community derived its strength through involvement of citizens, as evidenced in the churches, garden clubs and civic organizations. The Poplar Pike Improvement Association and the Germantown Civic Club played vital roles in the physical and social development of the community.

In the last half of the century, the population grew from about 400 to more than 40,000. Over several decades, elected and civic leadership, with support of citizens, worked proactively to control suburban growth through development regulations, aesthetic controls and strategic planning efforts.

The result is a premier residential environment with high quality City services that make Germantown an attractive, healthy, safe and wholesome place to live, work, and play.[6]


The City of Germantown operates under a Mayor-Aldermanic form of government. The mayor and five aldermen are elected for four year terms and are part-time positions. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen is the legislative and policy-making body of the City. The mayor does not vote except to break a tie. By charter, the mayor is the chief administrative officer; however, oversight of day-to-day management is assigned to a professional city administrator, appointed by the mayor but subject to board approval.

More than 200 citizens annually volunteer their time, expertise and energy in service on the City’s 20-plus advisory commissions and boards. Most appointments, made by the mayor and aldermen each December, are for one year terms; most groups meet monthly. Their responsibilities range from recommendations on City government matters and community interests to identifying opportunities, challenges and solutions to conducting special activities. The commissions are Audit, Beautification, Design Review, Economic Development, Education, Environmental, Financial, Athletic Club, Great Hall, Historic, Industrial Development, Neighborhood Preservation, Parks and Recreation, Personnel, Planning, Public Safety Education, Retirement Plan Administration, Other Postemployment Benefits, Senior Citizens, and Telecommunications. The boards are Zoning Appeals, Industrial Development and Library.[7]


Public schools[edit]

Germantown is served by Germantown Municipal School District, which contains two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and one K-8 school.

Elementary Schools: Farmington Elementary School and Dogwood Elementary School

Middle School: Houston Middle School.

High School: Houston High School In 2015, Houston High School was rated by the Washington Post as one of America's Most Challenging High Schools.

K-8 School: Riverdale Elementary School

Jason Manuel, former principal of Houston Middle School is Superintendent of schools. The School Board consists of 5 at large elected positions.

Germantown Elementary, Middle, and High School remain with the Shelby County Schools district, although they are located within the borders of the city of Germantown; a majority of students who attend these schools come from unincorporated Shelby County.

Private schools[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 245
1870 197
1880 223 13.2%
1890 268 20.2%
1900 270 0.7%
1910 247 −8.5%
1920 263 6.5%
1930 322 22.4%
1940 402 24.8%
1950 408 1.5%
1960 1,104 170.6%
1970 3,474 214.7%
1980 21,467 517.9%
1990 32,893 53.2%
2000 37,348 13.5%
2010 38,844 4.0%
Est. 2014 39,267 [8] 1.1%

As of the 2010 census,[11] there were 38,844 people, 14,910 households, and 11,750 families residing in the city, with 15,536 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 89.54% White, 3.57% Black, 0.21% Native American, 5.15% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.89% of the population.

There were 14,910 households, out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.5% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 21.9% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 20, 3.5% from 20 to 24, 19.2% from 25 to 44, 35.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.7 years. There were 18,800 males, of whom 14,023 were over the age of 18. There were 20,044 females, of whom 15,447 were over the age of 18.

The median income for a household in the city according to the 2010 census was $112,979, and the median income for a family was $127,216. Males had a median income of $93,401 versus $54,592 for females. The per capita income for the city was $54,157. About 1.9% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.


A total of 27 parks allow for a park within walking distance of every residence. The community has more than 700 acres of parkland. More than 11.4 miles of greenway links parkland and neighborhoods.

The Community Library was constructed in 1996, the Regional History and Genealogy Center opened in FY07.

The Germantown Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) is an acoustically-perfect 800-seat theater featuring top artists from around the world.

The Germantown Athletic Club is an 118,000 square foot indoor athletic complex that opened in 1989 and expanded in 2003 to include two outdoor pools.

The Great Hall & Conference Center is an 8,000 square feet rental facility space that is ideal to accommodate meetings, weddings and receptions. [12]


Notable people[edit]

Notable celebrities who currently reside or have previously resided in Germantown include:

Miscellaneous Statistics[edit]

Fire Protection: Number of Stations - 4, Number of Regular Firefighters - 71, Number of Volunteer Firefighters - 25, Insurance Service Office Rating - Class III

Police Protection: Number of Regular Police Officers - 80, Number of Reserve Police Officers - 30

Recreation and Culture: Number of Parks - 27, Acreage - 748, Number of Libraries - 2, Volumes - 143,520

Water System: Number of Consumers - 13,479, Miles of Water Main - 208, Well Capacity - 25 million gallons per day, Treatment Plant Capacity - 25 million gallons per day, Storage Capacity - 7.875 million gallons, Average Daily Consumption - 7.5 million gallons per day, Peak Day Pumpage - 15.120 million gallons

Sewer System: Number of Consumers - 13,270, Miles of Sewer Main - 211, Treatment - Provide by City of Memphis[13]

City partnerships[edit]


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Germantown city, Tennessee". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ City of Germantown - FY15 Budget Page 18
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ City of Germantown Web Site
  7. ^ City of Germantown FY15 Budget Page 18
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  10. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder – Results". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  12. ^ City of Germantown - FY15 Budget
  13. ^ City of Germantown - FY15 Budget - Page 19

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]