Origins of Memphis Street Names

The Famous Memphians for Whom Streets Were Named

Credit: Education Images / Contributor.

From Bill Morris to Sam Cooper, Memphis has many streets that honor its citizens past and present. Here is a look at some of the people that received such a distinction.

Elvis Presley Boulevard

Named of course for Memphis' own King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley Boulevard runs in front of Elvis' home and modern-day world-class attraction, Graceland Mansion.

Paul Barret Parkway

Paul Barret was a prominent Shelby County politician in the 1940's. Barretville, where he was from, was also named for him. Paul Barret Parkway is a stretch of Tennessee State Route 385 and Interstate 269 north of Memphis in the Millington and Arlington area.

Kate Bond Road

Kate Bond was born in 1886 in Bartlett, Tennessee. Her father, Squire William Bond, named the road on which their home was situated, Kate Bond Road, in honor of his youngest daughter. Kate lived until her death in her home at the present day corner of Kate Bond and Stage Roads. Kate Bond Road runs north to south in Bartlett area, crossing U.S. Highway 64 and terminating just before reaching Interstate 40.

Sam Cooper Boulevard

Sam Cooper was the president of Humko, a cotton seed refinery. He was generous with his success and used his wealth to help fund St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

E.H. Crump Boulevard

Edward Hull (E.H.) Crump was the mayor of Memphis from 1910-1916 and again in 1940-1942 and a Tennessee congressman from 1931-1935.

McLemore Avenue

John C. McLemore was one of Memphis' first fifty citizens and became a proprietor after purchasing Andrew Jackson's interest in the city.

Isaac Hayes Memorial Highway

After his death at age 65 in 2008, Memphis renamed a section of Interstate 40 to honor the legendary Stax soul singer. Hayes won awards for his "Theme From Shaft" song, was an accomplished actor, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. His highway stretches from the Fayette County - Shelby County line to the intersection of Sam Cooper Boulevard.

Bill Morris Parkway

Bill Morris was the mayor of Shelby County for 16 years. He was succeeded by Mayor Jim Rout.

Austin Peay Highway

Austin Peay IV was governor of Tennessee from 1923 until his death in 1927. He was the only Tennessee governor to die while still in office.

Danny Thomas Boulevard

Danny Thomas was a comedian and actor. In 1962, he founded St. Jude Children's Research Hospital here in Memphis.

Winchester Road 

General James Winchester was one of three men (along with Andrew Jackson and John Overton) who purchased the land that became Memphis from the Chickasaw tribe that was residing there in 1818. He sent his son, Marcus Winchester, to scout the land from their home in Middle Tennessee. Winchester brings drivers across the southern part of the city from downtown to Byhalia Road in Collierville; the most densely populated area is near Memphis International Airport

B.B. King Boulevard

After the death of B.B. King in 2015, the City of Memphis renamed a two-mile stretch of Third Street as "B.B. King" in his honor. This special section of street stretches from Jackson Avenue to the north to Crump Boulevard in the south, and runs through Beale Street and downtown in front of FedExForum. 

Updated by Holly Whitfield January 2018