Map of Frayser – 1900


Where Is Todd’s Creek?

I grew up in Frayser, a community on the north side of Memphis. Frayser lies between the Loosihatchie and Wolf Rivers, which both feed into the Mississippi; thus forming a sort of “peninsula.” In the old days I remember there were only two ways to get downtown from Frayser; over the North Watkins Bridge or over the Thomas Street Bridge. There had been another bridge closer to the Mississippi, the 2nd Street Bridge; but it got wiped out in the floods of 1928.  It’s since been rebuilt.

The two maps here depict what Memphis and Frayser looked like in the late 1800’s and in 1900. The hand-drawn map focuses on the Frayser community itself. The other shows a larger view of Shelby County itself, extending south to the Mississippi state line; and to the north to the Tipton County line; and to the east to the Fayette County line.

In the near center of the hand-drawn map, you can see the caption “Todd’s Creek” has been typed in. Look carefully, though, and you can see the map maker penciled in “Todd Creek” (without the possessive). Thus — seemingly for over 100 years, there has been some confusion as to what this creek is really named.

We lived literally on the bank of Todd’s Creek. After passing our backyard, the creek continued due west, under Steele Street bridge, and then eventually under the ICRR tracks, after which it turned to the north, and then wound its way to the Loosahatchie River, which emptied into the Mississippi.