Jimmy Ogle Tours


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Who am I and why do I do some of the things I do?


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Graduated with B.S. in Education from University of Memphis, 1980
Graduated Memphis University School, 1970
Graduated Presbyterian Day School, 1964


Employment History:
Duckmaster, Peabody Hotel to 2016-2017
Riverfront Development Corporation Community Engagement Manager and General Manager of Beale Street Landing, 2011 to 2016
Tournament Services Coordinator, FedEx St. Jude Classic, 2010-2012
Program Specialist, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2009-2010
Vice President, Ericson Group Inc, 2003-2009
Director, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, 2000-2003
Vice President of Operations, Performa Entertainment (Beale Street) 1998-2000
General Manager, Memphis Queen Line, 1993-1998
General Manager, Schorr Management Company, 1987-1989
General Manager, Mud Island, 1985-1987 and 1989-1993
Deputy Director, Memphis Park Commission, 1984-1985
Administrative Manager, Memphis Park Commission, 1983-1984
Special Events Supervisor, Memphis Recreation Department, 1979-1983
Church Recreation Specialist, First Baptist, 1973-1979


Community Organizations:
Rural Heritage Trust of Southwest Tennessee, President, 2016-2019; Secretary, 2020 to Present
Board Member of Summer Avenue Merchants Association, 2015 - Present
Official Shelby County Historian, 2014 to 2019
Public Records Commission, County of Shelby, Chairman, 2014-2018
West Tennessee Historical Society, Vice President Shelby County, 2014 - 2020
Shelby County Courthouse Restoration Committee, Member, 2014-2019
Shelby County Task Force for Mississippi River Corridor, Member
West Tennessee Historical Society, Board Member
Sultana Historic Preservation Society, Inc. - Marion, Arkansas (2014-2020)
Citizens To Preserve Overton Park, Board Member
Save Libertyland/Remember Libertyland, President
Memphis Heritage
Shelby County Historical Commission, Member (2011-2019) & Chairman (2011-2014) & Parliamentarian (2017-2019)
Mississippi River Corridor Tennessee, Board Member, 2011-2016
Davies Manor Association, Board Member & President, 2013-2019
Delta Everything Southern Conference, Planning Committee Member, 2012


Interests ["Hobby Jobs"] Over The Years:
Scoreboard Graphic Artist & Historian, College Tour X
Starter, Notah Begay III Junior National Golf Program, Southeast Regional Tournaments
Scoreboard Operator, University of Memphis Men’s Basketball
Stat Crew, University of Memphis Football
Instructor, Meeman Center For Lifelong Learning, Rhodes College
Scoreboard Graphic Artist, American Junior Golf Association
Tour Guide, Center City Commission, Downtown Walking Tours
Member, Citizens To Preserve Overton Park
Actor, Elmwood Cemetery Costume Twilight Tour
Step-On Guide, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
New York Times Crossword Society Member
Group Lecturer


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Spelling Champion, Presbyterian Day School, 1964

All-State Basketball (2nd Team), State of Tennessee, Memphis University School, 1970

Outstanding Leadership in Recreation Program, First Baptist Church, Memphis, 1979

Recipient of The Parker Brothers Award for Outstanding Planning and Execution Of A
Recreation Program from the Tennessee Parks & Recreation Association, 1981

Recipient of Memphis State Recreation Society Outstanding Alumnus Award, 1986

Recipient of Distinguished Downtowner Award from Downtowner Magazine, 2001

Recipient of the Darrell A. Ledet Award For Excellence In Service To The Memphis
Hospitality Industry by the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2003

Recipient of the “Spirit Of Memphis” Award For Exemplifying the Best in Memphis Hospitality Industry
by the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2008
(Note: Previous Recipients in the Past 20 Years were Sam Phillips, Larry Finch, George Klein, Billy Hicks, Jack Belz)

Honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody Hotel - February 26, 2011

Recipient of 2011 HARCANGEL Award for Exemplifying Unselfish Community Service
from Highland Area Renewal Corporation

Recipient of 2011 Volunteer Of The Year Award from Memphis Charitable Foundation & The Blues Ball.

Recipient of the 2012 Downtown Memphis Commission Vision Award for Special Achievement.

Recipient of the Ellen Davies Rodgers Award from the Shelby County Historical Commission in 2013.

Presented Honorary Lifetime Member Certificate, Blues & Legends Hall of Fame Museum, Robinsonville, Mississippi – January 14, 2003

Recipient of Recognition with Grateful Appreciation for Service and Dedication to Presbyterian Day School, Alumni Association Board – 2013-2015

Received "Spirit of 1812 Award" from the National Society United Daughters of 1812 for Distinguished Record of Study, Promotion and Dedication to the Preservation of the History, People, Places and Events of the War of 1812. Presented by Piomingo Chapter in 2013

Appointed official Shelby County Historian by the Shelby County Commission - March 24, 2014

Received the First Star Spangled Banner Award for History in the County of Shelby, from the Piomingo Chapter of United States Daughters of 1812 - August 6, 2014

Recipient of 2016 Leadership In Historic Preservation Award from Historic Archives of Rosemark & Environs - August 3, 2016

Recipient of Proclamation from the Tennessee Senate for Years of Service to the Memphis Community and being named Duckmaster at The Peabody Hotel – October 3, 2016

Recipient of 2017 Excellence In Community Service Award from The National Society of the Daughters Of The American Revolution - March 25, 2017

Recipient of Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Support Given to the Sons of the American Revolution – May 11, 2017

Recipient of Certificate of Appreciation for Contributions to the Furtherment of Historic Preservation, Education and Patriotism, The National Societies of the Daughters of the American Colonies, Dames of the Court of Honor and New England Women - November 16, 2017

Recipient of the Ernest and Dorothy Withers Legacy Pioneer Award – February 10, 2018

Recipient of the Descendants Of Early Settlers Of Shelby County And Adjoining Counties Award with Heartfelt Appreciation for Tireless Efforts to Promote the Histories of the Region Our Ancestors Settled and Built - August 8, 2018

2018 Recipient of the Key To Downtown Medal from the Downtown Memphis Commission - October, 26, 2018

Recipient of a Beale Street Brass Note from the Beale Street Brass Note Committee and Downtown Memphis Commission - November 2, 2018

Recipient of Award from the Memphis Jewish Community Center for Years of Selfless Service With the Adult Services Department - December 19, 2018

Choice of The Commercial Appeal for Reader Nomination for 2018 Person of the Year - December 30, 2018

Recipient of Award from Friends and Fans at Food For Thought - "With Fond Appreciation for Your Dedication and Service to the Greater Memphis Community" - January 15, 2019

Recipient of Certificate of Appreciation from Memphis Light, Gas & Water in Recognition of Efforts to Preserve MLGW History - February 20, 2019

Recipient of Legacy Pioneer Award, Dr. Ernest & Dorothy Withers Historical Photographic
Foundation – February 10, 2019

Recipient of Certificate of Appreciation for Contributions to the Furtherment of Historic Preservation, Education and Patriotism, The National Societies of the Daughters of the American Colonies, Dames of the Court of Honor and New England Women - February 21, 2019

Recipient of Memphis Living Legends Frances Wright Award for Leadership in
Memphis History, New Sardis Baptist Church - February 24, 2019

Presented Honorary Membership from Piomingo Chapter of the United States
Daughters of 1812 – March 15, 2019

Recipient of Cynthia D. Pitcock Womens History Award for Historically Significant
Contributions, St. Mary’s Episcopal School – March 19, 2019

Presented Key to Elmwood Cemetery for Volunteer Contribution and Support – April 6, 2019
Presented Lifetime Membership for Countless Hours of Support, Memphis Heritage
– April 10, 2019

Recipient of House Resolution No. 72 from the House of Representatives, State of Tennessee
for many Contributions to Preserving and Promoting Memphis History – May 6, 2019

Installed onto the Great Players Wall in the Wunderlich Lobby of the Sue H. Hyde Sports and
Physical Education Center at Memphis University School – June 1, 2019

Recipient of the Dean Campbell Award in Recognition of Community Service, Rotary Club of
Germantown – June 19, 2019

Presented Key to Shelby County by Mayor Lee Harris - August 7, 2019

Recipient of Shelby County Historian Award, Shelby County Historical Commission – August 7, 2019

Presented Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, Davies Manor Association - August 7, 2019

Presented Award of Appreciation, South Main Association – August 8, 2019

Recognized as Keynote Speaker for the 2019 Speaker Series, University Club – October 17, 2019

Received Honorary Membership to the Millington Chamber of Commerce – May, 2021

Received Ida B. Wells Award for Dedicated Service from Ida B. Wells Memorial
Committee – March 28, 2022

Received the Guardian Award from the Chinese Historical Society of Memphis and the Midsouth at the 150th Anniversary New Year Lunar Banquet - February 5, 2023

Keynote Speaker for the 75th Anniversary Breakfast for Current and Former Faculty of Presbyterian Day School - August 9, 2023

Keynote Speaker for the 100th Anniversary of the Red Acres Garden Club


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"History is Made" at Westy's -- May 27, 2015!

JMO1, JBS3, JBS5, JBS4, JMO2, JMO3 (in arms)
That's about 250 years of Jimmy Ogles and Jake Schorrs!

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  MEMPHIS, TN – September 22, 2016 – The Peabody Memphis’ world-famous mallard ducks are marching under new leadership today. Memphis historian and tour guide Jimmy Ogle has stepped into the coveted role of Peabody Duckmaster.

  Well-known as a historian, tour guide, public speaker, story teller and all-around Memphis ambassador, Ogle will bring his vast knowledge of the region’s history to the role of Duckmaster. In addition to caring for the hotel’s five North American mallards and leading their twice-daily marches, he will act as The Peabody’s in-house historian and work to expand upon the hotel’s History Tours and Memorabilia Collection. As Duckmaster, Ogle will also continue The Peabody’s Goodwill Ambassador Program of local community appearances and visits to area schools, retirement villages and hospitals.

  “Because the Duckmaster acts as a brand ambassador to The Peabody and to the destination by extension, it’s important that the person who fills that role be someone who is passionate about Memphis and embraces our unique Southern traditions, such as the Peabody Duck March. In that regard, we’ve hit the jackpot with Jimmy. He’s our dream Duckmaster,” said Doug Browne, President, Peabody Hotels & Resorts.

  During his lengthy career serving Memphis, Ogle has held positions at Beale Street Landing, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Performa Entertainment (Beale Street), Memphis Queen Line, Mud Island River Park, Memphis Parks Commission, and most recently as Community Engagement Manager for Riverfront Development Corporation. He sits on numerous historical and heritage boards in the region and is the official Shelby County Historian, a position appointed by the Shelby County Commission that he will continue to hold.

  Ogle is only the 6th Duckmaster in the history of the “South’s Grand Hotel.” The role of Duckmaster originated at The Peabody Memphis more than 80 years ago. The Duckmaster is responsible for the care and well-being of the Peabody Ducks, including feeding and training the teams for their marches. When not tending to the five North American mallards, he acts as an ambassador for the hotel, greeting guests in the Grand Lobby, conducting Hotel History Tours, doing media interviews, making community outreach appearances, and occasionally traveling with the ducks to promote the hotel.

  The time-honored tradition of the March of the Peabody Ducks began in the 1933 when live ducks were placed in the hotel’s lobby fountain as a practical joke. At 11am each morning, the Peabody Ducks march from their rooftop Royal Duck Palace - along a red carpet to the tune of John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton March” - to a marble fountain at the center of the Grand Lobby. There they splash and preen until 5pm, when the procession reverses and the ducks retire for the evening.

  The title of Duckmaster was coined in 1940 when the hotel hired a former circus animal trainer named Edward Pembroke as a Bellman. Pembroke offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and conceived of the now-famous Peabody Duck March. Mr. Pembroke served as Peabody Duckmaster for 50 years until retiring in 1991. The late Mr. Pembroke’s portrait hangs at the entrance to The Peabody and one of the hotel’s luxury suites is named in his honor.


Kelly B. Earnest
Director of Marketing - Communications
The Peabody Memphis
Phone: 901-529-4000 (O) 901-529-4179 (C) 901-482-7922

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     The Original Society Pages       December 2016

Photo by Steve Roberts


Jimmy Ogle

Duckmaster at the Peabody Hotel and Vice President of Shelby County West Tennessee Historical Society

Hometown: Memphis
My Best Quality: Memory
Favorite Place to Travel: Key West
My Most Annoying Habit: I am too literal
My Dream Dinner Guest: James Earl Jones
Who Would Play Me in a Movie: Robert Duvall
Favorite Southern Idiom: The plural of y’all is “all y’all”
One Goal I’d Still Like to Accomplish: Hit a hole-in-one
Place I Go to Think: Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Favorite Book: “Pictures Tell The Story” by Ernest Withers
My First Car: 1968 Cutlass Supreme (No AC, No FM radio)
Best Memphis Hangout: Westy’s, 346 North Main at Jackson
Favorite Song: “Jimmy Mack” by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
Favorite Restaurant in Memphis: (Old) Coletta’s on South Parkway
My Favorite Thing to Eat in Memphis: Filet at Mortimer’s Restaurant
Favorite Spot in Memphis: My green chair in my sitting room at home
The Highlight of My Day: Waking up and being able to start a new day fresh
The Best Part of My Job: Greeting people from all over the world in the Lobby of The Peabody Memphis
Proudest Moment of My Life: (Tie) – The day that my son got married, and the births of my two grandchildren
Advice I’d Give My 20-year-old Self: Buy as early as possible and stay in the same house as long as possible

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Jimmy Ogle Appointed Shelby County Historian

November 6, 2011 - Jimmy Ogle, a walking encyclopedia of Memphis history and lore, stands in a flower pot on Main Street while giving a tour along November 6th Street through downtown Memphis. Roughly 120 people strolled with him on the free, three-hour, walking tour that traveled from Beale Street to Shadyac Avenue in the Pinch District.
Photo by Mike Brown


Memphis Commercial Appeal-Mar 24, 2014 - Shelby County Commissioners on Monday selected Jimmy Ogle, chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission, to serve as the county historian for the next six years.
Ogle, 61, was among three nominated and was head-to-head with 31-year-old Lauren Beaupre, whose youth some commissioners thought would bring a fresh perspective on the position, in the second round of voting.
Beaupre received four votes on the first round, and Ogle received five votes. Charles Crawford, 82, received two votes in the first round. On the second round of voting, Ogle received nine votes and Beaupre received four votes.

Memphis Daily News-Mar 24, 2014 - The Shelby County Commission has appointed Jimmy Ogle, chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission, as the new county historian. Ogle, who is also general manager of Beale Street Landing and the Riverfront Development Corp., serves a six-year term in the unpaid position.
Ogle was selected Monday, March 24, in a process in which University of Memphis history professor Charles Crawford and Faith Christian Academy teacher Lauren Beaupre, who has also been a fellow at the Tennessee Center for Historic Preservation, were nominated. Ogle, who succeeds the late Ed Williams, is only the third person to hold the position of county historian and the first to serve with a specific term of office.


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RDC Deepens Cultural Resources with the Addition of Jimmy Ogle

  One of Memphis’ most well known advocates for local history and culture, Jimmy Ogle has joined the staff of the Riverfront Development Corporation as a Community Engagement Manager. His responsibilities will include the development of new ways for people to connect with one of our city’s greatest assets — the Mississippi River.

  Mr. Ogle will be involved primarily in program development. The first phase of his efforts will involve launching a new incarnation of his popular walking tour program and establishing a riverfront speakers’ bureau.

  Over the last 25 years, Jimmy has served in leadership positions with the Memphis Park Commission, Mud Island River Park, the Memphis Queen Line, Beale Street, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has also played instrumental roles in a long list of community organizations (including the West Tennessee Historical Society, Memphis Heritage, the Center City Commission, Memphis in May and The Cotton Museum), and has emerged as one of the city’s foremost authorities on Memphis’ cultural assets and heritage.

“The story of our riverfront is amazingly fascinating and always evolving,” said Benny Lendermon, RDC’s President.
“I can’t think of anyone better to share that story than Jimmy.”

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 Downtown Memphis Commission 2012 Downtown Vision Awards

 On September 27 at its annual gathering, the Downtown Memphis Commission honored Jimmy O
with a 2012 Vision Award "Special Merit" for his efforts in giving Talks and Tours.

Other awards were given to Robert McGowan & Annie Mahaffey, Jason Wexler and
The University Of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

  Jimmy Ogle: Downtown Vision Award for Special Achievement

  Do you know where November 6th Street gets its name? Or how many manhole covers are in Downtown? Jimmy Ogle can tell you! Nobody in Memphis knows the stories of our streets, sidewalks, buildings, characters, spaces and colorful history better than our affable urban history jock Jimmy Ogle.

  With keen fascination he is constantly on the hunt for new facts and clues to our past. Jimmy has spent years capturing and chronicling our city's stories, and what's more, eagerly sharing them with thousands of locals and visitors through walking tours, presentations and educational programs. Never boring, his energetic tours bring life to Downtown's brick and mortar, giving spirit and a connection to the city. By getting citizens to understand and know their neighborhoods, Jimmy is creating an army of ambassadors for Memphis and better citizens.

  Beyond his role as urban historian, Jimmy is the Community Engagement Manager at Riverfront Development Corporation and has managed several Downtown organizations like Mud Island River Park, Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Memphis Parks Commission and Memphis Queen Line.

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HARCANGEL Award Presented at Annual Highland Area Renewal Corporation Banquet

At the second annual HARC Community Banquet on August 18 at St. Luke United Methodist Church's gymnasium, Jimmy O was one of 18 individuals who received a HARCANGEL Award for Exemplifying Unselfish Service to the Community. Penny Hardaway was the keynote speaker and over 350 neighborhood residents were in attendance. St. Luke's Pastor Mark Matheny penned and read the following words (his fourth ode this year about Jimmy O) from a script for Jimmy O's acceptance:

"Our next HARCANGEL stands out in Neighborhood History Chronicling, not only in this Community, but City-wide.
Since he loves Rhyming, his Description comes via these Verses:

At Scorers' Table For Tiger Games, In Neighborhoods And Taking Names,
Exploring Storm Drains, Finding A Story, There's One Not Seeking Any Glory,
Who Deserves Angelic Praise, Or In The Least, Our Voice We Raise,
For Jimmy Ogle - It's No Rumor - Hurrah For His Work And Sense Of Humor!
Penny Hardaway Stands with Jimmy, Ready to Correct Any Past Mistakes in Tiger Scoring!"

While making the "University Of Memphis:  Know Your Neighborhood, Part One" presentation to a group of leaders and residents of the six neighborhoods surrounding the UM Campus at St. Luke's United Methodist Church on January 23rd, Mary Clyde McKnight came forward to ask me to include on this web site the announcement that the Highland Area Renewal Corporation (HARC) Community Garden is moving from its current site at the former Highland Street Church of Christ parking lot further south down Highland Street to the rear of the Knights Of Columbus Catholic Club, 707 South Highland Street.

The HARC Community Garden is in need of mulch, leaves, coffee grounds, manure, cinder blocks, jugs, and even donations.  For more information, call HARC at St. Luke's at 452-6262.

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Jimmy O Elected 7th Chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission

Shelby County

The Shelby County Historical Commission (SCHC) was created in 1965 by the Shelby County Quarterly Court to assist the Shelby County Historian to collect, assemble, preserve, record, and to publish information and other material concerning all matters of history and biography for Shelby County, Tennessee. The SCHC shall also promote the study of the history of Shelby County in the schools and in other appropriate forums and shall erect historical markers throughout the county as funding is made available.

Previous Chairmen of the SCHC were Ellen Davies Rogers, Dr. Charles Crawford, Ed Williams III, Dr. Doug Cupples, Paul Matthews and G. Lee Millar. There have been two Shelby County Historians (a lifetime appointment) - Ellen Davies Rogers (1965-1997) and Ed Williams III (1997-present).

  Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has a keen interest in history and has re-invigorated the SCHC with 23 new appointees in 2011. Jimmy has made new committee assignments (Finance, Heritage/Military, Markers, Awards, Historical Properties, Social Media and Books & Authors) and the SCHC members will be meeting during the Summer months formulating missions and ideas preparing for a new year which begins in September.

The Shelby County Historical Commission meets monthly on the fourth Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the Shelby County Archives building, 980 Nixon Road (in the northwest Shelby Farms area near Mullins Station Road and the Greenline). Meetings are open to the public.

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