Selmer, Tennessee

Selmer is a town in McNairy County, Tennessee, United States, in the southwestern part of the state. The population was 4,541 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of McNairy County. It is named after Selma, Alabama.

The notable sheriff, Buford Pusser, served as the sheriff of McNairy County from 1964 to 1970.

The notable Mayor of Selmer, David Robinson

Selmer became a focus of national news media in late March 2006. A local minister, Matthew Brian Winkler, was shot to death by his wife Mary Carol Winkler at their Selmer home. The investigation was headed by Investigator Roger Rickman and Winkler was convicted in 2007 of voluntary manslaughter.

In 2007, a drag racing car lost control during a burnout during a parade in Selmer. Six people were killed and 20 were injured.


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,541 people, 1,935 households, and 1,234 families residing in the town. The population density was 464.5 people per square mile (179.3/km²). There were 2,173 housing units at an average density of 222.3/sq mi (85.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 81.61% White, 15.92% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.37% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.54% of the population.

There were 1,935 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the town the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $28,494, and the median income for a family was $38,313. Males had a median income of $31,176 versus $21,989 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,350. About 10.9% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 19.9% of those age 65 or over.


County seat

In 1890, the county seat of McNairy County was moved from Purdy to Selmer.

Buford Pusser

The notable sheriff, Buford Pusser, served as the sheriff of McNairy County from 1964 to 1970, and since Selmer is the county seat, the location of the courthouse and the jail, this was his base of operations. His story has been made famous in the Walking Tall series of movies starring Joe Don Baker and Bo Svenson. The movies were filmed in nearby Henderson, Tennessee.


Selmer is located at (35.172333, -88.592964).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 9.8 square miles (25.4 km²).

Robert Sibley Airport

The Robert Sibley Airport (IATA airport code SZY (ICAO: KSZY)) is located in the area, with no ATC, a runway, and at above sea level. The UN/LOCODE for the town is USSQE. The current manager of Robert Sibley Airport is Chris

Major highways

The major highways U.S. Route 64 (east-west), and U.S. Route 45 (north-south) intersect in this town, making it an important crossroads. Selmer's position on Route 64 places it on the historic Lee Highway, which stretches from New York to San Francisco.

National media attention

Matthew Winkler Murder 2006

Selmer became a focus of national news media in late March 2006. A local minister, Matthew Brian Winkler, was shot to death by his wife Mary Carol Winkler at their Selmer home. After Mary was said to have fled Selmer with the couple's three daughters, she was apprehended in Orange Beach, Alabama, and was returned to Selmer for trial. She has confessed to the authorities concerning the shooting of her husband with a shotgun.

Drag racing catastrophe 2007

On June 16, 2007, a high-power Pro Modified drag racing car driven by Australian-born Troy Warren Critchley lost control and killed six young people while performing a burnout routine during a car show charity parade on Mulberry Avenue. Critchley's car left the road and struck part of the crowd attending the Cars For Kids charity parade. Six young people were killed. Two died at the scene of the accident, and four died later at hospitals in Selmer, Jackson and Memphis. A total of 20 others were injured and were transported to various hospitals throughout Western and Middle Tennessee. Results of a Tennessee Highway Patrol inquiry into the accident have not been announced. Pending lawsuits filed against the city and event organizers ask for more than $US 85 million in damages.

On March 4, 2008, the McNairy County Grand Jury returned an indictment against Troy Critchley on six counts of vehicular homicide due to recklessness, a Class C Felony, and 22 counts of reckless aggravated assault, a Class D Felony. Neither Cars for Kids or the City of Selmer were named in the indictment.

On March 20, 2008, Troy Critchley surrendered to authorities and was booked on the charges. Bond is set at $35,000.00. The trial is set for November 3, 2008.

Rose Creek Village

Selmer is also the home of Rose Creek Village. RCV is a religious community located on approximately 100 acres of land. Members of RCV live in a commune style community and most of the money made through internal enterprises and outside jobs is filtered back into the community pool. It is headed by a man named Noah Taylor who goes on frequent mission trips most recently to Myanmar and India. They recently accepted a guest from the Maasai people of Kenya. The group owns and operates a Deli in Selmer called "Another Realm". There have been many rumors of "cult like" activity that have been, as yet, unverified. RCV also offers child birth services and has at least 3 midwives on the premises. RCV also owns and operates Yachad LLC. a company which licenses several other businesses including Painting, Solar Solutions, Carpentry, Millwork, Construction, and a Distribution Center all operated by members of RCV. RCV also hosts VillageFest every year, generally on the last week in September. VillageFest is an annual culture and arts festival which includes storytelling, dancing, music, and a petting zoo.

The Rose Creek Village website states:  
We are people who believe that Jesus Christ (whom we refer to by his Hebrew name, Yahshua) is really the Son of God and can really do the things he said he can do: that he can deliver us from the ways of this world and create a love and unity within us so startling that it would cause the world around us to marvel and believe.


Selmer is served by Selmer Elementary, Selmer Middle School, and McNairy Central High School, home of the Bobcats.

Notable natives


External links

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