A road naming ceremony was held Tuesday morning at South Piedmont Community College’s Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro. Dignitaries, area officials, as well as family and friends gathered to celebrate the official naming of the H. PATRICK TAYLOR JR. HIGHWAY in honor of the former lieutenant governor of North Carolina, Anson County native and local attorney, H. Pat Taylor.
“It gives me great pride to be able to honor such a remarkable man in this way,” said John Collett, member of the N.C. Board of Transportation.
After County Manager Lawrence Gatewood led the group in the pledge of allegiance, Rev. Michael Bye of Calvary Episcopal Church delivered the invocation.
Frank McGuirt, former member of the N.C. House of Representatives, shared that Taylor was the son of Hoyt Patrick Taylor, who also served as lieutenant governor. The two are the only father-son pair to have held the office.
Hoyt Patrick “Pat” Taylor, Jr. was born on April 1, 1924, in Wadesboro. He practiced law for many years in Wadesboro. Pat and his wife, Elizabeth Lockhart Taylor, and their families were honored by South Piedmont Community College when the college named the newly renovated facility that houses the college’s continuing education operations the Lockhart-Taylor Center.
Taylor received undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served in both World War II and the Korean War. He practiced law in Wadesboro and was elected to represent Anson County in the North Carolina House of Representative from 1955-1967, serving his last term as Speaker of the House.
Wadesboro Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Usrey thanked Taylor for his service to the community and for his contribution at the state and local levels. Anna Baucom, chair of the Anson County Board of Commissioners, stated that this is a wonderful day for Pat Taylor, his family and Anson County. She reflected that Pat received votes for the Democratic vice presidential nomination at the 1972 Democratic National convention, and quipped, “I would have voted for him had I been old enough.”
She thanked Taylor for his leadership and closed by saying, “By naming this road after Mr. Taylor, we show our deepest appreciation for his public service and contribution to this community.”
The proposal to rename the road was first put forward June 5, 2012 by the Anson County Board of Commissioners. A resolution requesting to name a section of U.S. Highway 52 starting at the town limit of Wadesboro and extending five miles north was sent to the N.C. Department of Transportation. The request was approved by the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Road Naming Committee and the full North Carolina Board of Transportation.
U.S. Highway 52 is a north-south United States highway that runs for 150 miles from the South Carolina state line near McFarlan to the Virginia state line near Mount Airy. It serves as a strategic highway through the central North Carolina Piedmont.