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Posted: July 10, 2009 12:30 a.m.

A highway named in their honor

Section of U.S. 278 named for two influential men

Brittany Thomas/

Roadside fame: A several-mile section of U.S. Highway 278 was renamed in honor of Jack and Davis Morgan.

Jack Hays Morgan Sr. and Davis Morgan left their marks on Newton County through their years of leadership, and on Wednesday one final lasting mark was left in their honor.

A section of U.S. Highway 278, between the bypass and the 278/142 split which passes in front of the Morgan homestead, was named the Jack and Davis Memorial Highway in honor of the two men and a commemorative sign was placed on Wednesday.

Sen. John Douglas (R.-Social Circle) introduced a resolution honoring the memory of Jack Morgan. It was passed March 12, nine days after Jack Morgan’s death.

The resolution hailed Jack Morgan as an intelligent, fair-minded and

dedicated community leader and entrepreneur and cited some of his numerous contributions to Newton County as commission chairman, including paving 142 miles of county roads and starting the county's first ambulance service, garbage collections and landfill.

Around 20 members of the Morgan family attended Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting where the sign was unveiled.

"It means more to me than words can say. I could never have dreamed of this honor, nor could Daddy and Davis," said Barbara Morgan, daughter of Jack Morgan. "They knew that county road (U.S. 278) like the back of their hand … that makes it all the more meaningful. The honor came out of the blue and we’ll be forever grateful. John (Douglas) and Doug (Holt) could not have been any more complimentary. I’m extremely touched by their words and resolution."

Rep. Doug Holt (R-Social Circle) said Newton County has undergone significant change over the past 40 years, much of that time under the leadership of a Morgan.

"I think it’s the family overall and their involvement in this county. Those two men exemplify that service and dedication," Holt said. "It’s always very important to honor public service for any extended period of time, because it really was a sacrifice."

Davis’ widow Kathy Morgan is in her first term as commission chairman; she said she was shocked and honored by the dedication.

"The dedication to me just reaffirms how people in this community feel about my husband and Jack Morgan," Kathy Morgan said. "Davis was a business man, a farmer and a chairman for eight years. His legacy is more about what he did for the community and the people he touched and the people who touched him. It’s the same with Mr. Morgan. Jack was a very generous man a very astute business man."

Jack Morgan served briefly in the Navy, participated extensively in politics as an eight-year county commission chair and a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, founded the now 44-year-old Morgan Timber Co. and was a force in the real estate world, Barbara Morgan said.

"He was a trailblazer and a risk taker in every sense of the word," she said. "He was, of course, like many people, part of the greatest generation. He started out with nothing (and worked his way up in the world)."

Davis Morgan died in 2004 at the age of 49 and Jack Morgan died in March at the age of 89.

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