Three Newton County residents - Jack Hays Morgan, Davis Morgan and Lamar B. Hays - were honored during the recently completed 2009 Georgia legislative session by having two roads named in their honor.
State Sen. John Douglas (R-Social Circle) introduced and saw approved legislation to dedicate two roads in Newton County as the Jack & Davis Morgan Memorial Highway and Lamar Hays Memorial Parkway, in their honor. The Morgan Highway will be U.S. 278 from its Martin Luther King Jr. intersection to the split with Ga. Highway 142. The Hays Parkway will be Ga. Highway 11 within the city limits of Mansfield.
Jack Hays Morgan was born in 1919 in Newton County. As a young man, Morgan entered the Navy, and upon his return home from the service, he entered the agricultural field as a pulpwood cutter. He was instrumental in the post-War World II development of Newton County, opening the county's first pulpwood yard, Morgan Timber Company, and later founding the area's first grading and paving services with Morgan Concrete Company.
Morgan's interest in politics and public service began in 1961 when he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, and he continued to serve as a state and community leader as chairman of the Newton County Board of Commissioners. During his eight-year tenure as chairman, Mr. Morgan oversaw the paving of 142 miles of county roads and the start of the county's first ambulance service, garbage collections and landfill.
"Morgan was an intelligent, fair minded, dedicated community leader and entrepreneur," Douglas said. "We all benefited from having him as one of our community and state leaders."
Davis Morgan served Newton County as chairman of the BOC for eight years from 1993 to 2001. He oversaw the beginning of the growth of the county and worked diligently for a better community. His untimely death in 2005 robbed the community of a dedicated leader. His widow, Kathy Morgan is in her first term as chairperson of the commission.
Lamar B. Hays was born in 1936 in Newton County. He served with the Air National Guard and was a member of the Woodmen of the World. Hays also served as chief of the Mansfield Volunteer Fire Department and served on the Mansfield City Council for many years.
"As a distinguished Georgian, Hays gave inspiration to many through his high ideals and morals. He was dedicated to improving his community and the lives of his neighbors," Douglas said. "By the example he made of his life, he made this world a better place in which to live. We all miss him greatly."