"This is going to make him smile," was the sentiment expressed by Liberty County Commissioner Marion Stevens about Deacon Freddie Walthour Sr.’s new road.
Walthour, who died in Aug 2015, was commemorated with a portion of Holmestown Road, from Westfield Road to Highway 119, named in his honor — Freddie Walthour Sr. Road.
Commissioners Gary Gilliard, Stevens, and former county commissioner Edna Walthour and Holmestown community leaders formed a committee to rename the road, and the request was approved by the county in April.
Deacon Walthour was a prominent businessman in the Holmestown community, was the second African-American to sit on the Liberty County Board of Education and served as deacon at Zion Temple Holiness Church.
He was owner of Walthour Building Construction, and had a corner store, laundromat and gas station in Holmestown.
Many considered him to be an honorable man, who was also humble, kind, hardworking and dependable — traits said to have been passed down to his children.
Family, friends and officials, gathered Dec. 31 in Holmestown, on the site of Deacon Walthour’s former stores, along the newly named portion of the road.
County Commission Chairman Donald Lovette said Walthour talked of his experience on the school board positively and recalled how surprised he was to have been asked to serve on the board.
Lovette said former LCSS Superintendent Ed Edwards approached Walthour about the school board because he was "so spoken highly of" in the community. Lovette said Walthour’s work ethic and reputation prepared him for his role on the school board and was able to serve when given the opportunity.
Gilliard said he did not know Walthour well but knew what he meant to the community.
The three-way intersection of Westfield Road, Holmestown Road and Freddie Walthour Sr. Road underwent road improvements to realign the roads and install a stop sign. There have been bad accidents previously at the intersection, Gilliard said, and he was glad to see the roads more aligned.
Gilliard called the road renaming "a great way to honor a great man."
Michael Walthour said his father did not compromise his values and did not take short cuts rearing his nine children.
"He was a hard worker," his son said, "and I must say, to use the education he was blessed to have, which he didn’t get passed grade school, but if he was able to do all that he did with such a limited education I can imagine what he would have done, could have done if he had his Ph.D. Thank God for allowing us to be touched by his life and be able to say he was our father, friend, neighbor, deacon—whatever he was to you."