Quilt block erected in memory of mayor
A new quilt block was erected last week to mark Clyde's first town hall and memorialize one of the county's most beloved leaders.
The quilt block, placed in the town square, was erected in memory of the town's former mayor A. Roland Leatherwood.
One of the state's longest serving government leaders, Leatherwood was elected alderman in Clyde in 1968 and became mayor in 1983, a position he held for 36 years. He left his post as mayor only seven days before the first of two floods that ravaged the Clyde and Canton communities in 2004.
Leatherwood was not only a community and town leader, he was a role model for the many people he worked with over the years.
Clyde Mayor Jerry Walker worked with Leatherwood at Champion and later at the Clyde Town Hall and spent many hours with him volunteering with the Clyde Lions Club.
"I want to tell you he was a very dear friend. I thought the world of him and I always will," Walker said at the ceremony.
Many others echoed those sentiments as they spoke of his dedication to his position in the community and the county. When Maryann Enloe first came to her position as mayor in Hazelwood, Leatherwood and the rest of the Clyde board took her under their wing, she said.
"Roland Leatherwood was a gentleman from first to last and he meant so much to me," she said.
Former Canton Mayor Pat Smathers teared up as he spoke of Leatherwood's integral role in local government.
"He was a true dedicated individual in this community," Smathers said.
Others talked of Leatherwood's love for serving God and his dedication to his church family at Clyde Central United Methodist Church. The Rev. Mike Leatherwood said his father, "would have been humbled and proud," to have seen the quilt block there in his name.
In closing, Susan Gaddy and Carol Lynn Knight sang How Great Thou Art, which was Leatherwood's favorite hymn.
The Clyde Historic Commission, consisting of Sara Queen Brown, Sharon Shook, Jewell Beall, Jeana Brown, Bunny Brown and Susan Brown all helped make the project happen. Mackie McKay, CEO of RCF Construction, installed the quilt block.
The Haywood County Quilt Trails project now consists of 44 quilt squares, 11 of which are in Clyde. Learn more about the project at haywoodquilttrails.com or stop by the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority office on Main Street in Waynesville for a quilt trail map.