The Daily Southerner
The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) on Thursday approved naming a stretch of highway in Edgecombe County in honor of an Edgecombe County politician who was also a businessman and dentist.
The bridge that crosses over U.S. 64 on Kingsboro Road will be named in honor of Dr. Joseph Stephen Hoard III.
"I was very supportive of this initiative," said NCDOT board member Gus Tulloss who was also a friend of Hoard. "It is very deserving to honor him in this manner." Tulloss said NCDOT has notified the family and they will set a date for an official ceremony. Hoards' daughter, Margaret Anne Wooten was thrilled about the news.
"It would make him so happy because he loved Edgecombe County so much," Wooten said. "This is a great honor for my dad."
Hoard travel over that bridge a countless number of times heading to his distribution plant, Kanban, a plant that he helped found in 1978. The savvy businessman turned Kanban into one of the most successful distribution plants in North Carolina.
Tarboro native Buddy Hooks, also a friend of Hoard, said he initiated petitioning NCDOT to name the bridge. "We talked about naming that road in honor of him, but it already had a name," Hooks said. "So we came up with naming the bridge. I think that it's perfect. It's the best way to honor somebody.
Hooks and others petitioned the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners and they, too, jumped on the bandwagon by signing a resolution in agreement to name the bridge in honor of Hoard and submitted it to NCDOT.
Hoard operated a dentist practice from 1962-2003. He served two terms on the county board of commissioners and two as a Tarboro town councilman, including one in the mid-1980's and again in 2008. Health issues prevented Hoard from completing his 2008 term. He resigned in July 2011 and he died Aug. 4, 2011.
In 1995, he was given the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. He also earned the Tarboro/Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year and the North Eastern Entrepreneurial Roundtable Entrepreneur of the Year.