(Photo by Jill Bock, Staff)
NEW MADRID - For those who traveled along the road leading to the levee and then to the Mississippi River, Whitson Henry seemed like a permanent feature to be found there.
Following his death, the road officially became known as the Whitson Henry Road. On Saturday, a permanent marker was unveiled in tribute to the longtime New Madrid County resident.
"Everyone said they know where the road is, that we don't need a sign," said Henry's son, Bill Henry. "But we think dad would like this."
The green large metal sign not only includes the name of the road but features wildlife. According to the son, his father often spent time at the site observing a deer and her fawns.
Quoting Proverbs 22:1: "A good name is more desirable than great wealth," Bill Tanner, a family friend, said the name Whitson Henry is one known throughout Southeast Missouri.
For Tanner, it was Henry's love of the outdoors that first impressed him. "He was the great American sportsman," said Tanner, who spoke of the advice Henry provided him when he first began hunting and later of the hunts they shared.
"All you Henrys sure have a real legacy to have Mr. Whitson to look up to," concluded Tanner. "This sign personifies the commitment of a man and his family to this country, this land ... This is a memorial we can pass on to our children."