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Harlem clock to be mayoral memorial

Clock, monument lists Harlem's past leaders

Posted: March 27, 2013 - 12:08am
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Photo by Jim Blaylock  John McCord puts the finishing touches on the new clock at Harlem City Hall as he locks it into place.
Photo by Jim Blaylock John McCord puts the finishing touches on the new clock at Harlem City Hall as he locks it into place.

A new clock in Harlem marks the passage of time, but it also presides over a record of city leaders.

The clock was installed in front of Harlem City Hall thanks to a private donation.

“The clock is given by the Eugene Clary Foundation to honor the past, present and future mayors of Harlem, one of which was Gene Clary’s father, William C. Clary Sr.,” said a spokesman for the foundation, who wished to remain anonymous, but was active in the project planning.

The clock was installed in a concrete courtyard with a compass rose surrounded by a brick wall that will feature engraved names of each of Harlem’s mayors. It matches street signs, lampposts and other downtown improvements that were part of a 2007 streetscape project. A similar clock was included in the original project drawings, but was cut for cost savings, Mayor Bobby Culpepper said.

“We wanted it to be as visible as possible,” Culpepper said, “so we will have places to inscribe the names of future mayors. (We) always wanted a place to hold the swearing-in ceremonies for new mayors.”

The project used 1-percent sales tax money and other city funds to pay for $10,000 of the $60,000 project, City Manager Jason Rizner said. The foundation paid for the majority of the remaining cost, though Rizner said a few more donors made smaller contributions.

The idea has been in the works for more than two years. Construction began in January.

The clock will be flanked by granite markers engraved with information about the foundation and about the city. Landscaping and final touches still need to be installed, Rizner said.

“It’ll be a nice focal point for people coming into town,” Rizner said. “He wanted to honor (his relatives who served the city) and all past and future mayors of Harlem. He wanted this to be a living monument.”

HARLEM MAYORS

1870-1879 Dr. Andrew Sanders

1880-1887 John Walter Bell

1888 Newnan Hicks

1906 Ike Vale Ballard

1907 William Archelous “Arch” Winn

1908 Dr. Robert J. Walton

1909-1910 Edgar D. Clary Sr.

1911 William Archelous “Arch” Winn

1912-1917 Edgar D. Clary Sr.

1918-1921 John Thomas “Tom” Olive

1922-1925 William C. Clary Sr.

1932-1933 Edgar D. Clary Sr.

1934-1937 Joe M. Hatcher

1938-1939 George M. Magruder Jr.

1940-1943 Joe M. Hatcher

1944 Edgar D. Clary Jr.

1944-1945 George McCorkle

1946 Joe M. Hatcher

1947-1948 Frances W. Tracy

1949-1951 Hulon Hatcher

1952-1955 Glenn S. Phillips

1956-1959 Hulon Hatcher

1960-1963 Frances W. Tracy

1964-1965 B.L. “Spec” Brown

1966-1967 W.R. “Rad” Story

1968-1969 George C. Craig Sr.

1970-1971 Hugh A. Groves

1972-1975 Rusell Lowell “Dick” Clary

1976-1978 James B. Lewis Sr.

1978-1985 Edgar D. Clary III

1986-1992 James B. Lewis Sr.

1993-2000 Shirley W. Tankersley

2001-2002 John F. Bentley

2003-2008 Anthony S. “Scott” Dean

2008- Robert W. “Bobby” Culpepper

* DESPITE SEARCHING CITY RECORDS, HARLEM OFFICIALS WERE UNABLE TO DETERMINE THE MAYOR FOR SOME YEARS.

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Comments (2)

Little Lamb

Sr.

I'd like to know where (and when) this recent notion of applying after the fact the surname "Sr." When a boy baby is given his name, no one writes "Sr." on the birth certificate. If that baby grows up to sire a son, he may elect to name his son after himself, and hence the practice of calling the son "Jr." But the father's name doesn't change.

I say, let's get rid of the modern pernicious practice.

Barry Paschal

Good question

It's probably just there for convenience. I have a friend who is the owner of a business where father and son both work. When I call to talk to the father, I ask for "John Doe Senior." I know if I just ask for "John Doe," they'll say "junior or senior?", so specifying saves a step.

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