(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) April 23, 2015 — The Family of the late Walter Durham will join Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) and other state and local officials on Friday, May 1, 2015 to unveil a memorial plaque naming the new bridge on Highway 109 in his honor. The event will take place at 10:00 AM at the bridge in Sumner County.
Sen. Haile sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 474 earlier this year which memorialized Durham for his many accomplishments and contributions to the State of Tennessee.
Durham’s grandfather, State Senator J.T. Durham petitioned the General Assembly to construct the Highway 109 bridge from 1929 through 1931. The $500,000 allocated to the bridge project in 1930 was lost during the Great Depression. Sen. Durham’s dream for a bridge connecting Sumner and Wilson Counties was not completed until 1948. A new bridge constructed recently in its place will now honor his grandson.
Walter Durham was appointed State Historian by Gov. Don Sundquist in 2002 and reappointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen in 2011. The author of 24 books concerning Tennessee history, Mr. Durham was the founding president of the Tennessee Heritage Alliance, now known as the Tennessee Preservation Trust. He served as president of the Tennessee Historical Society from 1973 to 1975 and is a former president of the Gallatin Chamber of Commerce and the Gallatin Lions Club.
Mr. Durham was also World War II veteran, where he served in Africa and Italy as a member of the United States Army Air Force. He received several business and public service awards, in addition to being honored for numerous historical achievements.
Durham is survived by his wife, Anna Armstrong Coile Durham and his children Elizabeth Durham Lindsey (Stan), James Franklin Durham (Lynee), Robert Coile Durham, Anna Durham Windrow and four grandchildren.