Thomas County Courthouse Monument

After months of debate, Thomas County commissioners and a local historian reached a compromise. Now plans are underway to honor six local civil rights leaders.

Thomasville historian Jack Hadley shows off a rendering of the plaque that will soon call the county courthouse home.

James "Jack" Hadley says, "I'm just happy, I'm just happy it's over with, I'm happy that we can now be able to place this monument."

Hadley says the plaque will honor six African-Americans instrumental in establishing Thomas County's voting districts, a movement he says led to black representation in county government during the 1970s.

The county's decision calls for the plaque to be put near the courthouse's first floor entrance.

Hadley says, "We're very proud and happy that this has come to a close."

Hadley's original proposal to put the monument on the courthouse grounds was denied by the county commission, but now after a few tweaks to the plan, commissioners say their happy with the compromise.

Elaine Mays, Thomas County Commissioner, District 8, says, "I think we're pleased with the plaque rather the monument, and I think that this was a good way to go."

Now all parties are satisfied.

The unveiling of the plaque will be in the very near future. The original monument plan called for private funding, but Hadley says the county will now pick up the tab for the bronze plaque.