HC officials approve Hardy portrait

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2004

WINTON – A request from a citizen led to action by the Hertford County Commissioners here Monday morning during their normal first-of-the-month meeting.

Lonnie Simmons of Murfreesboro was listed on the agenda. He voiced his concern on why there wasn’t a framed photo or plaque of appreciation in the Hertford County Courthouse in honor of Sheriff Winfred Hardy’s years of service.

Hardy retired in 1997.

During a recent visit to the Courthouse, Simmons said he took notice of several framed photographs of former Hertford County officials as well as plaques of appreciation. Specifically, Simmons said he observed tributes to former Hertford County Sheriffs Richard Talbert, Charles Parker, Robert Parker and James Baker.

&uot;It left me wondering why Sheriff Hardy’s picture is not hung in the Courthouse,&uot; asked Simmons. &uot;Is there something wrong? If there’s not, I’d like to ask the Board if they would see fit to have Sheriff Hardy’s picture hung in the Courthouse. I think he’s a fine gentleman who served this county well.&uot;

Don Craft said, to his knowledge as a County Commissioner and now as County Manager, that the only role county government plays in this type of scenario is to approve or disallow such a request.

&uot;Personally speaking, I can only recall two instances when requests such as this were made, stated Craft. &uot;Both requests came from the families of those individuals who now have portraits hanging in the Courthouse.&uot;

He was making reference to the late J. Carlton Cherry, a prominent Ahoskie attorney who help thrust Hertford County into the national spotlight in the mid 1970’s when he hammered out a free agent baseball deal with the New York Yankees for the services of his client, Jim &uot;Catfish&uot; Hunter, and the late Sheriff Baker.

Craft went on to stress that the county is not involved in the process, other than allowing permission for the portrait to be hung. He said the family incurs all costs.

&uot;I’ve know Sheriff Hardy for many years and he served as our Sheriff for as long as anyone I know of,&uot; noted Commissioner DuPont Davis. &uot;He is still very active in the community, working with Meals on Wheels.&uot;

Davis asked Simmons if he was making the request on behalf of the Hardy family, to which Simmons replied, &uot;yes.&uot;

Davis then made the motion to allow the Hardy family to hang a portrait of the former Sheriff in the Hertford County Courthouse. Commissioner Vernice Howard seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.