Officials name small section of old road for Hughes family

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

NATCHEZ &045;&045; Willie Mae Hughes has been watching out for children along her stretch of Government Fleet Road for years.

Now she can breathe a little easier about their safety &045;&045; from the porch of her home on Hughes Lane.

The reconstruction of Government Fleet Road allowed a small frontage road to be built in front of Hughes’ and others’ houses, and city leaders later requested the small street be named for the Hughes family.

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Both Hughes and her late husband Elbert, who raised four children together, were educators and were active in the community.

&uot;She was very instrumental in bringing to our attention the safety concerns (along Government Fleet Road),&uot; Natchez Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis said, who said Hughes was worried about the children who lived and played along the road.

&uot;That (concern) resulted in this frontage road,&uot; Arceneaux-Mathis said.

Members of the family were on hand Monday morning as the new sign was unveiled, shortly after city officials cut the ribbon on the widened Government Fleet Road.

&uot;I think I’ll live a couple years longer,&uot; Hughes laughed as she thanked city officials for the honor. &uot;Now I won’t have to do anything but sit out and watch the children &045;&045; and see if they’re doing wrong or right.&uot;

&uot;It’s a great honor to have a road named after your family,&uot; Hughes’ daughter, Dale Hughes Smith, said.

The Hughes’ other children are Elbert Jr., Larry Lee Hughes and Lee Wong Hughes.