'Formerly Howell Road'

-A A +A

Fiscal Court orders county road renamed in honor of slain Marine

By Linda Ireland

LaRue Fiscal Court approved " through an emergency order " the renaming of a county road Aug. 24.

Howell Road, between Buffalo and Mount Sherman, was renamed LCPL Hanson USMC Road at the meeting in honor of Lance Cpl. Matthias Hanson, 20, who died of combat-related injuries Feb. 21 in Afghanistan.

Hanson’s family lives on Howell Road and the young Marine is buried in Perkins Cemetery at the end of the road.

LaRue County Judge/Executive Tommy Turner said he was “approached by some residents on the roadway asking if it could be changed to honor Matt.”

He spoke with Lowell Hanson, Matt’s father, who “thought it was a great gesture.”

“I sent a letter to each property owner telling them of the request and asking them to let me know if there were any objections,” said Turner. “We received none. We have been waiting to do this when it could best be coordinated. Lowell called and said that Matt’s Marine buddies would be in E’town on Saturday ... and asked if we could do it then as they really wanted to be a part of it.”

“This is why we had to pass it with no delay this morning,” he said Tuesday. The ceremony was held 8 a.m. Saturday.

Property owners on Howell Road were notified in April of a possible name change. They were asked to voice objections by April 23.

When county roads were named (rather than route numbers being used), the county agreed that a road name would not be changed unless three/fourths of the property owners on the road agreed to the name change, according to the letter sent to Howell Road residents.

By executing the emergency order, fiscal court skirted the requirement of a second reading and a public hearing.

Eddie Fields, Hanson’s uncle, lives on Howell Road. He said he had known of the potential name change for “quite awhile” and believes it is “a good way to honor someone who was killed in service to his country.”

He described his nephew as “a very intelligent, good man, who knew what he wanted to do at a very early age.”

“He knew what the possibilities were when he signed up,” he said.

Fields said Thursday that he had not been notified of an address change or an effective date to start using it.

Chris Jackson of E911/Emergency Management learned of the emergency order to change the road name Thursday when the Herald News requested information. He will manually change the 16 Howell Road addresses to the new name in the 911 database.

“By statute, we’re responsible for assigning addresses,” he said.

Residents of Howell Road are responsible for notifying utility companies, banks, credit cards and government offices of their new addresses.