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Middletown in Jefferson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Gov. Lawrence Wetherby Statue

 
 
Gov. Lawrence Wetherby Statue image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 28, 2020
1. Gov. Lawrence Wetherby Statue
Inscription.  
The
Honorable
Lawrence W.
Wetherby

1908 - 1994
Forty eighth
Governor
of
Kentucky
1950 - 1955

Conservationist
Tall and rangy, with the courtly manners of a southern gentleman, Governor Wetherby was described as an open, relaxed urbanite: He was a man without pretention; a man comfortable with himself, he was also a devoted outdoorsman. He had a passion for hunting and fishing and he valued the natural environment which enabled that passion. His commitment to protection and celebration of the environment was manifested in his support of conservation efforts in Kentucky and his vision for development of a system of Kentucky state parks beginning with Breaks of the Big Sandy Park. To attract tourists, Governor Wetherby initiated funding for the state parks system which soon grew to include state parks throughout the Commonwealth. It is also notable that Governor Wetherby's focus on conservation and resource preservation led to the enactment of legislation limiting strip mining in Kentucky in 1954 and supporting soil conservation and crop
Marker Detail: Conservationist image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 28, 2020
2. Marker Detail: Conservationist
diversification through the innovative Green Pastures Program.

Education
In his first ninety days as Governor, Lawrence Wetherby called a special session of the Kentucky Legislature to increase funding for teachers and education. He then led a successful effort to amend the Kentucky Constitution to allow passage of the Minimum Foundation Act which enabled more equal allocation of state funds among all school districts in the Commonwealth and resulted in dramatic growth of state funding for public education in Kentucky. Governor Wetherby also led the successful efforts of the Kentucky Legislature to amend the Day Law, the legal foundation for segregation in Kentucky public education, and embraced implementation of the 1954 opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education.

Mental Health
Governor Wetherby established the Commonwealth's first Department of mental Health and charged its young Commissioner, Dr. Frank Gaines, to draft legislation establishing objective standards to clarify the methods to determine appropriate treatment and hospitalization of mentally ill persons. This progressive focus on mental health contributed to the redefinition of care, treatment and support of Kentuckians with mental illness. The Governor, moreover, conscientiously and aggressively acted to increase and upgrade
Marker Detail: Education image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 28, 2020
3. Marker Detail: Education
facilities for the treatment of the mentally ill throughout the Commonwealth. This effort resulted in an increase of fifteen hospitals and thirty health centers to address the needs of the mentally ill.

Roads
During his tenure as Governor nearly six thousand miles of roads were built in a successful effort to break down the pervasive regionalism that had historically kept Kentuckians separated and Kentucky divided. He had constructed Kentucky's first toll road and introduced bond financing to support beneficial infrastructure investment. Kentucky's new roads also supported the Governor's investment in its developing state parks system and promotion of tourism. Better roads also contributed greatly to the success of a new state fairgrounds and exposition center in Louisville constructed by Wetherby to celebrate Kentucky's natural and agricultural resources.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & Politics.
 
Location. 38° 14.739′ N, 85° 32.233′ W. Marker is in Middletown, Kentucky, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from Old Shelbyville Road, on the left when traveling east. Marker is in Wetherby Park, adjacent to Middletown City Hall. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11803 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville KY 40243, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of
Marker Detail: Mental Health image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 28, 2020
4. Marker Detail: Mental Health
this marker. Davis Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Middletown Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Lawrence Winchester Wetherby / Gov. Lawrence W. Wetherby (within shouting distance of this marker); Middletown Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wetherby House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Benjamin Head House (approx. ¼ mile away); Middletown's First Gas Station (approx. ¼ mile away); Griffytown (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Middletown.
 
Marker Detail: Roads image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 28, 2020
5. Marker Detail: Roads
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 5, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 41 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 5, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Mar. 5, 2021