Mayors' Wall of Fame: Portraits honor city's past leaders

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE -- To understand the future, one must appreciate the past.


On Thursday evening, five of Shepherdsville’s past mayors gathered in the city government center as portraits of the past 11 leaders were unveiled.

Lined against the wall of the meeting room were pictures beginning with Carl Daniel (1949-52) and ending with Joseph Sohm (1997-2006).

Code enforcement officer Jim McAuliffe felt is was important to honor the past and present leaders of the city. Like a wheel, there are many spokes but McAuliffe said the mayor is always at the center.

The dinner gave many a chance to see one another for the first time in many years. It also gave them time to reflect.

Dr. B.C. Moser, the longtime chiropractor, served from 1962-65.

He said the growth has been unbelievable since the time the city hall was in an office off Second Street and the town had just a single stoplight.

J.C. Thompson served from 1966-69 and was pleased that during his tenure, sewers came to town.

He said it was neat to have his portrait hanging in city hall and it was nice to be appreciated.

During his tenure, he remembered making a lot of trips to Atlanta seeking federal funds for a new sewer system. The former grocery store owner and insurance agent has not been surprised by the growth.

“I expected the growth once they the sewers in,” said Thompson. “I knew there would be growth.”

Larry Hatfield had worked for the city and served on the council and game on as mayor in 1990.

Growing up in the city, Hatfield said he has seen things go from a four-way stop at Buckman and Highway 44 to a major municipality. He remembered serving on the fire department while working on public works to make sure enough people could make runs during the day.

And he remembers the lean days when he took office. He also remembers the 1991 train derailment that put his face into homes across the nation.

Hatfield, who will return to the city council in January, said it was nice to get everyone together.

“It is an honor,” said Hatfield. “I am proud to be here.”

Sherman Tinnell, the current mayor who also served from 1994-98, said it was idea first discussed by himself and Sohm back during that change of administration.

Feeling the portraits were needed, Tinnell said Depp Rasner provided a lot of assistance in making the display happen.

“I think it is important that we honor our past leaders and their families,” said Tinnell. “This is wonderful.”

Having a dinner for the families adds to the importance of the display, said Tinnell.

“We wanted to get the families involved,” said Tinnell.

He hoped this might also serve as a way to bring all parties together. During political races, Tinnell said there is a tendency of division between the people. He hoped the portraits provide some way to bring all together.

Sohm said he was pleased to be part of the ceremony and he was proud that the project was completed.

It was something he and Tinnell had talked about but it was not completed. He’s glad it is now done.

“It’s a nice addition to the government center,” said Sohm.

The two-term mayor said no really understand the history of the city, formed in 1793 and was actually still part of Jefferson County. Bullitt County was not formed until three years later.

Yet, the city did not adopt the mayor/council form of government until Carl Daniel was appointed in 1949.

He was saddened that all former mayors could not present, especially Adrian Jones, who served from 1986-89.

“He would have loved this,” said Sohm.

Jones served on the city council under every mayor in Shepherdsville’s history.

Sohm applauded the city’s effort and he hoped more things would continue to spotlight its rich history.

The public can view the portraits during weekdays at the government center on Conestoga Parkway.

Carl Daniel 1949-52

M.J. Cundiff 1953-61

B.C. Moser 1962-65

J.C. Thompson 1966-69

W.R. Bacon 1970-73

Margie Eddington 1974-77

James ‘Red’ Sparrow 1978-85

Adrian Jones 1986-89

Larry Hatfield 1990-93

Sherman Tinnell 1994-1998

Joseph Sohm 1999-2006

Sherman Tinnell 2007-present