- Source: David Seibert
- Marker: Bicentennial Park
- Location: Athens Highway at MLK Jr. Blvd, Gainesville
This marker and plaza proudly acknowledges the significant contributions of John William Morrow, Jr., and countless citizens for the betterment of this community.
Born in 1918 in Hall County, John W. Morrow, Jr., graduated Booker T. Washington High in Atlanta and served with distinction in the United States Army during World War II. Upon his discharge from the military, he returned to his native community to begin an exemplary career of civic, religious and governmental service.
He was a founder of the Men’s Progressive Club in the 1940s and was one of the first minority members appointed to the Gainesville Board of Education in 1956. He commanded the American Legion Post 521, achieved the rank of Deputy Master of the Masonic Order and elected President of the Northwestern Baptist Sunday School Convention. At St. John, Morrow served as Sunday School superintendent, the Trustee Board and Chairman of the Board of Deacons.
A pioneer in government service, he was appointed to the City’s Charter Review Commission in 1977 and was the first black citizen elected to the City Council in 1978. He became Mayor pro-tem in 1983-84. Council members elected him the city’s first black mayor in January, 1985. Again elected to the city council in 1986, 1990 and 1994, he served a second term as Mayor in 1993-94. He died during his fifth term in 1996.
It is permanently acknowledged that John William morrow, Jr. - - - humanitarian, pioneer and visionary — reflected in his own life the words of President Lincoln, “… government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”
This community extends its thanks to all immortalized on this site for tireless work for all humankind.