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Weakley County's Own Ned R. McWherter Memorial

  “Many Weakley County Residents and associates of Governor McWherter have wanted to do something to honor him for a long time as the only Tennessee Governor from our county."

- Terry J. Oliver

Weakley County Ned Ray McWherter Monument Commission members include:
Wendell Alexander, Businessman
John Clark, First-State Bank
Dr. Nick Dunagan, Former UT Martin Chancellor
Wayne McCreight, Businessman
Tommy Moore, General Sessions Judge
Houston Patrick, Former Weakley County Mayor
Anna Windrow, Government Relations Specialist
Madelyn B. Pritchett, Personal Assistant to Governor McWherter
James H. Westbrook, Jr., Weakley County Commissioner

The Public Service History of Governor Ned R. McWherter

Ned Ray McWherter, Democrat, born in Weakley County, Tennessee, was the 46th Governor of Tennessee (1987-1995)

Governor McWherter served as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1969-1987, 14 of those years as Speaker, a record of 7 terms. In the House of Representatives he sponsored the campaign financial disclosure law and open meeting legislation. His 21st Century Schools reform program provided for equalization of funding and high performance standards. Governor McWherter's TennCare plan replaced the Medicaid program and provided health care to the poor, uninsured, and uninsurable.

McWherter's administration implemented a major highway road construction program, a 95 County Jobs program which recruited new job opportunities from Japan, other Pacific Rim countries, Europe, and domestic companies in the United States, providing for economic development in depressed areas.

Governor McWherter is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Volunteer Distributing Company, Inc., and Eagle Distributors, Inc.; Chairman Emeritus of the Weakley County Bank, Dresden, TN. He serves on the Board of Directors of Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, Charlotte, NC; a member of Lambuth University Board of Trustees, Jackson, TN; the University of Tennessee Foundation, Knoxville, TN; and the Baker Center for Public Policy, The University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Governor McWherter recently retired from the following boards; Board of Directors of Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Charlotte, NC; SunTrust Banks, Inc., Nashville, TN; First State Bank, Union City, TN; Centennial Medical Center, Nashville, TN; The United States Postal Service Board of Governors, Washington, DC; Commissioner of The American Battle Monuments Commission, Arlington, VA; Volunteer Express, Inc., Nashville, TN; and Hillview Nursing Home, Inc., Dresden, TN.

He was appointed to the Board of the Weakley County Municipal Electric System on July 1, 1966 and served as a member of the Board from 1966-1987, serving as Chairman for 12 of those years.

Governor McWherter was a member of the Methodist Church. He served for 21 years in the Tennessee National Guard before retiring with the rank of Captain. He was a member of boards of numerous charitable organizations and active in civic and fraternal organizations. He lived in Dresden, TN, and was a businessman, farmer, and investor.

Sadly, Governor Ned Ray McWherter passed away on April 4, 2011, in a Nashville hospital. He was 80 years old. The monument is a piece of his rich legacy.

June 4, 2015, was the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the Weakley County Library Ned R. McWherter Museum, which was funded entirely by the family of the late Ned Ray McWherter. The McWherter Museum is located inside of the Weakley County Library, which McWherter brought to the county in 1997. For more about the museum, see pictures from the ribbon cutting on our Weakley County Facebook Page.