Tom Bean Highway Named For Late Longtime Resident - - No One Gets You Closer

Tom Bean Highway Named For Late Longtime Resident


TOM BEAN, TX -- The Texas Department of Transportation has put up new signs renaming a road in honor of a longtime resident, after a girl's letter helped draw attention to a woman who lived in town her whole life.

Because of her job and the people she helped over the years, many feel the new name makes sense.

 Nearly four years later, Grayson County resident Ralph Williams still has a hard time realizing his mother is gone. "I travel all over the state and when I get in sometimes I think about calling her on the way," says Williams.

"I talked to her every day, at least once a day, sometimes two or three times a day," says son Joe Williams.

"We were really close and when she died, it was awful," says great-granddaughter Carson Fleming, 11.

One of Lucy Williams's great-granddaughters decided she wanted her memory to live on, so she wrote to the mayor of Tom Bean.

"I would like to make a request of my great grandma Lucy to honor her for the legacy she left of friends and family. I would like to have a freeway named after her," says Mayor Sherry Howard, reading from the letter she received, addressed to "Miss Mayor."

Williams was known as "Miss Lucy" to thousands while running the town's gas station in the 1960s, '70s and '80s before selling it.

"People would come from Leonard when they would go to Sherman to work and they would stop and she would talk to them and she got to know people," says granddaughter Kiley Fleming.

Now, the entire stretch of the main road through town, Highway 11, has been renamed the Lucy Williams Memorial Highway. Drivers coming from both the east and the west will see her name near the city limits.

"She was always worried about the little old ladies being able to pump their own gas and she pumped the gas for everybody, and checked their oil," says Joe Williams.

"She said she would rather the kids be in the parking lot at her gas station than roaming about town because she knew they would not get in trouble," says Howard.

Now a woman who was at the center of activity in Tom Bean for many of her 92 years will always be a part of this town.

"That's probably one of the best things that could have happened. I'm just so proud that she was my mom," says Ralph Williams.

Howard says she helped raise more than 20 private donations for the two signs which cost about $2,700. The council also passed a resolution and filed paperwork with TxDOT.