WILKESBORO – A stretch of N.C. 16 in Wilkes County was officially named in honor of former Wilkes County Sheriff Bill G. Anderson at a ceremony here Friday. Anderson, 80, was a local campaign manager for Republican politicians such as former Gov. Jim Holshouser, former U.S. Sen. Jim Broyhill and current Sen. Richard Burr (R-Winston-Salem), who was present with Anderson and local and N.C. DOT officials at the ceremony today.
“Bill Anderson is an individual who has earned the respect and continues to hold the respect of the people of Wilkes County. His service to Wilkes County and North Carolina is legendary,” said Burr.
The five-mile section of highway runs from Moravian Falls, Anderson’s home town, south to near the Alexander County line. In addition to his law enforcement and political career, Anderson is an Army veteran, former Sunday school director, and one-time Little League president and coach.
“This is a really special day, and I’m very grateful,” Anderson said, standing next to his wife of 57 years, Carolyn.
Hundreds of family, friends and politicians came out to celebrate Anderson’s accomplishments. Anderson’s daughter talked about a kindhearted man who, even though he was in law enforcement most of his career, did not spank his children. She remembered that it was punishment enough when he told his two daughters he was disappointed in them. But Anderson’s mother, Pauline Anderson, joked that she used different methods when her son was young.
“I had a switch, and when I needed to correct him, he knew where the switch was,” said Mrs. Anderson, who is two weeks shy of her 100th birthday. “It never took more than once.”
In March 2014 the Wilkes County Commission unanimously voted to request that the highway be named for Anderson. The resolution noted that he was a Wilkes County native who served as sheriff from 1974-1978, detailed his political and public service career, including serving from 1954-1957 in the Army Security Agency and his appointment to the state’s Criminal Justice Commission in 2005.
Five miles away from the ceremony, N.C. DOT crews unveiled the official “Bill G. Anderson Highway” signs on N.C. 16.