FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Through Senator Hugh Leatherman’s career that spanned four decades, his name became synonymous with infrastructure and industry.
Florence County leaders say generations will benefit from his work.
It’s hard not to spot his fingerprints across the Pee Dee. His name is featured on everything from interchanges to buildings in Florence’s downtown.
“Senator Leatherman was an icon and a unique figure in our Florence and Pee Dee community, and passionate about development in the Pee Dee,” Florence city councilman George Jebaily said. “He was adamant the Pee Dee had been left behind, had been left out. And he was determined that he was going to get the Pee Dee the development and the growth that was so desperately needed here.”
Councilman Jebaily said Leatherman was key in many important projects and initiatives, like Florence’s downtown redevelopment. Specifically, he was involved in things like FMU’s downtown presence, the performing arts center and the Florence County Museum.
He also was a big supporter of Florence County’s penny tax, which supported major road widenings, including ones on TV Road and Pamplico Highway.
“If you see any road projects he’s either been directly involved, or behind the scenes supportive of improvements,” Councilman Jebaily said. “Because he understands that business wants to have access and the way you gain access is through quality roads and infrastructure.”
Jebaily explained that Leatherman was critical in getting the Honda plant in Florence County, since he worked to get an interchange on I-95 near the plant. He also was heavily involved in Inland Port Dillon.
“He was always willing to listen to you and try to improve on things,” Florence County Council chairman Willard Dorriety Jr. said, who was good friends with Leatherman. “He brought millions of dollars to Florence County.”