City of Lawrenceville and Downtown Development Authority Announce Recipients of the Heritage Trail Medallion

Published: October 5, 2016


City of Lawrenceville and Downtown Development Authority Announce Recipients of the Heritage Trail Medallion

The Heritage Trail Walkway Commemorates Willie Frank Bailey and James Victor Hood, Sr.



The City of Lawrenceville and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) have announced Willie Frank Bailey and James Victor Hood, Sr. as the 2017 recipients of the Heritage Trail medallions and recognition. The walking trail was constructed in 2013 to pay homage to individuals – throughout Gwinnett County history – who have made significant influences to the city. The walkway commences at the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial, ends in front of the Rhodes Jordan Park and is marked all along the way by medallions commemorating individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the development or wellbeing of Lawrenceville and/or its residents.

“We are very pleased with our 2017 recipients of the Heritage Trail Medallion,” said Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson. “This year’s honorees were known for investing their personal time, efforts, and finances into the betterment of the Lawrenceville community and its residents.”

Willie Frank Bailey founded W.F. Bailey’s Construction Company and was among the first African American business owners, both in Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County. He invested in the City of Lawrenceville by serving on the Lawrenceville Housing Authority, offering his craftsmanship skills, serving on the St. Vincent De Paul Society, and serving as a member of the Saint Lawrence Catholic Church. Bailey offered several hundred men and women in the community an opportunity for employment and even inspired many of his employees to also explore entrepreneurship.

Likewise, after moving to Lawrenceville in 1924 to join the Agriculture Finance Corporation, James Victor (Jim Vic) Hood, Sr. established himself as a true leader and mentor in the community. He later moved on to the First National Bank of Lawrenceville, where he served for 44 years as a Cashier, Executive Vice President, President, and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Under his leadership, the First National Bank of Lawrenceville became the largest bank in Gwinnett County before it was eventually sold in 1986. A notable member of the community, Hood was known for his dedication to supporting Lawrenceville’s citizens. He was known to offer personal loans to assist those who couldn’t qualify based on bank standards and often assisted individuals whose needs the bank could not afford. In 1938, he founded Hood Insurance Agency, which continues to serve the needs of Lawrenceville citizens today.

Medallion recipients are chosen annually and as the trail continues to grow, residents and tourists are able to explore the community and learn much more about its history.

The application and nomination process will begin again on March 15, 2017 and will continue through May 15. Applications will be available for download at and can be returned to the Economic Development Office at City Hall or emailed to

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