Descendant of congressman secures marker

Published 5:39 am Friday, June 20, 2008

By Staff
Process required pertinent information
Senior Reporter
John H. Small will have an historical marker erected in Washington, thanks primarily to the work of his great-nephew John Sabin Leach Jr.
Leach walks daily from his home to the post office and passes an historical marker dedicated to the late Lindsay Warren, a congressman from the 1st Congressional District and comptroller general of the United States appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Leach’s brother, Dick Leach of Washington, helped Leach get started by finding an application for a marker on the Internet.
Leach found that he needed to apply at the Office of Archives and History at the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
After making contact with the Office of Archives and History, he was told that it is very rare that the state puts up historical markers for congressmen.
So, in spring 2008, Leach collected as much information as he could find on Small and sent it with the application to the Office of Archives and History.
Leach included several items that his mother had kept about Small.
Leach was informed in a June 2 letter from the Department of Cultural Resources that the committee had approved a marker dedicated to Small.
Michael Hill, research supervisor in the Office of Archives and History, told Leach that he was surprised that no one had requested a marker before for Small.
Small served as a congressman for 22 years and was instrumental in the construction of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Small was an educator and a lawyer from Washington.
Plans call for erecting the sign at the intersection of U.S. Highway 17 and Main Street in Washington, with placement recommended by the state to be along Main Street, which was Leach’s request.
Small’s home was located on the northeast corner of the intersection of U.S. 17 and Main Street.
Hill told Leach that the location of the marker is subject to review by the City of Washington and the N.C. Department of Transportation.
Depending on the availability of funds, the marker will be ordered in about two months, according to the Office of Archives and History.
Casting and shipment generally require another couple of months so placement of the marker cannot occur until October 2008 at the earliest, Hill told Leach.
The heading on the marker will be “John H. Small.” His year of birth and his year of death will be inscribed underneath his name. Under the heading will be the following narrative: “Congressman, 1899-1921. Chair, Cmte. on Rivers &Harbors; champion of Intracoastal Waterway. His home stood here.”