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Fallen Gainesville officer honored with intersection dedication
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April Chandler and Richard Davis, children of Gainesville Police Officer Henry Tilman Davis, unveil a road sign in his honor Wednesday morning at Trinity Baptist Church. Officer Henry Tilman Davis died 25 years ago in a car crash while on duty. By a resolution from state Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, the intersection of Dawsonville Highway and Beechwood Boulevard is dedicated to his memory. - photo by Scott Rogers

Passing through Dawsonville Highway once or twice a week, Richard Tilman Davis will now see a rectangular brown sign bearing his father’s name.

The intersection of Dawsonville Highway and Beechwood Boulevard was dedicated to Gainesville Police Officer Henry Tilman Davis, who died on duty on Sept. 29, 1972.

“It’s more for my children. It’s something that they’ll be able to recognize how their grandfather was represented today and how he lived his life and honored for the things that he did and what his job was,” Richard Davis said.

An unveiling ceremony was held outside of Trinity Baptist Church Wednesday morning.

Henry Davis was riding as a passenger when a car slammed into the rear of his car on Dawsonville Highway and pushed Davis’ car into a second head-on collision.

State Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, filed a resolution in February to dedicate the intersection to him. Hawkins said he was first contacted by retired Capt. Chad White, who has acted as the department’s historian.

White said the event Wednesday was the “day I’ve been looking forward (to) for the last three years.”

Bill Taylor, one of Henry Davis’ colleagues, said the two bonded over their military police background. The two men would often go out on Lake Knickerbocker using Taylor’s jon boat after work.

Richard Davis said he was quite impressed with the crowd gathered in front of the church Wednesday morning to honor his father. His mother lives in the Sardis area and travels near the sign frequently.

“It’s more to honor all who protect and serve. You just don’t ever know every day you go to work,” he said.

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