Person County native and World War I hero George Yarborough Jr. will be immortalized next week, as the N.C. Department of Transportation dedicates a portion of roadway in his name.
The stretch of Mt. Harmony Church Road from U.S. 158 to Allen Creek Road will be named the Lt. George H. Yarborough Jr. Highway.
At 2 p.m. Monday, DOT representatives, local leaders and, perhaps, a descendant of Yarborough’s will be on hand at the Person County Museum of History where the sign will be displayed. New signs also should be in place on Mt. Harmony Church Road by Monday.
Yarborough,22, died in action in the aftermath of the Battle of Belleau Wood in France when he was shot on June 24, 1918 by the enemy as he ran from foxhole to foxhole encouraging his men. Despite his wounds, Yarborough refused treatment until all the men under his command had been treated. He died two days later, on June 26 after he had been removed from the battlefield for additional care. Yarborough, who joined the U.S. Marines the day after the United States officially entered World War I, was a 1st Lt. His actions that day brought commendations and citations for the Citadel graduate. He was awarded posthumous medals including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross and the Silver Star Citation.
The process of naming the roadway after Yarborough has been a lengthy process spearheaded by Person County commissioner Gordon Powell.
Powell began the pursuit of the road-naming effort at the request of former Person County resident Harold Davis, who now lives in Wilmington.
“It’s very noteworthy. I had never heard of him until Harold mentioned him. This young man, to be his age and do the things that he did, it was something to write about. It’s certainly been worth all the effort,” Powell said.
Yarborough was born in a house at the corner of Main and Oak streets. As a child, his family moved to South Carolina and Yarborough later entered the Citadel.