There is a move under way to honor Walton County’s most famous resident. Besse Cooper is 115 years old and, as the world’s oldest living person, she is undoubtedly one of the most famous people in the world. Her family, and several local residents, would like for her to be permanently honored in the area. Some had suggested that a school be named for her, but her family thought that possibly the new bridge being built over the Alcovy River on New Hope Church Road should be named the Besse Cooper Bridge.
“It never had a name before, and it is close to where her house used to be,” said her son, Sydney Cooper.
The new bridge is currently under construction and is expected to be opened back up in the fall.
However, it is not quite as easy as it seems. State Rep. Tom Kirby (R-Loganville) said he would get with fellow Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) and see what could be done.
“But I don’t think anything can be done until the legislature is back in session,” Kirby said. This was backed up by Teri Pope, spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Transportation.
“Sadly, the Legislature is the only group that can name a bridge or a road on a state route or interstate so it can’t happen until the Legislature resumes,” Pope said. The Georgia Legislature doesn't reconvene until January 2013.
Cooper, who lives in a retirement home in Monroe, will be 116 on July 26. She first arrived in Monroe in 1917 and lived in a home on New Hope Church Road in Between. She later purchased another home on Troy Smith Road in Between. Her grandson now lives on that property.