Delaware City Council voted Monday to approve the city’s latest honorary street designation, which will honor Dr. Arthur Flemming for his distinguished service to the country prior to his death in 1996.
With council’s approval, part of Cheshire Road between the intersection of Braumiller Road and the Glenn Parkway roundabout will be given the designation of Dr. Arthur Flemming Way. Once Cheshire Road is extended to U.S. Route 23, the new section will also be included in the designation.
The request to honor Flemming was made by Robert Horrocks, who formerly served as the director of SourcePoint and was on hand during Monday’s meeting to highlight Flemming’s many accomplishments.
“If you’ve had a chance to read about the life of Dr. Flemming, I think you’ll agree that he was a pretty amazing fellow who has made decades of contributions that all of us benefit from today,” Horrocks told council.
Flemming was born in Kingston, New York, and came to Delaware to attend Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) following high school. He graduated from OWU in 1927 and began his career with the federal government in 1939 with the United States Civil Service Commission under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
From 1958-61, Flemming served as the United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and later chaired the Commission on Civil Rights, which was established by the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He also chaired the White House Conference on Aging in 1971 and was appointed the commissioner of aging by President Richard Nixon.
In total, Flemming served in various capacities under seven different United States presidents during his career in government.
Flemming’s local ties extended beyond simply graduating from OWU. In 1948, he became the first-ever graduate of the university to serve as president at OWU and went on to serve a total of eight years as the head of the school across two stints. From 1961-68, he served as the president of the University of Oregon.
Perhaps most notably, Flemming was a rare two-time recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a United States civilian can receive. He received his first medal from Eisenhower in 1957 and was again awarded the medal by President Bill Clinton in 1994.
“I want to thank Mr. Horrocks for contacting me and telling me about this amazing individual,” Councilman Cory Hoffman said during the meeting. “The guy truly is incredible. … He’s the exact type of person who we would want to represent the city of Delaware.”
Individuals previously honored with street designations in Delaware include Branch Rickey, Rutherford B. Hayes, Elmer W.B. Curry and Sarah Moore.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.