Interchange, span in Fayette County to bear local names
A bridge in Connellsville will be named after a police officer killed 131 years ago in the line of duty, and a highway interchange in South Union will bear the name of a longtime Fayette County Democratic party leader, according to a state senator.
The state House unanimously passed the bill, which now goes on to the governor for enactment, according to state Sen. Richard A. Kasunic of Dunbar Township.
The legislation renames a number of highways and bridges throughout the state, including two in Fayette County. It calls for the Crawford Avenue Bridge over the Youghiogheny River in Connellsville to be named the Officer Robb McCray Memorial Bridge and an interchange between routes 3009 (Walnut Hill Road) and 119 in South Union the Fred L. Lebder Interchange.
McCray was killed on May 25, 1882, while trying to help a fellow officer, Noble McCormick. When McCormick went to investigate a report of disorderly men at a circus that was in town that day, one of the men engaged him in a verbal altercation.
The man, Jefferson Low, reportedly grabbed McCormick by the neck and threw him to the ground. When McCray tried to pull Low off McCormick, Low's brother, Bayard, drew a revolver and shot McCray twice in the chest.
Bayard was convicted of second-degree murder, avoiding execution. McCray, a Civil War veteran had only one surviving immediate family member — his mother.
In May, McCray's name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington. The memorial is engraved with the names of more than 20,000 officers who were killed in the line of duty in since 1791.
Lebder, 93, has served as the county's Democratic committee chairman for 46 years, according to records maintained by the state Democratic Party.
He announced this year plans to step down, citing the recent death of his wife, Norma, as one of his reasons.
Lebder's affiliation with Fayette's Democratic Party includes 34 years as a county commissioner, with 28 as board chairman, according to a prepared statement issued by Kasunic.
Lebder could not be reached for comment.
In the prepared statement, Kasunic said Lebder “contributed so much to Fayette County over the years,” with the naming of the interchange that links Walnut Hill to Route 119 to “provide a lasting tribute to Fred and his good name.”
In the statement, Kasunic said Lebder, born in 1920, was the ninth of 10 children. He attended Georges Township High School and later graduated from California State Teachers College.
Lebder served for more than three years during World War II. He married his wife, Norma Jean (Cole) in 1943, according to Kasunic's statement.
Kasunic described Lebder as one of the county's most influential and dedicated leaders.
“Fred was active in so many facets of public affairs,” Kasunic said in the statement. “He helped out so many people over the years — and played a leading role in nearly every new county development.”
Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fayette man gets house arrest in prescription painkiller scheme
- Additional charges filed in Connellsville vandalism case
- Woman accused of stabbing man at Fayette housing complex
- Musical ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ to be performed in Connellsville
- Fair weather expected for opening of Fayette County Fair
- 3 taken into custody after shots fired at East Park in Connellsville
- Fayette County doctor expects to go to prison in prescription scheme
- Connellsville’s Porter Theater to present ‘Seven Brides’
- Man charged with threats against Fayette firefighters
- Connellsville police search for armed robber
- Fayette warden wants to add 8 full-timers