Local News

Former Henderson mayor dies

Former Henderson mayor dies

Bill Stephens

October 13th, 2016



HENDERSON, KY, October 12, 2016 – Former City of Henderson Mayor Dr. William L. Newman, 88, died Wednesday morning, Oct. 12.

Newman, a dentist by profession, began serving his first of two terms on the Henderson Board of Commissioners in 1966 and proceeded to serve six consecutive terms as Mayor of the City of Henderson.

During his time in office, Newman served in leadership roles on the Green River Area Development District Board of Directors (chairman in 1981-82 and on which he was still serving as an emeritus member at the time of his death) and served as board member and president of the Kentucky League of Cities (1990).

He left his mark on the industrial development of Henderson, playing a key role in bringing Anaconda (now Century Aluminum), Eaton Axle (now Dana Holding Corp.) and Firestone (now Accuride) and others to the community.

On the 1981 nomination form that lead to his selection as the Distinguished Citizen of the Year for the Henderson-Audubon Area Chamber of Commerce (now Kyndle), it was noted that: “Regardless of where one looks, the wheels of progress all point to the leadership of Bill Newman.”

That leadership also included investments in renovating the downtown streetscape, a new Municipal Center building, new and improved parks and recreational facilities, the Second Street by-pass and many other projects that were completed during his tenure.

Among his many board appointments were Henderson Municipal Housing Authority Board and the Methodist Hospital Board. He also was a Paul Harris Fellow of the Henderson Rotary Club.

Two notable marks of his civic legacy: The William L. Newman Recreational Complex on Sand Lane operated by the City of Henderson and the Henderson William L. Newman Station Two generation plant.

“Bill Newman was an advisor and counselor to me on many occasions as a young city manager,” said Henderson City Manager Russell Sights. “He loved Henderson and always thought we needed to do what was best for the citizens, even if it was not popular at the time.”

Newman was a 1950 graduate of Western Kentucky University, a U.S. Army veteran and a 1957 graduate of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. He started his dental practice in Henderson in 1957.

His three children (Leslie, Virginia Sue and Assistant City Manager William L. “Buzzy” Newman) all reside in Henderson.

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