Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 3, 2012

House concurrent resolution honors Hunnicutts

PRINCETON — After more than three decades of service to Mercer County, State Delegate John R. Frazier recently completed his last task related to the dedication of a highway in Princeton in recognition of the contributions to the community of the H.P. and Anne S. Hunnicutt family.

During the 2012 legislative session, Frazier, D-Mercer, along with Delegates Joe Ellington and Marty Gearheart, both R-Mercer, submitted House Concurrent Resolution No. 94, naming sections of Rogers Street, starting from the Athens Crossroads intersection, continuing on Brick Street and Stafford Drive to its intersection with Courthouse Road in Princeton the “Hunnicutt Family Highway.”

Frazier said that Hunnicutt family members did not want to have a ceremony unveiling the highway markers, but he felt it was important to recognize their contribution to the community. “They did a great deal to help the region through the jobs they provided at their Pepsi-Cola franchise in Princeton and through their charitable giving,” Frazier said.

The Hunnicutts moved to Princeton in the 1930s, according to the concurrent resolution. “The Hunnicutt’s Pepsi-Cola operation persevered through the Depression, World War II, a coal shortage in the late 1940s, and a major plant fire in 1964,” according to the resolution. “In the 1970s, the Hunnicutts added additional Pepsi-Cola bottling franchises in Huntington and Parkersburg and added other regional warehouses around the state.”

RKO Bottlers, a subsidiary of RKO Pictures of Hollywood, Calif., eventually acquired the Hunnicutt franchises, and the Hunnicutt family devoted their efforts to civic projects. In 1987, H.P. Hunnicutt established the H.P. and Anne S. Hunnicutt Foundation. The following year, 1888, the Hunnicutt Foundation provided funds to build the Anne S. Hunnicutt Stadium that serves as home to the Princeton Senior High School football Tigers.

Since that time, the foundation has provided funding to aid other civic projects including the H.P. Hunnicutt Field, home of the Princeton Rays, the Ann “Dink” Stafford Princeton Public Library, as well as financial help for the Chuck Mathena Center, the Princeton High School Soccer Complex, the Mercer County Civil Air Patrol’s new headquarters and the Fellowship Hall of Princeton’s First United Methodist Church.

Frazier, who chose not to seek re-election this year, was elected to the House in 1980, appointed to serve as judge in Mercer County Circuit Court in 1981. He served until 2006, and was elected to the House in 2008 and 2010.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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