Justice Cornelia Clark's family at Franklin BOMA session

The City of Franklin this week honored Tennessee State Supreme Court Justice Cornelia Clark by naming 4th Avenue after her.

The Board of Mayor Ken Moore and Aldermen fielded a resolution Tuesday night to recognize the late Justice Clark by commissioning honorary street signage for the length of 4th Avenue. Clark’s family attended the Town Hall public hearing and stood during the reading of the resolution.

“I just think that it’s a wonderful way to honor Connie and all that she’s done in so many capacities for our community and how wonderful it can be on 4th Avenue where she spent her life living and unfortunately passing way,” said Vice Mayor Brandy Blanton. “And she’s honored there in her final resting place. Thank y’all to your family and all that you do for our community and what she meant to all of us.”

Clark passed away overnight on Sept. 24, 2021 at age 71 following a battle with cancer that was not long known to the public. Julian Bibb — a local attorney specializing in intellectual property law at Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis, LLP. — first recommended to the city that Justice Clark be honored for her extensive contributions to the community of Franklin in particular.

Bibb based his recommendation on several points, not least of all that Clark lived out the entirety of her adult life on 4th Ave. N., hence its honorary naming. She also served on several boards and steering committees for various nonprofit and civic organizations that served the City of Franklin and Williamson County, including the Franklin First United Methodist Church, the Franklin Tomorrow, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and the original Williamson County Chamber of Commerce.

Clark also earned the inaugural Liberty Bell Award from the Williamson County Bar Association and the Patron’s Award presented by The Heritage Foundation.

Clark was born at the historic Dan German Hospital in downtown Franklin back on Sept. 15, 1950. He cited her B.A. degree having been earned from Vanderbilt University in 1971, her M.A.T. from Harvard in 1973, and her J.D. from Vanderbilt to which returned for law school, graduating in 1979.

Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen first appointed Clark to the bench in 2005, and she was re-elected in the 2006 and 2014 retention elections, though the latter year saw Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey endeavor to unseat three Democrat-appointed justices, including Clark.