LAGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – A historic night for the City of LaGrange as the first African American Mayor was sworn in. Dr. Mayor Willie T. Edmondson chose the historic town square to host the historic swearing-in.

Lafayette Square was filled with residents, law enforcement, family, friends, and Dr. Edmonds four kids and 10 grandkids.

“It took 196 years. It was a long time coming, but we’re here. 196 years to be the first African American Mayor … I say this to you also, I will not just be a black Mayor, I will be the Mayor for this great City of LaGrange, Georgia.”

Dr. Mayor Willie T. Edmondson

The swearing-in is an inspiration and a beacon of hope, to generations young and old.

“He he just made the whole city proud. So I think it was so good,” said 7 year old LaGrange resident Kollin.

For residents like Zadie Ways, who has lived in LaGrange for over 50 years, Ways says she never thought she would see the historic moment in her lifetime.

“I wanted to come out today to see history being made. We have waited for this for a very long time. I never knew this day would happen during my lifetime, but I am just delighted to be here, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything in the world.”

Zadie Ways – LaGrange resident 50+ years

During his time as Mayor Dr. Edmondson says he plans to work towards safer streets – by working on relationships between law enforcement and residents. He also noted he plans to bring more business to town to offer better jobs and housing. Dr. Edmondson wants to create change in LaGrange, which he says is a community effort.

“What ever differences that we have with one another. Put them aside and let us make this a great city. Need all of your support. I’m going to need all of you to rally around me.”

Dr. Mayor Willie T. Edmondson