by Lisa Y. Henderson
Napoleon Road is a bent elbow of a dirt lane running north west of Eureka in Wayne County. At its southern end, it debouches into Reidtown Road, so named for the free colored Reid family who lived in the area as early as the 1830s. Napoleon Road is no longer than a mile or so, and there is one house on it. Napoleon Hagans built that house.
Rural roads did not have formal names until the county implemented its 911 system perhaps 20 years ago. It is a testament to Napoleon Hagans’ stature that, nearly one hundred years after his death and three-quarters of a century after his descendants left the state, the majority landowner along what had been his road chose to memorialize him permanently.