Rep. Niemerg & Rep. Miller Pass Bill to Honor Fallen National Guard Soldier, Oakland Police Officer

Lt. Jared Southworth. Photo credit:

Memorial Highway Ceremony Set for July 6 at Oakland Town Square

State Representatives Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) and Chris Miller (R-Hindsboro) passed House Joint Resolution 39 to designate a section of Illinois Route 133 in Oakland as the “Lieutenant Jared W. Southworth Memorial Highway” to honor his service and sacrifice to his community and the United States. Lt. Southworth, a part-time police officer in Oakland, was killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2009.

“One small way for us to show our respect for the men and women of our military who pay the ultimate price with their lives, is to help remember them with a memorial highway designation,” explained Rep. Adam Niemerg. “I have been working on this for over a year and we finally accomplished passage of the legislation this session and can now have the signage produced and installed along Route 133 to honor Lt. Jared Southworth in his hometown.”

The oldest son of Robert and Kimberly (Pierson) Southworth, Jared Southworth was born in Mattoon in 1982, raised and educated in Oakland, and graduated from Oakland High School in 2000. Southworth graduated from Lakeland College with an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice, and then a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University in 2006, where he was in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. Lieutenant Southworth married Chrissy Lynn Royer at the Oakland Christian Church in 2001 and served the Oakland community as a part-time police officer.

“Jared Southworth had a tremendous impact on the community of Oakland and his life serves us with a reminder of the importance of family, living with purpose, helping others, and fighting for what is right,” added Rep. Chris Miller. “This Memorial Highway designation is a special way to honor the life of Jared and a dedication to his family, community, and the country he loved. His unwavering commitment to serve our country is an example of American pride and his sacrifices will always be remembered.”

Lt. Southworth was a part of the HHC 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment of the Illinois National Guard and a United States Army Ranger. He died February 8, 2009, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom in Kabul, Afghanistan of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device (IED). He was the recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony at the Oakland Town Square on Saturday, July 6, 2024, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

For more information, contact the district office at 217-813-6036 or online at