In the middle part of the decade that began in 1960, Ward Cruea, a commercial artist from Dayton, Ohio, was visiting his wife’s uncle James Bigby Davis, the Clerk for the Town of Amherst. Cruea became responsible for creating an appropriate design for a seal for the Town of Amherst.
Cruea’s original idea for a theme was the “sleeping giant” (the Blue Ridge Mountain ridgeline west of Amherst), but this was rejected since it represented an area outside the corporate limits of the Town.
According to legend, while a group was in the Clerk’s office in the Town Hall engaged in conversation on the topics of the day, and looking eastward along E. Court Street, it was suggested that the Amherst courthouse be used as a model for the official seal for the Town. During that era, a large letter “A” was attached to a radio antenna tower beside the telephone company building that was adjacent to the courthouse. This internally illuminated “A” was used as a visual navigation beacon by aircraft pilots.
Approximately six months later Cruea returned to the Town and delivered a framed original of a proposed Town seal. His proposal incorporated the courthouse, the “A” and the Town’s date of incorporation. Cruea’s proposal was adopted soon thereafter and is now considered the official seal of the Town of Amherst.
The original and official seal is kept by the Town Clerk on the wall of the Council Chambers in the Town Hall. It is also included in the Town Code as Section 1-9. In later years a black and white rendition was developed.