J. E. L. Wade (Hi Buddy) at Greenfield Lake, the area which he helped promote into a public park.
James Edward Lee Wade(1889-1980) was a legendary Wilmington politician, serving as Mayor twice, on the City Council 36 years, on the State legislature 3 terms, and as the City Commissioner in charge of Public Works. He was involved in a number of projects during his public life, such as the expansion of the city parks and recreation system including the development of Greenfield lake and the municipal golf course, bills promoting free school books in the county, and the selection of the huge live oak at Hilton Park that became the World's Largest Living Christmas Tree. For many years he was Santa Claus at Hilton Park. While a member of the General Assembly he was instrumental in helping create the N. C. State Ports Authority. His nickname was "Hi Buddy", due to the fact that was his greeting to everyone he met. He is buried in Oakdale Cemetery.