An animated speaker and an enthusiastic audience made for a very special program when the Hillsboro Woman’s Club held its June meeting.
Speaker Charlotte Pack kept the 21 members of the club on the edge of their seats with her stories regarding the now-famous Lincoln School in Hillsboro. The Lincoln Elementary School, for black students only, was in operation from 1869 to sometime in the 1950s. The school was built in 1869, and on July 5, 1954, a white Highland County engineer, Phillip Partridge, made history by setting fire to the school in the hope that this would end the segregation of Hillsboro schools. However, the school was repaired and returned to use.
Partridge turned himself in and was charged with only breaking and entering, and served seven or eight months in prison. However, the fire sparked the local African-American mothers to try to get integration of the Hillsboro schools. These mothers and their children marched every day, in rain, sleet or snow, to request admittance. Finally, in April of 1956, following admissions testing (which all of them passed), they were admitted, but all were held back for two years.
Thanks to special grant funding, several events are scheduled for the month of June, including the performance of a Chillicothe male choir as well as a display and documentary to be shown at the Highland House Historical Museum on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during the month of June. In the year 2018, Pack and her husband, Rodney, plan to open an Edison Music Makers Museum, which will be open to the public on their property at 11885 U.S. Route 50 east of Hillsboro.
Due to Pack’s writing, historical work and peace-building efforts, she is one of the youngest members to be inducted into the Highland County Women’s Hall of Fame and was awarded the Appalachian Unsung Hero Award: Wayne White Peace Ambassador from Sinclair Community College. Her published books include “Time Travels: 200 Years of Highland County History” and several children’s books including “Finding the Friendship Dolls,” “No Ordinary Bird” and “The Meadowlark,” and she is the historian for the documentary “The Lincoln School Story.”
Pauline Cameron, acting president of the Hillsboro Woman’s Club, announced that the next meeting will be on Sept. 12, with members to be called for reservations. In addition, there was a reminder that the annual guest meeting will be held, as customary, in October.
Submitted by Gretchen Huffman.