Historical society looking to expand hall of fame


Photo: Bob Hodson, the only surviving founding member of the Highland County Historical Society that originated in 1964, presents a plaque to Deborah Harsha in honor of her late husband’s recent induction in the society’s Highland County Hall of Fame.

By Jeff Gilliland – [email protected]

For the first time in a decade or so, the Highland County Historical Society recently inducted a new class into its hall of fame.

The most recently inducted members were Caspar Wever Collins, Sandy Harsha and Eliza Jane “Mother” Thompson. They were all Hillsboro area residents. But the historical society wants to let everyone know that its hall of fame is open to anyone from Highland County.

“We’d like to get nominations, and even more memberships, from all over the county, because a large percentage of our membership is from Hillsboro,” said John Kellis, a trustee with the historical society. “We need people from all over the county.”

Current members of the society’s hall of fame are listed below in alphabetical order, along with the one of four categories in which they were nominated and, for those who are deceased, their date of birth and death where available.

• Elsie J. Ayres, Arts & Entertainment, 1905-1975.

• Granville Barrere, Enterprise, 1878-1954.

• Charles S. Bell, Enterprise, 1828-1905.

• Milton A. Caniff, Arts & Entertainment, 1907-1988.

• Wilbur J. Carr, Leadership, 1870-1942.

• Jean H. Kessel Carson, Leadership, 1929-2007.

• The Rev. John G. Carson, Leadership, 1925-2007.

• Caspar Wever Collins, Leadership, 1844-1865.

• Emma Sayler Detwiler, Arts & Entertainment, 1848-1933.

• Henry Luther Dickey, Leadership, 1832-1910.

• William “Buck” Ewing, Sport, 1859-1906.

• Lillie A. Faris, Arts & Entertainment, 1864-1945.

• Joseph Benson Foraker, Leadership, 1846-1917.

• Hugh “Ching” Fullerton, Arts & Entertainment, 1873-1945.

• Charles C. Gossett, Leadership, 1888-1974.

• Barney Harewood, Enterprise, 1911-1986.

• F. R. Harris, Leadership, 1880-1965.

• Charles M. Harsha, Leadership, 1913-2000.

• Charles S. “Sandy” Harsha, Enterprise, 1946-2014.

• Roy Asa Haynes, Leadership, 1881-1941.

• Joseph F. Hiestand, Sport, 1906-2004.

• Frances Blackburn Hilliard, Arts & Entertainment, 1907-1994.

• Dorothy Hodson, Leadership

• Robert Hodson, Leadership

• Darrell R. Hottle, Leadership, 1918-1984.

• Dr. James R. Hull, Sport, 1917-1991.

• Marie Knott, Enterprise, 1922-2007.

• Thomas L. Knott, Enterprise, 1915-1988.

• Jacob Cochran Landess, Enterprise, 1838-1917.

• David N. McBride, Arts & Entertainment, 1912-1982.

• Mary Jane McBride, Arts & Entertainment, 1919-1972.

• Edward Lee McClain, Enterprise, 1861-1934.

• Dr. Marion T. Meyers, Enterprise, 1894-1984.

• George C. Miller, Arts & Entertainment.

• Violet Morgan, Arts & Entertainment, 1898-1983.

• Patterson (no first name available), Enterprise.

• Burch R. Riber, Enterprise, 1886-1960.

• Joseph G. Rockhold, Arts & Entertainment, 1905-1982.

• Sigel Roush, Arts & Entertainment, 1862-1954.

• Dick Shaffer, Sport, 1925-2005.

• Howard Smith, Arts & Entertainment.

• Willa Bare Stanforth, Leadership, 1915-2009.

• Eliza Jane “Mother” Thompson, Leadership, 1816-1905.

• Allen Trimble, Leadership, 1783-1870.

• Mary Thompson Tuttle, Arts & Entertainment, 1849-1916.

• H. Lawson Walker, Enterprise, 1904-1984.

• Jean Gall Wallis, Arts & Entertainment.

• Kirby “Red Buck” White, Sport, 1884-1943.

• Starley M. White, Enterprise, 1885-1973.

“The Highland County Hall of Fame was created by Highland County Historical Society to recognize, honor and celebrate citizens or natives of Highland County who have made invaluable contributions to Highland County and/or the world beyond,” Kellis said in a prepared statement. “By recognizing these individuals, the hall of fame will stimulate an interest in, and an appreciation for, the value of the history of this county and its citizens. In addition, the hall of fame reinforces the message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in any endeavor they undertake. Any member of Highland County Historical Society may nominate an individual for the hall of fame by following the criteria and guidelines listed below.”

Nominees for the Highland County Hall of Fame may have made their contribution to society in any of the following categories:

• Arts & Entertainment – As a performer, musician, actor, writer, or those who work in related fields.

• Enterprise – Individuals who have made significant contributions in the fields of science, medicine, business or philanthropy.

• Sports – Superior athletes, coaches, officials or administrators.

• Leadership – Those who have excelled in education, government, military, etc.

The requirements for inductees are:

• Nominees must currently be, or have been, a legal resident of Highland County.

• Nominees must have made broad and lasting contributions to the betterment of the county or brought recognition to the county through their accomplishments.

• Nominees must be of exemplary character and reputation.

• To be considered, nomination applications must be submitted in full by Aug. 1 of each year.

• All nominations will be considered by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which is comprised of members of the HCHS membership.

• All materials submitted with the nomination become the property of HCHS and none will be returned. Copies of official documents or items of personal or sentimental value will be accepted.

• Those awarded admission to the hall of fame will be announced and celebrated at the annual membership meeting in October.

• Nominations and any accompanying documents/ephemera must be submitted in a sealed envelope (assuming all items will fit in the envelope) and mailed or delivered to Highland House Museum.

Vicki Knauff, director of the Highland House Museum, said the society has looked long and hard, but can find no documentation on when the hall of fame begin, what years members were inducted, or exactly when they stopped being inducted.

“It was one of things that just kind of got dropped over the years and now we’re trying to bring it back,” Kellis said.

For more information call the museum at 937-393-3392.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.

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