Ghost Walk is Aug. 24 at the Hillsboro Cemetery


The life and times of Hillsboro native Hugh “Ching” Fullerton, who become one of the most noted sportswriters of his time, will be highlighted when the Highland County Historical Society and Southern Ohio Genealogical Society hold their annual Ghost Walk on Aug. 24 at the Hillsboro Cemetery.

The walk begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Mrs. William Wallace Shepherd will be portrayed by Kati Burwinkel. Shepherd was the wife of Hillsboro doctor William Wallace Shepherd, who had an office on North High Street.

Steve Roush will give a presentation on the Mother Thompson home, a Willow Street structure that was tore down earlier this summer, and will also tell the story of Mother Eliza Jane Thompson, who lived in the home the majority of her life. Thompson was known far and wide as an early Temperance Crusade leader.

Jean Wallis will present a history of the Hillsboro Cemetery and its chapel. According to Wallis, the cemetery dates back to 1859 and is located on land once owned by Allen Trimble, a former Ohio governor who was Thompson’s father.

According to Wallis, a lady by the name of Lucille Huggins and a friend went to England and photographed a chapel they liked. Wallis said the design of the cemetery chapel was based on the photos.

Wallis also explained that the cemetery was laid out by a topographical engineer who designed it in sections and named the roads in between the sections after various types of trees. She said the street names have been long lost, but wondered if it might be interesting to resurrect them.

Fullerton will be portrayed by Bob Brown.

According to Violet Morgan’s “Folklore of Highland County,” Fullerton was born in Hillsboro on Sept. 10, 1873 and attended grade school and high school in Hillsboro. He started writing for Hillsboro papers when he was 15 and attended Ohio State University from 1891 to 1893.

“Recognized as an authority on baseball and one of the great baseball writers of all time, his biggest scoop was his expose of the Black Sox Scandal in 1919,” Morgan’s book says. “He was convinced the series between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds was crooked because the results did not coincide with predictions of a system which he had devised for doping results of baseball games.”

Fullerton was a writer for the Cincinnati Tribune and Cincinnati Enquirer, a baseball writer for the Chicago Tribune from 1894 to 1917, New York Evening World from 1918 to 1919, New York Mail from 1919 to 1921, Liberty Magazine from 1923 to 1928, and a sports writer for the Columbus Dispatch. His articles, which often featured Highland County residents, also appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, and he authored five books.

While at Ohio State and shortly thereafter, Fullerton played organized baseball at Olean, N.Y., Lynchburg, Va. and Newcastle, Pa. He was the organizer of the Baseball Writers Association of America, according to Morgan.

Fullerton was 72 when he died in Dunedin, Fla. He is buried in the Hillsboro Cemetery, along with the others who will be featured during the Ghost Walk.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected].

Fullerton, Mother Thompson, cemetery to be highlighted

By Jeff Gilliland

[email protected]

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