Editor’s Note: The following is the sixth in a series of stories highlighting homes and other structures that will be featured during the Highland County Historical Society’s annual Tour of Homes and Historic Buildings on Sunday, June 11 from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. This story features the Raisch home located at 631 N. High St., Hillsboro.
The two-story frame home at 631 N. High St. was built circa 1883-1884 by attorney Henry C. and Mary Dawson. The architects were J.F. and C.B. Cook of Chillicothe. The house remained in the Dawson family until Mary’s death in 1925.
In 1926, it was acquired by Walter B. Hilliard; in 1946, it was purchased by the Ralph W. Pence family; in 1998, it was purchased by Terry and Susan Seipelt; and in 2010, the current owners, Sid and Theresa Raisch, purchased the property.
While under the ownership of the Seipelts, the house was renovated including a two-story addition adding a kitchen and master suite.
Henry C. Dawson was born in Uniontown, Pa. on Feb. 1, 1834, the son of John Dawson and grandson of Nicholas Dawson, a Revolutionary War soldier. He graduated from Madison College in 1854 and was admitted to the bar in 1857. That same year, he was named prosecuting attorney of his county, a position that he held for two years. At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted as a private in the 8th Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves. He was wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Through his bravery and gallantry in action, Henry rose to the rank of captain. After the war, he and his wife, Mary A. McCloskey Dawson, whom he married in 1867, moved to Highland County and settled on a farm in Salem Township, where they lived until moving to North High Street in Hillsboro.
Eight children were born into this union. Captain Dawson was always prominent and influential in public affairs. He was active in Republican politics and in 1875 he was elected to the state legislature from Highland County, serving two terms. In 1886, Henry Dawson was elected sheriff of Highland County, serving one term. In 1889, he was elected mayor of Hillsboro, serving two terms. He then went back to being an attorney until his death in 1911.
The Raisch’s have a wonderful collection of memorabilia from the early history of their home on display as you enter including some of the original architectural drawings and deeds signed by Henry Dawson. The Highland County Historical Society is loaning its portrait of Henry C. and Mary Dawson to the Raisch family to display with their materials for the day of the tour.
The Highland County Historical Society is happy to be collaborating with the Brush & Palette Guild in an effort to raise awareness of its talent and to help it promote its 60th show and sale at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro on Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25. The historical society is featuring artwork of the homes or buildings on the tour at each of the sites. By attending the tour, you will have an opportunity to see some work created by these talented artists and talk with them about their organization and upcoming event. Mary Wilkin will be the featured artist at the Raisch home.
Submitted by Avery Applegate, Highland County Historical Society.