Representatives of the regional chapters of both the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, and a member of the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard, requested the Highland County commissioners approve plans for construction of a memorial honoring Highland County soldiers who were killed in the American Revolutionary War.
Vietnam veteran Gerold “Buzzard” Wilkin told commissioners Gary Abernathy and Terry Britton that at present, there is no Revolutionary War memorial on the grounds of the Highland County Courthouse.
Commission President Jeff Duncan was absent due to being on vacation.
“A plaque was placed on the courthouse wall in 1930 honoring those killed in that war,” Wilkin said. “It’s not our intent to move that plaque, but to take the base of the original monument that was moved for the one that is in the corner of the courthouse and install a Revolutionary War monument there on the south side — that base is still there.”
Wilkin said the verification process is continuing as to where the additional soldiers are buried throughout Highland County. But he gave commissioners an eight-page document showing the names of the 183 native sons who gave their lives for American independence, 93 of whom are inscribed on the original court house plaque placed there by the local Way-Wil-A-Way Chapter of the DAR in 1930.
Gary Duffield of Cincinnati Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution asked for commissioners support and added that due diligence would be done to verify the soldiers in question lived in and served from Highland County.
Jane Stowers, the DAR’s regional representative from Hillsboro, said that in 2016 her organization refurbished and cleaned the courthouse plaque at a cost of more than $800.
Wilkin, in asking for commissioners preliminary approval for the monument, said that federal and state grant funding could be applied for through both the DAR and SAR.
“With your permission in writing that gives us that little corner of the courthouse lawn,” he said, “we can push forward and honor those that fought in that first American war.”
He noted that he’d also like to see some sort of memorial in the years to come remembering those killed in the War of 1812 and the Spanish-American War, in addition to those still listed as prisoners of war/missing in action.
Both Abernathy and Britton expressed their enthusiam for the groups’ plans and approved a motion of support for the proposed war memorial.
In other news from the meeting, Britton shared the costs for day care and education for a child placed in an out-of-state home through Job and Family Services, discussed repairs that were needed for a door lock replacement in the cell area, and the replacement of a pair of concealed door closers at the Highland County Justice Center.
Also, due to a change of companies able to do maintenance work on the generators at the Justice Center, Britton said that Quad County Service in Sardinia would be contracted to perform those services for $783 annually.
In other matters, commissioners approved six line item budget transfer resolutions, in addition to a contract with Keen Pump Company for procurement of grinder pump cores, controls and peripheral equipment for upgrades to the sewage system at Rocky Fork Lake.
They also approved the re-appointment of personnel to the Highland County Emergency Planning Committee for the term Aug. 14, 2019 through Aug. 10, 2021.
Commissioners wanted to remind the public of the auction of surplus county equipment that is scheduled for Saturday, July 27 at the Highland County Fairgrounds.
They also sent their condolences to the family of former Highland County commissioner Harriet Fenner Stivers, Highland County’s first female commissioner, who passed away Tuesday.
Britton eulogized her by saying that with her leadership, the Highland County Administration Building, where the commissioners now hold their weekly meetings, was built in 1976.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.