The dedication of a bench to commemorate the daily walks several Black women and their children made in the 1950s to force desegregation of the Hillsboro City Schools will held Saturday, Oct. 10.
Hillsboro Against Racism & Discrimination (HARD) will present the Lincoln School Marchers Memorial Bench unveiling on the Highland County Courthouse lawn in Hillsboro from 2-3 p.m. The event will feature a meet-and-greet with several of the students who marched alongside their mothers from 1954-56, a news release from HARD member Shawn Captain said.
“All are welcome! Please join us as we as we dedicate a memorial bench to the Lincoln School Marching Mothers on the Highland County Courthouse lawn,” The news release said. “The Marching Mothers were inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame in Columbus in 2017. They marched for integration of the Hillsboro City Schools and won their case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1956.
“Also sponsored by New Hope Baptist Church and the city of Hillsboro, this event and memorial bench is made possible thanks to Shawn Captain, who presented commissioners Gary Abernathy and Terry Britton with the idea in June. It is also made possible by Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha, who donated the funds needed for the memorial bench concept after hearing of Shawn’s fundraising efforts. Engraved on the bench are pictures of the Lincoln School Marching Mothers and Marching Children, as well as the names of the participants.
In June, Abernathy said the Marching Mothers bench would be placed near where the large Civil War memorial is located on the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn. “A new retaining wall similar to one around the fountain will be set on that corner to match and be a bookend, and the Marching Mothers monument bench will be sat there facing High Street,” he said at the time.
“Our thanks to the Bagshaw family for taking care of the other side of courthouse square to make it symmetrical and make everything look good,” commissioner Jeff Duncan said in June. “Mayor Justin Harsha and Harsha Monuments is donating the monument bench, putting in the footer and the whole deal.”