The Highland County Historical Society has announced its 2022 inductees into the Highland County Hall of Fame — Betty Lavonne Bishop, John Glaze, Donnie Eugene Lytle aka “Johnny Paycheck”, Beverly D. Rhoads and McKinley Hobart “Mack” Sauer.
Bishop, chosen in the leadership, category, is a lifetime resident of Highland County and graduate of Hillsboro High School. She was the first woman to be mayor of Hillsboro from 1980 to 1995, the first woman be to city manager of Greenfield from 2009 to 2012; was community development director in Greenfield, from 1997 to 2000; coordinator/executive director of the Turning Point Applied Learning Center from 2001 to 2004; and organized and led an economic development trip to Japan and Hong Kong that brought Weastecto Hillsboro.
In addition, Bishop coached boys Little League baseball for 15 years, organized and implemented girls Little League softball in Hillsboro and arranged and coordinated for ball fields to be built for the girls teams. She successfully organized four campaigns and was elected to four terms as mayor, was past president of the Ohio Mayor’s Association and served on the board of directors of the Ohio Municipal League. She served on many boards and commissions in and around Highland County. She retired as a school bus driver for Hillsboro City Schools. She has been married to Leslie Bishop for 55 years, is the mother of seven and is a member of the Hillsboro Church of the Nazarene.
Glaze, chosen in the arts and entertainment category, graduated from Hillsboro High School and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in music therapy at Ohio University followed by an internship for registered music therapist at the Cleveland Music School. Returning to Hillsboro, he became an adjunct professor of music at Southern State Community College and served as director of the SSCC Singers. He established the Music at St. Mary’s concert series, was an organist at the Hillsboro Church of Christ, and serves as organist, musical director and historian at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.
Glaze is the newsletter editor, webmaster, former board member and a volunteer for the Highland County Historical Society, and is the newsletter editor of “The Red Door” for St. Mary’s and the Wilmington area Emmaus.
Paycheck (1938-2003), also selected in the arts and entertainment category, was born in Greenfield. He began playing the guitar at the age of 6. In 1960, he went to Nashville where performed and wrote songs. “Apartment No. 9”, written by Paycheck, was the Academy of Country Music Song of the year (1966); “Touch My Heart” hit No. 33 and crossed over into the pop charts and was nominated for a Grammy (1966); and “Mr. Lovemaker” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Country Chart (1973). In 1977, he received the Career Achievement Award from the Academy of Country Music. “Take this Job and Shove It” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart (1978), while the album of the same name certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association in 1995.
In 1997, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Paycheck’s life had many highs and lows. He battled alcohol and drug addiction much of his life. However, following a prison sentence in 1985, he became a born-again Christian and a spokesman against alcohol and drugs. “If it weren’t for the fans I would have been gone a long time ago. They’ve always stuck with me. I sing about the little guy who has been kicked around by the big guy. I sing from my heart and they know that,” he once said.
Rhoads, chosen in the leadership category, was born and raised in Highland County. She graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1957 and has so far devoted 62 years to the school district. In 1961, she was hired as secretary to the superintendent, then she went on to become the district treasurer, serving 43 years in that position. Following retirement she ran for and was elected to the Hillsboro City School Board of Education, a position she has held for the past 17 years. She has been awarded the OSBA Award of Achievement 13 times, the OSBA Master Board Member Award, and the OASBO School Fiscal Officer Award.
In the words of her nominator, “Many young people have looked up to Beverly as a role model of what you can do with a willingness to learn and hard work.” In the words of Hillsboro City School Superintendent Tim Davis, “Beverly has committed her entire life to serving this school district and the community. She is a great advocate for our students and the families in this town. It would be hard to find someone that attended more Hillsboro events in the last 62 years. Beverly supports all activities and all students.”
Sauer (1896-1960), selected in the arts and entertainment category, was known as the Will Rogers of Highland County. He was a publisher, writer, public speaker and candidate for public office, who hosted a radio show from a studio in his home. Born in Lawrence County, Mack graduated from Wheelersburg High School in Scioto County. He attended Ohio State University and Ohio University. In the 1930s, Sauer came to Leesburg and is considered the village’s “most famous person” by many. Later, he lived in Hillsboro and was part owner of WSRW radio along with Tom Archibald. He was also owner, publisher and editor of the Leesburg Citizen and Lynchburg News. An overseas World War I Navy veteran, Sauer was twice honored by the Secretary of the Navy.
The mere mention of the name of Mack Sauer is bound to bring a smile or laugh from longtime county residents. They remember his radio show, “Breakfast at Sauer’s”, his entertaining speeches, his editorials and his books. His books contained his homespun humor, his patriotism, his sense of community values and his staunch Republican views. His son, Mack Sauer Jr., remembers how his father often signed off on his letters with, “We all, yes the whole world, would be better off if we could live by it daily. Love each other. And be happy.”
The five recipients will be honored at an induction ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Hillsboro, followed by a reception at Highland House. The public is invited.
Information for this story was provided by Nancy Wisecup, chair of the HCHS Hall of Fame Committee.