Bob Brown as  Dr. Jasper Hand.
Bob Brown as Dr. Jasper Hand.
Courtesy of John Glaze
Highland County Historical Society


The year has come to that time when we meet a cadre of ghosts who come to greet us at Hillsboro Cemetery and tell us about their lives and what significant contributions they made to our country or at least our county.

Our first visitor will be Dr. Jasper Hand, who was born in Lancaster, Pa. on Feb. 2, 1784 to Edward and Catharine Ewing Hand. He married Phoebe Ogden Smith and had seven children. He died Feb. 19, 1828.

Dr. Hand will be portrayed by Bob Brown.

The next ghost, portrayed by his great-great-great grandson, Justin Harsha, will be Paul Harsha. Paul was born Oct. 30, 1829 to Thomas Harsha, who was born in Ireland, and Rosanna Young. The Harsha Monument Company in Hillsboro was founded by Paul Harsha.

The first African-American resident of Highland County was Thomas Trimble and his son, Moses Trimble, was a soldier in the Civil War, serving in the Union Army. Moses was born on June 5, 1836, one of seven children. When he was 21, he married Lucy Elliott and together they had 12 children. Their descendants have spread far and wide, evidenced by the annual family reunion which is attended by well over 100 folks.

Tim Hennison will be portraying Moses Trimble and will tell you all about his service to our country. His monument was recently obtained by cooperation of the Highland County Historical Society, Turner Funeral Home, the local Veterans Service Commission and the U.S. government.

Dr. Jeff Beery will be portraying Kirby "Red Buck" White, who was a professional baseball player for the Boston Doves and later, the Pittsburgh Pirates. White was born Jan. 3, 1884 as Oliver Kirby White. He had six siblings and his brother, John, was also a ball player. He quit school at the age of 16 and began working in a machine factory, as well as working on his pitching.

Beery will tell White's story of his rise through the ranks of pro ball during his career.

The ghost walk will be 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22. Attendees should meet in the Hillsboro Cemetery at the chapel, from which a mythical character, an early 20th century gravedigger named Digger (portrayed by John T. Willis) will be leading the group from grave to grave to meet our ghosts.

Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. Digger will lead you on paved paths whenever possible, but there will be some walking on grass, which may have uneven areas. There is no charge for this event, and it is open to HCHS members as well as the general public.