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Walk of Fame honors 2019 inductees May 5

The Henderson County Walk of Fame Committee will host a public celebration of the 2019 Walk of Fame inductees at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the Azalea parking lot on King Street at Fifth Avenue.

 

A Dinner Celebration is scheduled later that day at Carolina Village. A shuttle service begins at 5 p.m. from Epic Theater. A social is at Fireside Lounge in Carolina Village is at 5:30 followed by the dinner and program at 6. Tickets are $25 each and available at the Henderson County Visitors Center. The inductees:
• Daniel Gibson was a local banker in Hendersonville for decades. During this time he was active with The Flat Rock Playhouse, the Lions Club, the American Legion, the Blue Ridge College Foundation, the Daniel Boone Council of Boy Scouts, the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and served as President of the Apple Festival and Chamber of Commerce. His lasting contribution to Henderson County was the instrumental role he played in the founding Carolina Village which today houses over 250 residents.
• Hugh Randall was an educator who served as Superintendent of the Henderson County Public Schools. He served in the Navy during World War II and was a local farmer. His lasting contribution to Henderson County were the facilities he constructed including Bruce Drysdale Elementary School, Hendersonville Middle School, and both the Gymnasium and vocational buildings at Hendersonville High School, all are which in still operation today. In addition, he instituted full time librarians in each school, high school assistant principals and migrant camp summer schools for children and adults.
• W.A. Smith began his law practice in Hendersonville in 1876. He constructed Fifth Avenue at his own expense, opened the Laurel Park Railroad Company (known as the Dummy Line) which carried residents of Hendersonville, down Fifth Avenue to a lake and dance pavilion he had developed in Laurel Park and was instrumental in the building of the Toxaway Railway. His lasting contribution was his work in the development of Laurel Park.
• Erle Stillwell, an architect and visionary in Hendersonville, was a leader in the consolidation of schools in Henderson County. His many architectural designs include the Colonial Revival home on the corner of west 5th Avenue and Hendersonville High School. His lasting contribution are the many churches, homes and banks which still stand in Hendersonville as well as statewide military hospitals, college buildings manufacturing plants and more than 70 movie theaters across the South.
• George Wilkins, was an educator and author, fought in World War II and the Korean War. While he oversaw the integration of schools during the Civil Rights movement and fought for laws to benefit handicapped students, a lasting contribution was his fight to provide public kindergarten for all children which continues today in all 23 elementary schools in Henderson County.
• Harley Blackwell was a leader in agriculture in Henderson County for decades. During his time as superintendent of the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Fletcher, Mr. Blackwell brought in industries such as Van Wingerden International, Bolton Greenhouses and Carolina Roses. His lasting contribution was bringing N.C. State University resources and services to Henderson County to assist with modern agricultural practices which continues to help farmers and consumers of farm products in western North Carolina.
• Col. Sidney Vance Pickens fought as a member of the Confederate Army and later became an attorney in Hendersonville. He founded the Hendersonville Street Car Company and the French Broad Steamboat Company. The steamboat, the Mountain Lily, was designed to link Hendersonville, Asheville and Brevard and could accommodate 100 passengers. These and other transportation projects were in advance of his times. His lasting contribution was the organization of the first Bar Association in North Carolina in 1883 from which the present association arose.