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Second class of Walk of Fame honorees announced

The Henderson County Walk of Fame Committee announced 10 honorees on Monday for the second class of the figures who contributed in a significant and positive way to the county.

The committee received about 30 nominations, from which it selected 10 recipients of the honor. (A maximum of 10 was a change in the rules after the committee named 17 recipients in the inaugural class.)

“If you look at the list, this year we’ve got some real heavy hitters,” said Tom Orr, a retired theater teacher and county native who is the founding chairman of the Walk of Fame. “There’s just a lot of very prominent people that were selected this year. The ones that have been notified have all responded very favorably. They’re very excited about the whole thing.”

Here are the 2018 honorees, with sketches provided by the Walk of Fame Committee:

  • Louise Bailey: Mrs. Bailey was a local historian and author. She wrote the column “Along the Ridges” for the Hendersonville Times-News for 42 years. Her lasting contribution to Henderson County was leaving a recorded history of our community for generations to come.
  • Georgia Bonesteel: Mrs. Bonesteel is an artist and author on quilting. She is a member of the
    International Community of Quilters and host of her own television program “Lap Quilting” on North Carolina Public Television and PBS. Her lasting contribution to Henderson County was giving recognition and promoting the mountain arts and crafts.
  • A. S. "Bert" Browning, Jr.: Mr. Browning began and ran a dairy farm known as Kalmia Dairy. He went on to become a successful builder and contractor in our community. His lasting contribution to Henderson County was his work to establish the Hendersonville Housing Authority which continues to assist those in need of housing.
  • Dr. Kenneth Cosgrove and Eleanor Cosgrove: Dr. Cosgrove practiced internal medicine with a specialty in heart disease for over 50 years. His lasting contribution, in addition to his medical career, included founding the first Pardee Intensive Care Facility, Four Seasons Hospice, Blue Ridge Community Health Center and Carolina Village Retirement Home.
    Mrs. Cosgrove served as Director Emeritus of The Blue Ridge Community College Education Foundation. Her lasting contributions to Henderson County included raising support funds and in leading the change from the Henderson County Technical Institute to The Blue Ridge Community College. She was also instrumental in the formation of the Henderson County League of Women Voters.
  • Albert Edwards: Mr. Edwards was Hendersonville's longest serving mayor from 1932-1969. During this time he led our community through the Depression and World War II. His lasting contribution to Henderson County was his active support for the building of Pardee Hospital, the construction of Interstate 26, lighting for the city, and the creation of an airport.
  • Grace Etheredge: Mrs. Etheredge was a local artist who taught classes and encouraged art in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her lasting contribution to Henderson County was the founding of The Art League of Henderson County and helping to found the Opportunity House.
  • Frank Ewbank: Mr. Ewbank enlisted in the army in 1942 and after his military service ran a successful insurance business for many years. His lasting contribution was as a member of the Henderson County Board of Education. He also served as a founding trustee of Blue Ridge Community College which continues to educate students of Henderson County today.
  • Robroy Farquhar: Mr. Farquhar was a local actor, director, and member of the Professional
    Actors Union in New York. His lasting contribution to Henderson County was the founding of The Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theatre of North Carolina, which continues to train actors and entertain people today.
  • Josiah Johnson: Mr. Johnson dedicated his life to agriculture and truck farming. His lasting contribution to Henderson County was paving the way for future farmers to grow, sustain and market crops in our community and across the country.
  • Robert Morgan: Mr. Morgan is a local author who has written books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction which have brought national attention to our community. His lasting contribution to Henderson County is through his writings depicting the southern Appalachians, the Green River area and the Blue Ridge mountains. His literary works will influence generations to come.

Orr announced the honorees to the Board of Commissioners and the Hendersonville City Council this week.

“I want this to be representative of people from the beginning of our county to the present,” Orr said.

On May 6 Carolina Village will again host a dinner honoring the recipients and the families of recipients.
Orr first presented the idea for a Walk of Fame to recognize outstanding contributors to the growth and development of Henderson County in March of 2013. After the City Council and Board of Commissioners endorsed the idea and appointed steering committee members, the committee organized in December 2015. It announced the first class of honorees in December 2016.

Orr rotates off the committee in June. Members elected Kaye Youngblood, a retired Hendersonville High School teacher, as chair-elect. Orr has two main goals in mind as he prepares to hand off the Walk of Fame leadership.
“We need to get a financing mechanism in place that will ensure that this will continue,” he said. “The two boards gave some seed money of $1,500 each” and the committee raised money. “In the end of the year report, we had over $5,000 in the treasury. That showed we were solvent. We not only paid all our bills we exceeded that and since then we’ve gotten a donation from the Civitan Club and that makes it up to $6,000.”
His second priority is education.
“I think we need to let the residents and the visitors and the schoolchildren aware as to the importance of these people and what they have done in our county.” he said. “That’s what I want to get started. I want to take something to the school system that will help the schoolchildren know who C.M. Pace was and the importance of Georgia Bonesteel.”
He hopes the Walk of Fame continues and that the community will continue to embrace the idea of honoring the leaders who shaped Henderson County.

“Let’s just hope it has wings to fly,” he said. “I think it does.”