2018 Recipients

MCHS 2018 Recognition Program Selectees

Nominating Committee

Sharon Graves (Ch), Jackie Couture, Rusty Rechenback


Specific Historical Contributions


June 21, 2018


Sharyn Mitchell is a native of Madison County and was raised to be very inquisitive and interested in her environment, especially the historical element.  She received her degree in Public Affairs from Kentucky State University in 1980 as the 4th generation of her family to complete a college education.  She has received the Carter G. Woodson Diversity Award from Berea College.  Her passion for history and genealogy has played out in recent years through several methods.  She was a co-founder of the African-American Genealogy Group of Kentucky, an organization which assists in research to trace African-American roots back to the earliest settlers in the new world and also sponsors educational programs on African-American history.  Sharyn has served as president of this group and used it as a platform for speaking to numerous groups about Kentucky’s African-American heritage.  In conjunction with the James Harrod Trust and the Kentucky Oral History Commission, she has conducted interviews to document the experiences of African-Americans with Harrodsburg’s Westside High School alumni and Kentucky war veterans.  She was hired as a research services specialist in Berea College’s Special Collections and Archives in 2012, where as a natural fit, she is able to do continual research and assist a variety of clients with ancestor information and historical activities.  In 2016, Sharyn was the prime organizer of the Middleton School reunion which attracted over 50 participants although it closed in 1963 when Madison County schools were desegregated.  In follow-up to this event, she has spearheaded the move for a Kentucky Highway Historical Marker for the school, acquired funding, and created the application which has been approved by the Kentucky Historical Society.  It is now on order, and scheduled for a dedication in late August.  She also served on the committee for Madison County Pictorial History Book from which the MCHS benefitted.  Her experiences and knowledge led her recent election to a term on the Berea College Labor Program Council, and she is the President-Elect of the Berea Kiwanis Club.  Anyone who has spent minutes with Sharyn quickly learns she is highly energetic and is a self-contained repository of historical information which she gladly shares without prodding!

The Madison County Historical Society is proud to recognize Sharyn Mitchell for her past and continuing contributions relating African-American history in Madison County as well as many wide-ranging areas in Kentucky.




June 21, 2018

Anne Crabb is a native of Morganfield, Kentucky, and holds degrees from Rhodes College and Eastern Kentucky University where she also instructed in music for seven years.  Her most widely known books are the authoritative “And the Battle Began like Claps of Thunder”, a treatise on the siege of Fort Boonesborough in September 1778 based on documentation from the participants and their descendants, and the “Women at Fort Boonesborough, 1775-1784” which she co-authored with Harry Enoch about all the women known to live there, including during the siege of 1778.  A lesser known work is the “Carried Off by the Indians” which relates the kidnapping of the three girls from Fort Boonesborough.  These all provide a vivid picture of life on the frontier for many of our ancestors in the formative days of Kentucky.  Anne is a student of the pioneer period and has accomplished much historical and genealogical research for her own work as well as for many individuals who had a desire to learn more about their ancestors.  A laborious job of transcribing the handwritten records and documents of the past has engaged her at times including the register of “First Land Entries of Madison County” and just arriving at the completion stages are ten volumes of the “Draper Papers of Kentucky” which focus on Revolutionary War times.  In addition to her historical and genealogical endeavors, Anne has a lifelong love for music and spends much time teaching piano, playing the organ and performing with the classical harp.

The Madison County Historical Society is proud to recognize Anne Crabb for her extensive research and documentation of people and events at Fort Boonesborough as well as other early history and genealogy in Madison County and broader areas in central Kentucky.





June 21, 2018


Jeffrey Boord-Dill served as an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Eastern Kentucky University for over 32 years.  He was born in Michigan, but was raised and educated in Ohio.  He earned a BA from the Ohio State University and a Masters degree from the University of Alabama.  He joined the EKU faculty in 1985 in the Theatre Department where he taught acting, speech, and costume design.  He has written and directed a number of plays, including the skill of stage combat.  In 1990, White Hall State Historic Site began presenting “Ghost Walks”, later called “Annual Scandals and Ghost Stories”, and soon realized that professional knowledge and talent was needed to make it more authentic.  Jeffrey was one of the EKU theater instructors who responded and was soon hooked on both the house and the Clay family.  He initially helped write, direct and act in the annual productions.  As years passed, he gradually left acting and concentrated more on the first two roles.  He discovered a special affinity for the family history of the Clays and strived to incorporate it into the scripts for these productions so that they were truly historical learning experiences for guests.  In addition to his intimate association with the “Scandals and Ghost Stories”, he enjoyed the environment so much that he created the more recent attraction of “Escape Games”, based on Clay family events, which has also enjoyed considerable success.  In 1990, he became a White Hall tour guide, a position in which he continues to serve, but with the title of “Information Specialist”!  His co-workers at White Hall consider him the authority on the Clay family and take their difficult questions to him for scholarly assistance.  He has recently retired from EKU, but intends to continue with his avocation of presenting White Hall to guests when not playing his favorite video games.


The Madison County Historical Society is proud to recognize Jeffrey Boord-Dill for his significant and unique contributions in preserving the history of White Hall and the Clay family with his deep knowledge of the family through his scripts for presentations about them.



Sustained Historical Support (Group)



June 21 2018

The Society of Boonesborough was founded in 1975 as a tribute to the brave pioneers who braved the then western wilderness to come settle new territory where land was available at low cost and new lives could be pursued under a free and opportunistic environment.  The settlers at first lived under the flag of Virginia until 1792 when they created the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  These men and women went on to on to become the leaders of the Bluegrass counties as well as of Kentucky.  They, and their descendants, also travelled further west and became the leaders of numerous locales and states.  The Society of Boonesborough’s membership pays tribute to these intrepid pioneers by permanently engraving their names on the obelisk which stands at the entry to the replica fort in the Fort Boonesborough State Park.   Annually, the Society gathers to remember these ancestors at a meeting and dinner to recall the sacrifices and challenges that they endured.  Additionally, the Society, individually and in coordination with other organizations, supports a variety of historical programs as well as the creation of appropriate markers, monuments and interpretive signage that document the achievements of our ancestors.

The Madison County Historical Society is proud to recognize the Society of Boonesborough for its significant and unique contributions in preserving, documenting and promoting the unparalleled feats of the pioneers who settled Madison County and adjacent areas in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.


Preservation (Individual)



June 21, 2018


Charles C. Hay III is a native of Florida who found his way to the University of Kentucky, first as a student and then on the staff of the library.  In 1976, Eastern Kentucky University hired him to establish its Archives Department under the EKU Libraries to catalogue the history of the school since its founding in 1906.  Subsequently, the documents of the Townsend Collection and still later, of the Dorris Museum, were transferred to his purview to create the original assets of Special Collections.  His love of history was evident in his stewardship of the Special Collections and Archives for 25 years as well as creating the series of historical interpretive signs which were placed around the EKU campus.  Charles became involved with the Madison County Historical Society as one of his community activities and served in several board positions including a term as President.  During this time, he helped to reinvigorate the Society which had slipped into one of its periodic declines.  He was involved in some of its most important projects of recent decades including sponsoring several books by local authors on Madison County history, having the 1876 Beers Map of Madison County reprinted for public sale, and creating the Walk of Fame to commemorate notable individuals with ties of any type to the community.  However, his most important and lasting contribution to our local history was spearheading the purchase of the Herndon farm with its Pleasant View antebellum house which encompassed a major portion of the Battle of Richmond battlefield.  This property was thereafter transferred to Madison County and over several years has developed into a first class historical park and tribute to a significant, hard and hot battle of the Civil War in Kentucky in August, 1862.  Since his retirement, Charles has devoted time to travel and his passion of collecting old coins.

The Madison County Historical Society is proud to recognize Charles Hay for his singular and unparalleled accomplishments which have preserved and publicized very important events, people and places in Madison County.


Preservation (Group)

No nominations in 2018