Dr. Delroy Hire’s roots run deep through Allen County, Kentucky, as one of his ancestors, Samuel W. Garrison, was one of the area’s first settlers. To celebrate that heritage, Dr. Hire has funded the Patriot Samuel W. Garrison Memorial Scholarship for Allen County students, housed in the College Heights Foundation at WKU.
Dr. Hire was recognized at an announcement at the Allen County Board of Education on Aug. 24. “It is an honor and a pleasure to establish this scholarship in the most appropriate historical manner,” Dr. Hire said. “The scholarship is established during the bicentennial celebration of the establishment of Allen County (1815-2015). It is especially a pleasure to establish this scholarship on Aug. 24, 2015, the 253rd birthday of the American Revolution and one of Allen County’s founders as well as a founder of the city of Scottsville, Mr. Samuel W. Garrison, my great-great-great-great grandfather.”
The Patriot Samuel W. Garrison Memorial Scholarship Fund will benefit students graduating from any high school in Allen County, Kentucky, and funds can be utilized at any accredited college or university.
According to Dr. Hire, Samuel W. Garrison was born in Maryland on Aug. 24, 1762. The family later moved to the province of North Carolina and, at 17, Garrison enlisted in Col. John Butler’s North Carolina Militiaman Brigade, which soon joined the ranks of the Continental Army of the South under Gen. Benjamin Lincoln. Garrison’s distinguished service included action at Stone Ferry, which left more than 300 killed, wounded or missing.
“After the war, Garrison, like many Revolutionary War veterans, was granted land in the new Kentucky Territory,” Dr. Hire explained. “In 1797, Garrison and his wife, Esther, sold their North Carolina property and headed west to claim the 200 acres deeded him near a creek called Bays Fork, in a county that would soon take the name of another Veteran, Col. John Allen.”
Dr. Hire said Garrison started a gristmill and blacksmith shop on his property, in an area now occupied by the Allen County Saddle Club. The family was soon joined by Samuel W. Garrison’s sister, Dorcas, who had married Esther Garrison’s brother, Alexander, a young Revolutionary War surgeon who became Allen County’s first professional surgeon. Samuel W. Garrison’s brother, Mark, also settled in Allen County and Mark Garrison’s son, Eli D. Garrison, became a noted cabinet and furniture maker in Scottsville until his death in 1894.
“For his part, Samuel W. Garrison became active in politics, becoming Allen County’s first State Representative in 1816,” Dr. Hire said. “As a legislator and supporter of education, one of Garrison’s first acts on Jan. 3, 1817, was to sponsor a law that created the Allen County Seminary. Samuel and Alexander Garrison were two of 10 state-appointed trustees to oversee the project.”
On Jan. 30, 1817, Samuel W. Garrison sponsored the “act for the Regulation of the town of Scottsville,” in which the Kentucky Legislature appointed Garrison and four others to serve as trustees to establish the “regulation, police and government of said town.” He remained active in the community he helped create until his death on March 27, 1833.
“Samuel W. Garrison was more than an American soldier for freedom and independence,” Dr. Hire said. “He was a dedicated public servant, a devout patriot and a significant figure in the history of Allen County.”
Dr. Delroy Hire is a 1962 WKU graduate and a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He is board certified in anatomic, clinical and forensic pathology. After furthering his education, Dr. Hire was commissioned as a Navy officer and served for more than 20 years. He retired as the Deputy Armed Forces Medical Examiner based out of Washington, D.C., and now lives in Pensacola, Florida.
“Through his generosity, Dr. Hire has demonstrated his appreciation for his Allen County heritage,” said Donald Smith, President of the College Heights Foundation. “His actions will provide assistance and encouragement to students from Allen County in perpetuity and are a fitting memorial to Samuel W. Garrison’s dedication to education.”
Dr. Hire previously honored his parents’ memory by sponsoring a lecture series on local history in Allen and Monroe counties in Kentucky and Macon County in Tennessee. In 2012 he also created the Osby Lee Hire and Lillian K. Garrison Hire Memorial Scholarship on the occasion of his mother’s 100th birthday and his parents’ wedding anniversary. Last year, he also created the Osby Lee Hire Heritage Scholarship and the Osby Lee Hire Heritage Post-Graduate Scholarship on what would have seen his father’s 100th birthday. In addition, he was influential in the establishment of the Tompkinsville High School Class of 1959 Scholarship.
“My interest is to help students,” Dr. Hire said. “A scholarship is a legacy that can be passed on to students in perpetuity. I hope this fund for Allen County students is a true legacy to one of the town’s founding fathers and a great patriot, Samuel W. Garrison.”
Contact: Donald Smith, (270) 745-6256