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Biography of Charles A. Hill

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Charles A. Hill for thirty-seven years had been closely identified with the progress and development of Eudora and its vicinity. His had been a life worth remembering, and in the community in which his labors have been most productive and his influence most widespread that memory will not cease for a long time to come.

His record and that of his family indicates some of the finer elements which have entered into the social makeup of Kansas. Mr. Hill was born in Randolph County, North Carolina, on June 9, 1838. His parents were John and Lydia B. (Starbuck) Hill Bock. John Hill and his wife were members of the Society of Friends. He was a stanch Union man and like other Quakers was opposed to the institutions of human slavery. There were thousands of Quakers in North Carolina, many of whom had located there in colonial times. More and more, as slavery became a political as well as a social institution, they found life in that southern state uncomfortable and unpleasant, and it is a well known fact that whole communities and townships north of the Ohio river were settled by these North Carolina Quakers. A part of this immigration flowed into Rush County, Indiana, and there in 1861 John Hill located, at the Village of Carthage. Some of his friends, including William Gardner and Winslow Davis, had gone out to Kansas, and in 1863 John Hill himself came to this state. He made his first trip to Kansas driving across the country with his brother and a son. After investigating the district he bought land near Hesper in Douglas County, and planted a few acres in wheat. Returning to Indiana, he settled up his affairs, sent his family out by railroad and again drove across the country. John Hill had the industry and the intelligence of the typical Quaker and soon began to prosper in this new country of Kansas. In 1866 he drove from his home to Lawrence for a load of lumber and on his return was murderously assaulted by a robber. From the effects of that assault he subsequently died, a sacrifice to the lawless element then infesting sections of the state. His widow survived him until December, 1879. They were among the very best of the early settlers of Douglas County.

Charles A. Hill did not come to Kansas with his parents. His early years were spent in North Carolina and while there he attended what had since become Guilford College. In Indiana he clerked in stores at Richmond, Milton and Dublin.

He had in the meantime kept in close touch with his family in Kansas and in 1869 he came to Topeka for the purpose of marrying Miss Sarah Jane Mitchell. He returned with his bride to Dublin, Indiana, and became a merchant in that town. In 1880 he moved to Kansas as his permanent home, locating at Eudora. For a period of nearly fifty-three years Mr. Hill was actively engaged in merchandising. Few men in and around Eudora have as wide an acquaintance and are more deservedly respected. His familiar face was seen on the streets of Eudora for many years, and he was found always conscientiously attending to his regular vocation. His gentleness and sympathy and his integrity won him hosts of friends who are limited only to those who have come within the sphere of his activities. Mr. Hill had taken an active part in all that makes for the good of his community. He aided materially in securing a bridge across the river at Eudora; had served as councilman and mayor of the city; was one of the organizers of the Watkins National Bank at Lawrence, and from the date of organization to the present had been its vice president.

On January 2, 1915, Mr. Hill was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife who had been his close confidant and companion for a period of over forty-six years. On December 30, 1916, he married his present wife, Miss Anna Hiatt. Mr. Hill still retains active connection with the church in which he was a birthright member. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Friends’ University of Wichita, Kansas.

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