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Biography of William F. Hill
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William F. Hill is the dean of the newspaper profession in Pottawatomie County. The Becorder had been published consecutively at Westmoreland for thirty-two years, and Mr. Hill had been proprietor and publisher of the paper for more than a quarter of a century. When he first came to Kansas it was in the role of a teacher, and he was at one time principal of schools in Havensville, and Westmoreland of Pottawatomie County.
He is of English ancestry, and his forebears came to Virginia in Colonial times. His grandfather, John R. Hill, was born in Ohio and spent his life as a farmer, living both in Ohio and Indiana. His death occurred near Goshen, Indiana, in 1856.
Samuel Hill, father of the Westmoreland editor, was born near Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1832, and when a young man went to Indiana, where he married. In 1832 he became an early settler in Monroe County, Iowa, and in that county on April 10, 1856, his son William was born. A few months later the family removed to Ringgold County, Iowa, where Samuel Hill spent the rest of his sctive life as a farmer with the exception of a few years in Oklahoma. He died in Ringgold County in 1914. He was a republican and a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He also made a military record as a faithful soldier of the Union during the Civil war. In 1862 he enlisted in the Ninth Iowa Cavalry and was in service until the close of hostilities. Most of the time was spent in Arkansas and along the Missouri-Kansas border fighting the guerillas, He was an honored member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Samuel Hill married Mrs. Winnifred (Leigh) Brant. She was born near Goshen, Indiana, in 1838, and died in Ringgold County, Iowa, in 1884. Her first husband was Winans Brant, and the only child of that union, David Brant, is now editor of the Iowa City Republican. William F. Hill was the first of his father’s children. The next, Albert R., owned a farm in Oklahoma, operated by a tenant, and he himself lives in California. Elizabeth is the wife of William Durland, a farmer in Western Oklahoma. Alice, who resided at El Reno, Oklahoma, is the widow of Joshua Wray, who was a farmer. La Fayette is the editor of the Manly Chief at Manly, Iowa. Clinton, the sixth child, died at the age of twenty-one. Sarah married W. F. Hunter, a farmer near Blaine in Pottawatomie County, Kansas. Winifred is the wife of Charles H. Mills, a farmer near Afton, Iowa.
Mr. William F. Hill grew up in Ringgold County, Iowa, attended the country schools there, also pursued a course in the Iowa City Academy, and at irregular intervals was a student in the State University until 1883. In the meantime he taught school in his native state for five years, and coming to Kansas in 1884 he took a place in the schools of Douglass in Butler County for two years. In 1886 he removed to Havensville in Pottawatomie County, was principal of schools there two years, and in 1888-89 became superintendent of schools at Westmoreland, the county seat.
The Westmoreland Recorder was founded in 1885 by J. W. Shiner and J. K. Codding. Its first issue was on May 7, 1885. The paper had been in existence about four years when Mr. Hill bought a half interest and became associated with J. W. Shiner in the publication. A year later he bought the entire paper and had ever since been its proprietor and publisher. The Recorder is the official paper of Pottawatomie County, republican in politics, had a weekly issue and circulates throughout that county and a large surrounding distriet. The plant and offices are on Main Street, and it is one of the leading country papers of Kansas.
Mr. Hill himself is a republican. He had served on the school board and in the City Council of Westmoreland, and is steward and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a teacher in the Sunday school. Mr. Hill had taken a prominent part in Grant Lodge No. 237 of the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Westmoreland. He had been financier of the lodge for twenty-five years with the exception of three years while he filled the chair of master workman. He is also a member of the Kansas Editorial Association.
Besides the ownership of considerable real estate in Westmoreland, including a dwelling house, he had a good home at Second and North streets. Mr. Hill was married May 20, 1884, near Iowa City, to Miss Hattie Applegate. They came to Kansas soon after their marriage. Mrs. Hill was born in. Illinois and she taught school both in Iowa and in Kansas. They have had three children: Forest V., who died at the age of four and a half years; Garnet, who graduated from Baker University with the A. B. degree in 1917, and is now teaching in the Havensville, Kansas, High School; and Melvin O., who is a graduate of the Westmoreland High School and is now an electrical engineer at Hutchinson, Kansas.
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