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Biography of Col. Granville O. Haller

COL. GRANVILLE O. HALLER, U.S.A., Retired. – Granville Owen Haller was born in York, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1819. His father, George Haller, died when he was but two years of age, leaving a pious and most devoted mother in charge of four young children, who, with limited means, but with industry and thrift, had the satisfaction of seeing her eldest son graduate at the Jefferson Medical College of the University of Pennsylvania. She was very desirous of sending Granville to the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to be fitted for the ministry, but conscientious doubts on his part prevented him from conforming to his mother’s wishes. In 1839 a vacancy belonging to his district occurred at West Point Military Academy, when he and several other young men became applicants to fill the vacancy. The Honorable Joel R. Poinsett, Secretary of War, ruled that the recommendation of the representative of the district, giving his preference to one of the applicants, should secure his appointment. Haller received the preferred recommendation, but did not receive the appointment. Walter S. Franklin, of York, Pennsylvania, clerk of the House of Representatives, a warm and consistent friend of the Honorable James Buchanan, senator from Pennsylvania, and also a friend of Secretary Poinsett, had recently died, when Senator Buchanan applied for William B. Franklin, son of the deceased to be appointed. William was thereupon appointed to West Point; and Haller was invited to appear before a board of military officers, which met in Washington, District of Columbia, for information as to his fitness for the military profession. Haller presented himself, was examined, and on the seventeenth...

Biography of Hon. Robert C. Hill

HON. ROBERT C. HILL. – Mr. Hill, one of the most responsible men of Washington, and a pioneer of an early day, was born in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, September 14, 1829, the son of Doctor John Hill, his mother’s maiden name having been Eliza L. Davis. At the age of seven he moved with his parents to Philadelphia, and received his education at the excellent grammar and high schools of that city. He entered upon a business career as clerk in a wholesale dry-goods store in the city, and followed that occupation four years. In 1848 he removed with his parents to New Jersey. In 1850, with his father and two brothers, he came to the new empire on the Pacific shore, making the trip via Panama, and arriving in San Francisco on board the steamer New World in July. In partnership with his father he opened a lumber yard at that city, and a year later tried the fortunes and vicissitudes of life in the mines, but shortly afterwards accepted a position as manager of the ranch of his brother in Sonoma valley. Seeking for something better to the north, he arrived at Whidby Island in February, 1853, and found located there his brothers Nathaniel D. and Humphrey, who had located in the fall of 1852. He took an adjoining place, and with them went to the Indian war. In 1862 he returned to California, and in that state and in Nevada engaged in the hazardous business of mining, remaining thus occupied with the exception of one year spent at the East, until 1867. Coming back to Whidby in...

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