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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - John W. Hill

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


JOHN W. HILL - The subject of this brief sketch was born in Madison county, Kentucky, January 1st, 1832. His father, Isaac HILL, was a native of North Carolina but emigrated to the former State in the year 1816 and remained there until his death, which occurred in 1874. His ancestors were from Ireland. The maiden name of Mr. Hill's mother was Maria PORTER. She was born in Pennsylvania, and was closely related to the Porter family, which was conspicuous in the history of that state. She was of German ancestry and a resident of Philadelphia, Kentucky, when she was married. There were eight children in the family, of which John was the fifth. His boyhood days were spent upon the farm until he was sixteen years of age, when he entered an apprenticeship to the blacksmithing trade in Madison county. After leaving the trade he continued the business in the same place until 1855, when he sold out and removed to this state, stopping at Bloomington for a shire time, where he engaged in clerking in a grocery store. On the 15th of September of the same year he removed to Urbana, where he entered the service of J. B. Smith and clerked for him until April, 1856, when he removed to Champaign, where soon after he formed a partnership with Mr. Smith in the merchandising tailoring, clothing business. He was engaged in that business until 1860, when the partnership was dissolved and he went back to his trade of blacksmithing, and remained thus employed until the spring of 1863, when he was elected assessor and collector of Champaign township. He was continuously elected each successive year until 1868. In the following year he was a candidate before the Republican convention for the office of county treasurer, but was defeated by a slight majority. In 1871, two years later, he was again a candidate before the Republican convention, and was nominated, and at the following election in the fall of the same year, was elected by a large majority. He continued in the office until 1873. After the expiration of his term of office, he entered the grocery trade, and remained in that business for several years. March 1st, 1876, he was appointed a United States collector of internal revenue of the 7th district of Illinois, and at present is discharging the duties of that office to the entire satisfaction of the people of the district. In politics Mr. Hill is a Republican. He cast his first vote for John C. Fremont in 1856. He was in at the birth, and one of the original members of the party of freedom and human rights, and has remained with and steadily voted with the party of his choice ever since. Mr. Hill was married on the 12th day of May, 1859, to Miss Lydia A. HOWSE, of Champaign city, who formerly was a native of Claremont county, Ohio. From this union there has been born to them five children, all living. In his early youth, Mr. Hill attached himself to the M. E. Church, and has been a member and an earnest worker in that organization ever since. Mr. Hill, as a man, is an upright, honorable citizen. Public-spirited in all that pertains to the public welfare, in every position of a public nature that he has been called upon to fill, he has ever proved faithful to the trusts reposed in him and has discharged the duties of his office to the satisfaction of his numerous friends. What property he has accumulated has been by his own energy and toil and by his frugal and temperate habits. Mr. Hill is an honor to the town in which he lives, and it is with pleasure that we record these few words in his favor.

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