Ezra S Stearns.

Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) online

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limited, even for those times. Being the oldest of
a large family, who were practically deprived of a
father's support, he was his mother's chief assistant,
and was early inured to constant labor. Although
of weak constitution he did hard work on the farm
at Ashburnham, Massachusetts, where the family
moved when he was ten years of age. He had such
limited schooling as the place afforded, and was an
inveterate reader of everything that came in his
way. Before the age of eight he had read the
Bible ^entirely through in course, and even a few
tattered leaves of Baxter's "Call to the Unconverted"
were devoured with eagerness. Ashburnham at
that time was twelve miles from the nearest post-
town, but some of the inhabitants had formed a
sort of club for the purpose of taking a small
weekly paper, then published in Leominster. It was
this sheet that probably determined Mr. Hill's sub-
sequent career. IMeanwhile he extracted all the
information that he could from the neighboring dis-
trict schools, sometimes walking four or five miles
during the storms of winter in the daily pursuit of
knowledge. He was a good speaker, even at the age
of seven, and a ready debater. His thirst for knowl-
edge led him to look upon the printer's trade as
the ideal occupation, and at the age of fourteen the
longed-for opportunity came. Joseph Gushing had
just established the Amherst Cabinet at Amherst,
New Hampshire, and was in need of an apprentice.
Hearing good accounts of young Hill, he went to
see him, and was somewhat surprised to find the
future governor in ragged working clothes, laboring
on the farm. But Mr. Gushing was sensible enough
to see the bright mind and sterling qualities that
lay beneath the unprepossessing exterior, and a
"bargain was soon concluded. On December 3, 1802,
Isaac (2) Hill as an apprentice began his residence
in the state of which he was subsequently to be-
come the most influential citizen of his time. Mr.
Hill remained in the office of the Amherst Cabinet
for seven years, thoroughly mastering the details
•of the printing and newspaper business, ever faith-
ful to the interests of his employer, and educating
him.^elf by hard study after his day's work was
over. During his stay in Amherst he became a
member of the Young Men's Debating Club, and the
record of this society in his elegant and clerky hand-
writing are still preserved. On April 5, 1809, the
day before he was twenty-one, he set out for Con-
cord, which was to be his future home. About
the same time his employer, Mr. Gushing, removed
to Baltimore, Maryland, where he conducted a
printing and book-selling establishment for many

years. Six months before young Hill went to
Concord, William Hoit had started a struggling
sheet called the Amerjcan Patriot. Prominent mem-
bers of the Republican (Democratic) party advised
Mr. Hill to purchase the newspaper and become the
editor and publisher. Two weeks later, April 18,
1809, he issued the first number of the Netv Hamp-
shire Patriot. My Hill's incisive style and able
utterances soon attracted attention, and the paper,
in spite of the bitter opposition, began to increase
in circulation, till in a few short years it exceeded
that of any other in the state, and the influence
of the young editor had become unbounded. This
result was not accomplished without a desperate
struggle with rival sheets, some of which poured
out vials of abuse, which would not be tolerated
in these days. As illustrating the style of calumny
that influenced the public mind, one opponent,
thought he had made a strong point by getting
some astute antiquary to discover that I\Ir. Hill
was a lineal descendant on both sides of the first
witches who were hung in Salem ! The personal
power that Mr. Hill afterwards exercised and that
keeps his name a household word in the state, even
to this day, might well be attributed to something
more than human.

Governor Hill edited the Patriot for twenty years,
and during that time was twice chosen clerk of the
state senate, once representative from Concord, and
was four times elected to the state senate. 1820,
1821, 1822 and 1827. In 1829, soon after Jackson
became president, he appointed Mr. Hill to the
office of second comptroller of the Treasury Depart-
ment, and he assumed his duties at Washington on
jMarch 21 of that year. The strong friendship be-
tween these notable men dates from this time, and
was destined to continue unbroken till death. Mr.
Hill held the office till April, 1830, and performed
its duties in an eminently satisfactory manner, but
the Senate, owing to the bitter personal animosities
of the day, refused to confirm the appointment,
and the future governor w-as forced to retire. He
returned to his own state where his popularity
was unbounded, and two months later tne New
Hampshire legislature triumphantly elected him to
the United States senate, where he took his seat
]\Iarch 4, 1831. He remained there five years, and
was one of Jackson's most intimate advisers, but
in 1836, having been elected governor of the state
by the unprecedented majority of nearly nine thou-
sand votes, he resigned his seat to become chief
executive of New Hampshire. He was re-elected
governor in 1837 and 1838, and during all this time
he was the popular idol, and had a personal follow-
ing which has probably never been equalled in the
state before or since. In 1840 Governor Hill was
appointed by President Van Buren to the office of
sub-treasurer at' Boston, which place he held till
March, 1841, when he was removed by the incoming
administration. From that time till his death, ten
years later, he was without public office ; but in
1840, in connection with his two oldest sons, he
established Hill's Nezu Hampshire Patriot, which
they published till 1847, when it was united with
the original Patriot, which had been under different
management. Governor Hill also edited and pub-
lished the Farmer's Monthly Visitor for about ten
years, and during the last fifteen j-ears of his life
he was extensively engaged in agriculture on his
own account.

On February 2. 18x4, Isaac (2) Hill married
Susanna Ayer, eldest daughter and sixth child of
Richard and Susanna (Sargent) Ayer. members of
prominent Concord families. jNIrs. Hill was a



woman of strong character, marked personality and
a notable housekeeper. She was born February
24, 1789, and lived till June 17, 1880, dying at her
home on School street, in Concord, at the age of
ninetj'-one years, three months and twenty- four
days. Air. and Mrs. Hill were active in establish-
ing the Episcopal Church in Concord, of which they
were ever after interested and influential supporters.
Isaac (2) and Susanna (Ayer) Hill had four chil-
dren: William Pickering, born October 19, 1819;
John McClar}-, November 5, 1821 ; Georgiana Tos-
can, October i, 1S24, died September 12, 1825;
and Isaac Andrew, September 16, 1827.

William P. Hill graduated from Dartmouth Col-
lege in 1839, was for several years editor and pro-
prietor of the Portsmouth (New Hampshire)
Ga::ette, and was afterwards associated with his
father and brother on the New Hampshire Patriot.
He subsequently held a position in the Boston
custom house, and died, February 17, 1901, at the
home of his eldest daughter, Mrs. Robert Williams,
at Denver, Colorado. On October 26, 1843, William
P. Hill married Clara Ann West, daughter of John
and Nancy (xMontgomery) West and a sister of
the wife of Senator Edward H. Rollins. The chil-
dren of William P. and Clara (West) Hill were:
Isaac William, born INIarch 19, 1846, died December
22, 1903; Anna Montgomery, April 27, 1851; Susan
Ayer, August 7, 1854; Ellen Russell, October 19,
1857, died in infancy; and Clara Turner, July 23,
1S60, died June 26, 1872. Anna Montgomery Hill
married Robert R. Williams, of Denver, Colorado,
February 14, 1880. Their children were: Clara
Turner Williams, born July 28, 1882, at Concord,
New Hampshire, died at Denver, Colorado, Febru-
ary 15, 1S89; and Edward Rollins Williams, born
at Pitkin, Colorado, November 30, 1S84. Susan Ayer
Hilj married, in April, 1882, Honorable James O.
Lyford, at the present time naval officer of the
port of Boston. Their children were : Agnes
IMcLean Lyford, born April 6, 1884, at Concor;d, died
at Denver, Colorado, January 21, 1891 ; Katharine
Batchelder Lyford, born at Concord, November 11.
1888. died at Denver, February i, 1903; and Richard
Taylor Lyford, born January 6, 1896.

John AlcClary, second son of Governor Isaac
(2) and Susannah (Ayer) Hill, was educated at the
academy at South - Berwick, Maine. He was for
many years connected with the New Hampshire
Patriot, served as treasurer of the Concord Gas
Company for a long period, was Democratic candi-
date for governor in 1884, and died March 4, 1900.
He was one of the most prominent and respected
citizens of Concord, and a gentleman of the old
school. John M. Hill married (first) Elizabeth
Lord Chase, whose youth was spent in South Ber-
wick, Alaine. They were married November 15,
1843, and there were two children: Howard Fre-
mont born July 21, 1846; and Rohert Waterston,
June 20, 1852, died January 15, 1854. Reverend
Howard Fremont Hill, Ph. D., D. D., a clergyman
of the Episcopal Church, was graduated from Dart-
mouth College in 1867, and is now living in Concord.
Dr. Howard F. Hill married, October 17, 1870,
Laura Sophia Tebbetts, daughter of Dr. Hiram B.
and Laura S. (Watson) Tebbetts, who was born
in Carroll parish, Louisiana, October 17, 1847.
Their children were: John McClary Hill, born
October 30, 1871, died December 4, 1872; Maria
Dix Hill, December 11, 1873; and Grace Watson
^ill, June 21, 1876. Alaria D. Hill was married,
February 11, 1907, to John Archibald Campbell, an
electrical engineer, and they are now living in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Grace W. Hill was married.

November 28, 1899, to Zohetli Sparrow Freeman,
vice-president of the Merchants" National Bank^
New York City. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman have two
daughters: Laura, born February 9, 1901; and
Mary, December 5, 1902.

Governor Isaac (2) Hill died in his sixty-third
year at Washington, D. C, March 22, 185 1, after
an illness of five weeks, and is buried in the family
lot at Blossom Hill cemetery. Concord, New Hamp-

(VIII) Isaac Andrew, third son and fourth
and youngest child of Governor Isaac and Susanna
(Ayer) Hill, was born at Concord, New Hampshire,
September 16, 1827, and died there February 28,
1903. He was educated in the public schools of his
native town, in the Concord Literary Institution and
at Phillips Andover Academy. During vacations
he learned the printer's trade in his father's office
where The Nezv Hampshire Patriot was published.
After leaving school he went to Boston, and was
in the employ of Sayles, Merriam & Brewer, whole-
sale conmiission merchants, where he remained
about five years. During this period Mr. Hill dwelt
in the same house with John A. Andrew, after-
ward the distinguished war governor of Massachu-
setts, with whom he formed a pleasant friendship.
Returning to Concord in 1849 he entered the
Patriot office, where he remained till 1856. In that
year he was appointed register of probate for Aler-
rimack county, which office he held for eighteen
years, or until 1874, when a change in politics caused
a turn-over in appointive positions. In 1876 he was
appointed deputy collector of internal revenue, which
place he held till 1883. During the remainder of
his life he was an active promoter of various enter-
prises connected with the upbuilding of Concord.
The Board of Trade and the building which bears
its name were the outgrowth of his foresight and
energy. The incorporation of the Merrimack County
Savings Bank, of which he was a trustee and the
first depositor, the extension of Pleasant street, and
the projection of the "New Flistory of Concord"
are some of the enterprises which should be
credited to his public spirit and active endeavor.
jNIore petitions of a civic nature, looking toward
the betterment of Concord, were presented to the
city government through his instrumentalit3- than
came from any other source.

In politics Mr. Hill departed from the traditions
of his family and became a strong Republican,
though he did not care to hold office. In church
associations he always kept to the faith in which
he had been reared, although his religious sympathies
were broad and inclusive. When an infant he was
baptized in Saint Andrew's Church, Hopkinton,
there being no Episcopal Church in Concord at the
time. His parents helped to found Saint Paul's
Church at the capital, and his constant services
and best efforts during his mature years were
given to the development of that parish. i\Ir. Hill
not only did things himself, but he incited others
to do them, and some of the most valuable gifts
that Saint Paul's Church has received in recent
years, may be 'traced to his suggestion. He was a
member of Blazing Star Lodge, Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons. JMr. Hill was an ardent lover
of nature, and in his early life was skilled with
the rod and gun, but he was no hunter merely.
It was the out-door life and the poetry of the woods
that appealed to him.

On October 5, 1858, Isaac Andrew Hill married
Sarah Amie Sanderson, second daughter and child of
Charles and Hannah Amanda (Stevens) Sanderson,
who was born at Pittsfield, New Hampshire, Sep-



tember 19, 1839. She was educated at Pittsfield
Academy and graduated from the high school at
Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1857. She taught school
a year in Concord, giving up the occupation upon
her marriage at the early age of nineteen. Mrs.
Hill was a member of the Congregational Church
in Pittsfield during youth, but became a communi-
cant of St. Paul's Church (Episcopal) in Concord
soon after her marriage. She has been active in the
parish work of that church, and has been especially
interested in the Orphans' Home at Millville, serv-
ing at one time as chairman of the Building Com-
mittee and also as one of the committee appointed
by Bishop Niles to decide on admissions to the
home. Airs. Hill was one of the "directresses of the
Concord Female Charitable Society from 1883 to
1886. A member of the Concord Woman's Club>
she served as chairman of the committee on science
from 1S99 to 1902; and from 1901 to 1904 she was
president of the Wild Flower Club.

Mr. and !Mrs. Hill have had six children : Wal-
ter Bertram, born Alarch 23, i860; Josiah French,
July 25, 1863; Charles Sanderson, July 4, 1867;
Isaac, September 3, 1869; Andrew, April 8. and died
August 8, 1872; Lawrence, February 3, 1878. Wal-
ter B. Hill studied civil engineering, and followed
the profession for several years. In 1888 he went
to Colorado and in 1892 to Montana, where he be-
came superintendent of irrigation for the Crow
Reservation. He is now government inspector of
irrigation in all the Indian reservations. Josiah
F. Hill was graduated from the Concord high
school in 1880, and from Dartmouth College in
1884. He began railroad life in the auditing de-
partment of the Union Pacific at Omaha, advancing
to assistant to the vice-president; then went to
Washington D. C, where he was assistant to the
vice-president of the Southern railway ; finally be-
coming secretary of that railway in New York
City. In 1900 he removed to Boston to become
statistican of the firm of Lee Higginson and Com-
pany, bankers, with whom he has since remained.
On December 28, 1887, he married Blanche Theo-
dora Ford, of Concord, and they have two children :
Gerald Ford, born December 29, 1892, and Blanche
Theodora, February 21, 1903. Charles Sanderson
Hill was appointed to the Naval Academy at An-
napolis in 1883, and remained there over three years.
At the beginning of the Spanish war he volunteered
for service in the United States Marine Corps, and
was appointed second lieutenant. He was assigned
to immediate duty at Annapolis, and was placed in
charge of the Spanish officers, who had been taken
prisoners. He w-as subsequently appointed fii-st lieu-
tenant and went immediately to the Philippines,
where he was stationed three and one-half years.
He was made a captain in 1900, and is now in
Cuba. Isaac Hill was educated in the public schools
of his native city, and is now cashier of the Na-
tional State Capital Bank at Concord, having been
in the employ of that institution since 1887. He is
a member of the Wonolancet Club, the Canoe Club,
the Sons of 'the American Revolution, also of
Blazing Star Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons. Lawrence Richardson Flill was graduated
from the Concord high school in 1898, from Dart-
mouth College in 1902, and from Harvard Medical
School in 1907. He is now assistant surgeon in the
Massachusetts Soldiers' Home at Chelsea, Massachu-

(Third Family.)
An examination of the records relative
HILL to the early history of the Hills in
America discloses the fact that there were
several immigrants of this name who arrived from

England prior to 1650, namely : John Hill, of Dor-
chester, Massachusetts ; John Hill, of Dover, New
Hampshire, who was accompanied bv at least one
brother and perhaps more; and Peter Hill, of Saco,
Maine. There are some slight indications that Dr.
Gardner C. Hill, of Keene, is a descendant of
Peter Hill, through the latter's son Roger, although
conclusive evidence to that effect is lacking.

(I) Peter Hill probably settled near the mouth
of the Saco river prior to 1648, in which year he
joined the assembly in Liconia or Ligonia. He
was accompanied from England by his son Roger,
and both took the freeman's oath in 1653. Peter
was one of the dissatisfied planters of York county
who petitioned to have that territory admitted to the
colony of Massachusetts. He died in 1667. The
maiden name of his wife and the christian name of
his other children (if there were others) are want-

(II) Roger, son of Peter Hill, was identified
with his father in the settlement of Saco, and served
as constable in 1661. It is supposed that he, with
others, went to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1678, in
order to escape Indian hostilities, but he returned
to Saco later, and his death occurred there in 1696.
In 165S he married Sarah Cross, of Wells, ]\Iaine,
and was the father of John, Samuel, Joseph, Benja-
min, who died young; Ebenezer, Sarah, Hannah
and Mercy. His son Samuel, who commanded a
packet, engaged in transporting supplies from Bos-
ton to the ports eastward during the Indian wars,
was, with his wife, captured by the French and
Indians about the year 1701, and taken to Canada,
where both were held as prisoners for a number
of years. Ebenezer was betrayed by supposed
friendly savages into captivity, but eventually se-
cured his freedom, and died at Saco in 1745, aged
seventy-nine years. John Hill, son of Roger, was
commissioned an ensign in King William's war and
rose to the rank of captain. The latter's brother
Joseph resided in Wells and died there in 1743. He
married Sarah Bowles, daughter of Joseph Bowles,
of Wells (see Bowles), and a sister of Mary, wife
of Major Charles Frost, of Kittery. Roger Hill's
daughter Sarah married (first) Pendleton Fletcher,
a prominent resident of Saco, who died a prisoner
in Canada, and she married for her second husband
William Priest. Her sister Hannah married Lieu-
tenant Joseph Stover, at one time commander of
the garrison at Wells, and was the ancestor of
men of distinction, including Hon. Joseph Stover,
Commodore Stover, United States navy, and Pro-
fessor D. PL Stover, of Boston. I\Iercy Hill mar-
ried Daniel Littlefield, and was the ancestor of
many of that name in Wells and Kennebunk, Maine
(see Littlefield). It is impossible to determine wnth
accuracy the two succeeding generations in this
line of descent. Information forwarded .to the
writer from Keene states that Roger Hill, great-
grandfather of Dr. Hill, was born (perhaps) in
1750, but fails to mention his birthplace. There is,
however, sufficient evidence to prove that his birth
must have taken place several years prior to that
date. It is reasonable to suppose that this Roger
was a descendant of Peter in the fifth generation.
Roger is known to have resided in Winchester, New
Hampshire, but as the history of that town is yet
to be written, no further information relative to
him or his family is obtainable in the Boston genea-
logical collections.

(VI) Jonathan Hill, son of Roger Hill, was a
native of Winchester, and when a young man re-
moved from that town to Swanzey. At the break-



ing out of the American Revolution he enlisted
in the Continental army and participated in the
battle of Bunker Hill. He afterward returned to
Winchester and resided there for the remainder
of his life. He married Rusella Combs, of Win-
chester, and his children were : George, born in
1777; Reuben, the date of whose birth is not given;
Joseph, born in October, 1781 ; Sally, born April

2, 1787, married Seth Leonard; Barney, whose birth
date is also wanting; Jonathan, born October 14,
1792; David, born February 14, 1794; Caleb, who
will be again referred to ; Elisha, born April 12,
1800; Betse}-, who became the wife of John Sander-
son; Massa, who married George Darling; and
Mary, who married Seth Pomroy, of Swanzey.

(VH) Caleb Hill, seventh son and eighth child
of Jonathan and Rusella (Combs) Hill, was born
in 1798. For a period of forty years he cultivated

3. farm in Winchester with prosperous results, and
he died in that town at the age of fifty-eight years.
He married Polly Howard, of Winchester, who
bore him eight children, namely : Maria, !Mary So-
phia, Gardner C, Jonathan, Elmina D., Maria H.
(.died voung), Elvira L. and Laura A.

CViH) Gardner Caleb Hill, M. D., third of the
children of Caleb and Polly (Howard) Hill, was
born in Winchester, March 20, 1829. From the pub-
lic schools of his native town he went to the Mount
Caesar Seminary, Swanzey, and thence to the Semi-
nary in Saxton's River, Vermont, where he was
.graduated in 1853. He subsequently taught school
in Swanzey, Keene and Winchester. His prelimi-
nary professional preparations were pursued under
the preceptorship of Dr. D. L. Comings, of West
Swanzey, and he took his degree at the Castleton
(Vermont) Medical College in 1856. These studies
were augmented with a course at the Harvard Medi-
cal School. The first nine years of his professional
career were spent in Warwick, JNIassachusetts, and
during the whole of that period he served as a mem-
ber of the board of education. From 1867 to the
present time (1906) he has practiced medicine in
Keene, and has attained a high reputation as a skill-
ful and reliable physician. For seven years he served
as city physician, and held the post of county physi-
cian for nearly that length of time ; is a member
of the board of United States penson examiners ;
of the staff of the Elliott City Hospital, and is
medical examiner for the Aetna Life Insurance Com-
pan3'. For the past thirty-one years he has served
upon the board of education of Keene, has also
■served as county treasurer two years, county com-
missioner three years, and in the city council three
years. Aside from his professional and political
services, which have proved exceedingly beneficial
to the community, he devotes considerable time to
other fields of usefulness, and as president of the
Keene Savings Bank his integrity and sound judg-
ment in financial matters are heartily appreciated.
Dr. Hill affiliates with the New Flampshire State
and Cheshire County Medical societies, and the
Connecticut Valley Medical Association and the
American Medical Association.

For his first wife he married, in 1856, Frances
R. Howard, of Walpole, New Hampshire, who died
' early in 1864. A year later he married Caroline
R. Hutchins, of Keene, daughter of Benjamin
Hutchins. He has an adopted son, William H.

(Fourth Family.)

» Among the earliest New Hampshire names

HILL this has bafiied genealogists in the effort

to trace direct descent to persons now

living in the state. Its bearers were evidently much

more intent upon conquering the wilderness, pre-
paring farms and providing for themselves and
their families than they were in recording their
achievements. That they bore their share in the
struggle with the. savage foe in the forbidding wil-
derness there can be no doubt. In the days when
the ancestors of this family were making their way
in New Hampshire every man was compelled to
fight the savage foe as well as to labor industriously

Online LibraryEzra S StearnsGenealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) → online text (page 128 of 149)