James Hill


JAMES HILL, retired farmer of South Buffalo township, one of the oldest residents of that part of Armstrong county, was born Oct. 9, 1828, in County Tyrone, Ireland, son of James B. and Margaret (Brown) Hill, of the same place. The parents grew up and married there.

James B. Hill was a cloth weaver by trade. He came to America in 1830, the sailing vessel in which he made the trip having a very rough passage. The sails were blown off and she was nearly wrecked, but with sails made of blankets, sheets and other bed clothing proceeded on her way and Mr. Hill landed in Baltimore, continuing thence to Freeport, Pa. He found work in the Leechburg dam and also on the other public works for two years, in the spring of 1832 locating in South Buffalo township, Armstrong county, where he obtained a piece of land which had a small house and clearing but no other improvements. Here he made a permanent home and lived until his death, at the age of eighty-four years. His wife died when fifty years old. They were Presbyterian Church members. This pioneer couple had four children: Jane, who died of fever; Margaret, who died in Ireland; James; and William J., who died when eleven years old.

James Hill had little chance to go to school, and obtained most of his education through his own efforts. He always lived with his parents and followed farming, improving the homeplace greatly during his active years- in fact the principle buildings are of his construction. In 1867 he built the barn, and in 1869 made the brick for the present residence, which was erected in 1871. He served as supervisor and in other local offices, to which he was elected on the Republican ticket, and he is highly respected all over this part of Armstrong county, where he is very well known. He has been a member of the Presbyterian Church for fifty years.

In 1849 Mr. Hill married Maria Hill, of Armstrong county, Pa., who died in July, 1871, the mother of seven children: ( I ) George Harry, born Sept. 28, 1850, died when two years old. (2) Margaret Jane, born Jan. 31, 1852, married O. E. Smith, of Verona, Pa., and they have five children, Ira, George, Roy, Stella, Hyatt. (3) Hamilton, and (4) Nancy, twins, were born Feb. 24, 1854, Hamilton was drowned in Elk River, in Kansas, in 1886. Nancy married Thomas A. Rife, of Allegheny, Pa., and their children are Maria, Mary, Lida, and Florence. (5) David F. is mentioned below. (6) Anna Maria, born Mar. 1, 1861, now living in Allegheny, Pa., is the widow of John K. Miller, and has one child Florence. (7) Thomas G., born May 12, 1864, married Carrie Weaver. He runs the "Central Hotel" at Freeport, Pennsylvania.

David F. Hill, son of James Hill, was born Aug. 25, 1857, and has always lived on the old homestead, engaged on farming. He married Dec. 30, 1891, Maude Iseman, of South Buffalo township, daughter of James and Sarah (McClellan) Iseman, both of Armstrong county. Mr. Iseman was a farmer in South Buffalo township. He died in February, 1901, and his widow is living in Seattle, Wash. They were the parents of nine children, Maude, (Mrs. Hill), Charles, Martha, Ida, Florence, Josephine, James (deceased), Grace, and Paul.

Mr. and Mrs. Hill have six children, namely: Charles, Julia, Ward, Richard, Hugh, and Robert.

Source: Pages 893-894, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Nanci Michalkiewicz for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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