Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1217


Henry E. Hilbert, senior member of the well known grocery and general merchandise firm of Hilbert & Smith, of Reading, who was formerly one of the best known educators in this section of Berks county, was born Oct. 29, 1864, in Perry township, Berks county, son of David and Mary (Eck) Hilbert, the former of whom resides on his forty-acre farm near Macungie, Lehigh county. Henry E Hilbert attended the public schools of his native district until nineteen years of age, the Lebanon Valley College during the spring term of 1892, and Muhlenberg College in 1898.

He began teaching in the public schools at Shoemakersville in the fall of 1886, later taught in Perry township for eight terms, and finally finished his career as an educator by teaching eleven successive terms at the Oakbrook grammar school in Cumru township. On May 30, 1893, he came to Reading, and in the summer of 1900 engaged in the grocery business at the northwest corner of Moss and Perry streets, where he continued very successfully for three and one-half years. He then purchased a residence at No. 1036 North Fifth street, where he resided for three years, and at this time formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, G. Frank Smith, under the firm name of Hilbert & Smith, which has grown to be one of the largest enterprises of its kind in the city. The firm carries a complete and up-to-date line of staple and fancy groceries, notions and dry goods, and its reputation is above reproach, which probably accounts for its phenomenal success. Both partners are able business men, and are looked upon as solid, substantial representatives of the best interests of the city. Mr. Hilbert is a Republican in his political faith. He had charge of Sub-station No. 2, Reading, for three years, at Moss and Perry streets.

Mr. Hilbert and his family are Lutheran members of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church, at Tenth and Windsor streets. He was a member of the consistory while living at Shoemakersville for two terms, removing from that place before his term had expired. He has been a superintendent of Sunday-schools since his fifteenth year, being appointed at that time to the superintendency at DeTurks in Perry township, in which capacity he served ably for three years, was the incumbent of a like position at Shoemakersville for four years, and has held the office at St. Mark's, Reading, since 1901. He is a teacher at Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading, at the present time. Mr. Hilbert was married June 13, 1891, to Miss Annie S. Smith, daughter of George and Caroline (Long) Smith, and granddaughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (Leppart) Smith, natives of Germany.


p. 1085


P. H. Hildebrand, proprietor of the Colonial Cigar Factory, at No. 213 North Tenth street, Reading, is one of that city's rising young business men. Mr. Hildebrand was born in Marietta, Lancaster Co., Pa., in 1875, son of the late Richard and Sarah (Getz) Hildebrand, the father being a well known cigar manufacturer at Marietta and Ephrata, in which latter place he died in 1905 at the age of seventy-two years. To Richard Hildebrand and wife were born these children: Isaac, a traveling salesman for his brother, P. H.; Leaman, a farmer of Lancaster county; Phares, also a traveling salesman; Benjamin, a cigar maker by trade; Harry, a foreman for his brother; and P. H. P. H. Hildebrand attended the schools of Lancaster county, and when a young man learned the trade of cigar making, also selling leaf tobacco for one year. He was employed with his father for several years in the business, and engaged therein on his own account in Reading in 1899, at No. 313 North Eight street. He was then associated with his brother, Phares, the firm being known as Hildebrand Bros. After two years of successful business dealings the firm was dissolved, P. H. purchasing his brother's interest.

In 1905 Mr. Hildebrand removed to his present place, where he has a fine well-equipped three-story factory building, employing therein from fifty to sixty hands. He also has a factory in Ephrata, Lancaster county, with twenty-five cigar makers. His goods have a large sale throughout the State, although more especially in Reading where his own especial brands--"Paul Dudley" and "Don Rex"-are very popular. Mr. Hildebrand was married to Katie M. Coldren, of Adamstown, Lancaster county, and they reside at No. 409 Spring street. Mr. Hildebrand is very popular fraternally, being a member of the Elks of Reading, Lodge No. 115, and the Odd Fellows.


p. 1116


Charles F. Hill, proprietor of the Fleetwood Marble and Granite Works, is a representative of a family settled in Berks county since early times.

The first ones of the name to come to that part of the State were Johan and Frederick Hill, and while the exact date of their arrival from Europe is not known, their names were on the list of tax-payers of Oley township in 1757, when the first tax was collected there. Johan, a farmer, was the progenitor of Charles F. Hill. Peter Hill, son of Johan, was a blacksmith by trade and followed that calling all his active life. His last years were spent in Coxtown, now Fleetwood, where his descendants still live. His wife was Susanna Koller, who was born in 1791, and died in 1883. There children were as follows: Abraham, who left Berks county when a young man and was never heard from again; Peter, born in 1825, who moved to Iowa in 1855, became a very successful business man and died in 1896, leaving a large family; Jacob; Conrad; Hannah; Hettie; and Susan. Conrad Hill was born in Oley township in 1822.

He settled in Richmond township, and there followed the calling of a blacksmith for forty-seven years, residing both in Walnuttown and Fleetwood. He married Susanna, daughter of Jacob and Sally (Price) Fox. The Price family were a prominent one in Berks county, Pricetown being named for Jacob Price. The children born to Conrad and Susanna Hill were: Jacob; Sarah, m. to Frederick Schenk; Peter; James; Charles F.; Susan, m. to Morris H. High; and Conrad Jr., unmarried. The father of this family died in Fleetwood in 1899, in his seventy-eighth year.

Charles F. Hill was born Oct. 13, 1857, at Walnuttown, a mile east of Fleetwood. His parents, though most honest and industrious, were poor, and the boy was able to secure only a limited education in the township schools. Later, however, he resumed his studies by himself, and became a man of very creditable attainments. At the age of twenty he went into the wholesale and retail marble and granite business. His establishment is equipped with the most modern machinery operated by steam. They are upwards of forty men employed and his trade extends over the entire State of Pennsylvania and in New Jersey. Monuments attesting his skill and real artistic ability may be seen in many places, notably, perhaps, the De Long and Stocker monuments in the Charles Evans cemetery at Reading; the Koch, Schoene, Loros and Ritter, at Allentown; and the Isaac Kutz monument in the Fleetwood cemetery.

The political principles espoused by Mr. Hill are those of the Republican party, and he has always been active in the service of his party and his locality. He has been a delegate to numerous party conventions, was a school director for six years, has been a member of the board of health for the past ten years, and a member of the borough council for more than twenty years. He was elected chief burgess of Fleetwood over and over till he finally refused to serve longer, on the plea that his own business claimed all of his time. In addition to carrying all these responsibilities Mr. Hill acted for fifteen years as treasurer of the cemetery board of Fleetwood, while he has also always been actively concerned with church matters.

A regular attendant and consistent member of the Mennonite Church at Fleetwood, he has long been a trustee, and is now class leader. On April 29, 1877, Mr. Hill married Miss Mary A. Rahn, daughter of Jacob and Esther(Merkel) Rahn, and granddaughter of John Rahn. To this union have been born: Charles R., m. to Bertha Fink; Katie R., m. to Adam R. Leibensperger. of Reading; and Frederick R., Lewis R. and Clara R., at home. Mr. Hill is a man of unusually fine character. He is devoted to his home and family, and is a loyal citizen and consistent Christian.


p. 1632


Charles Strunk Hill, wholesale merchant in woolen goods, at Philadelphia, was born at Pricetown, Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, Jan. 17, 1857, a son of Abraham De Turck Hill. Abraham DeT. Hill was born in 1823, in Ruscombmanor township, where he followed agricultural pursuits until his death in 1903. He married Margaret Guldin Strunk, daughter of Jacob Strunk, of Amity township, who died in 1866, aged thirty-eight years. They had ten children, as follows: Samuel J. m.(first) Caroline Heffner, and (second) Mrs. Kate Weston; Anna M. m. Peter L. Glase; Mary A. m. Charles H. Howell; Hannah Louisa m. Jacob Hoch; Charles S.; Sarah Elizabeth m. Adam Busch; John C. resides at Easton, Pa.; Clara A. m. W.H. Rodenbaugh, of Philadelphia; George W.; and Emma R. m. W.C. Motteran, of Philadelphia.

Charles Strunk Hill was educated in the township school and in the Oley Academy, and taught six terms, one in Ruscombmanor and five in Oley township. He was then employed at the Oley Furnace for seven years, during the last five being manager of the works. In 1884 he went to Philadelphia and after working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency and the wholesale firm of Brenniser, Schwenk & Company, dealers in woolen goods, for two years, he started for himself as a wholesale dealer in woolen goods, continuing in the same business until the present time, having developed a trade that reaches through the Middle and Eastern States. His brother-in-law, Edgar J. Lutz, was admitted as a partner in 1906 and the firm style since then has been Chas. S. Hill & Company. In 1889, Mr. Hill was married to Emma Lutz, daughter of John A. Lutz, and they have two sons, Charles and Richard John. John A. Lutz emigrated from Germany to New York in the forties and after remaining there for a few years he went to California, where he was engaged as a gold miner until 1865. He then settled at Philadelphia, where he has since been interested in a shoe business.


p. 1244


Daniel B. Hill, a leading hotel man of Berks county, who is proprietor of the Gouglersville House in Cumru township, was born in Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, son of William Hill and a member of one of the oldest families of this section of the State. George Hill, grandfather of Daniel B., was born in Ruscombmanor township, and was a shoemaker by trade, an occupation which he followed in connection with farming. He and his wife had the following children: William, father of Daniel B.; Benjamin, who died in Alsace township; Augustus, who died at Pricetown, Ruscombmanor township; Frank, who died in 1906, at Leavittsville; Lena m. Bennewell Shreader; Hannah m. a Mr. Keffer; Mrs. Hoyer.

William Hill was born in Ruscombmanor township in 1822, and in his native place followed brick and stone masoning, as well as farming. He died in January, 1900, when seventy-eight years old, in the faith of the Reformed Church. In politics he was a Democrat, and for some years served his township as school director, being a well known and influential man of his community. He married Harriet Bechtel, who passed away in 1899, at the age of seventy years. Mr. and Mrs. Hill had eleven children, as follows: Amos m. Catherine Horst and died at Palmyra; Susan died young; Caroline m. Daniel Oilinger of Ruscombmanor township; Sarah m. Jacob Hartman, of that township; Mary m. John Wise, of Mt. Penn; Louisa m. Dallas Kline; Emma m. the late August Houck; Harriet m. Jacob Freiberger; William m. Annie Noll of Ruscombmanor township; Daniel m. Winnie Moyer; and George, twin of William, died when eight years old.

Daniel B. Hill attended the schools of Ruscombmanor township and Friedensburg Academy, and then engaged in farm work. Later he went into the hotel business in Reading, taking charge of the well known Union House, which he successfully conducted for a period of three years, from 1900 to 1903. He next embarked in the wholesale liquor business at Tenth and Penn streets, Reading, where he continued for two and one-half years. Mr. Hill at the end of this time came to his present location, buying out in April, 1906, Mr. Augustus Wentzel, who was then the proprietor of the Gouglersville Hotel, and here he has made many improvements, his fifteen room house being one of the best hostelries in the county. Mr. Hill is an excellent business man and a very pleasant host, and has many friends in this section. Mr. Hill married Earena Moyer, daughter of Amos and Sarah(Hartman) Moyer. They have no children. Mr. Hill is a member of the Reading Aerie of Eagles, No. 66, and the Oley Lodge, I. O. O. F. In political matters he is a Democrat, but takes little interest in public affairs.


p. 1348


Ephraim Y. Hill was a farmer all his life in Earl township, where he was born Jan. 29, 1844, and where he died Oct. 6, 1891.

Abraham Hill, his great-grandfather, was a farmer in what is now Earl township, and lived on and owned the farm that is now the property of Mrs. Rebecca Hill and her sister. He is buried in a private burial ground on this farm. Among his children were two sons, Peter and Abraham. Of these Abraham, who died in 1844, married a lady whose first name was Hannah, and they had a son Samuel (1807-1853) and a daughter Sarah. In 1802 Abraham hill was assessed as a wheelwright in Earl township.

Peter Hill, son of Abraham, was a farmer in Earl township, owning the farm along Manatawny Creek, which later was the property of his son Jacob, but is now owned by Daniel Gross. Peter Hill located on that farm before 1802, and in that year his name appears as one of the taxables of the district. He died about 1863, aged eighty-seven years. Both he and his wife, Hannah Knabb, are buried at the Oley Churches. Their children were: Jacob; Mary, m. to Frederick Brendlinger, of the Swamp; Lydia, m. to David Gresh; and Daniel, who died young.

Jacob Hill, son of Peter, was like his father and grandfather, a farmer in Earl township, where he died in 1881, aged seventy-eight years. He owned the farm above described as the present property of Daniel Gross. He married Sallie Yoder, who died about 1883, aged seventy-six years. They were members of the Oley Reformed Church, where both are buried. They were the parents of twelve children: James, deceased; Mary Ann, who died unmarried; Abner; Jacob; Jacob Y., born Nov. 24, 1835, living at Stony Creek, Pa.; Peter; Ephraim Y.; Darius; Augustus; Ellen m. to John Specht; Frank Y., a grocer at Reading; and one that died young.

Ephraim Y. Hill was familiar with farm work from boyhood, and after his marriage he became a tenant farmer. In 1880 he obtained by inheritance through his wife the farm of David Davidheiser, in Earl township, located on the Manatawny Creek. This contains 187 acres of good land, and Mr. Hill was engaged in its cultivation until his death, being very successful in his work. This farm has been in the Davidheiser name since 1858, but before that it was the property of Abraham Hill, and before him it was owned by his father. An old stone house on this farm was built in 1805, and the date in the south gable is given as "1805. H. H." The big house was built by a Hill in 1838, but the new part of the present residence was built by David Davidheiser. In politics Mr. Hill was a Democrat, and was very active in party work. He was frequently a delegate to county conventions, and at one time held the office of supervisor. He was a member of the Reformed congregation, and his wife of the Lutheran, of the

Amityville church, and both are buried there in the Hill lot. On Aug. 31, 1862, Mr. Hill married Rebecca Davidheiser, daughter of David and Rachel (Weaver) Davidheiser, and their children were: Elsie M., who died aged four years; Irwin S., deceased in infancy; and Catharine, who became the wife of Daniel Achey, the farmer of the Hill homestead for Mrs. Hill.


p. 914


James M. Hill, a well known farmer and mule dealer of Berks county, who resides in his beautiful home east of Robesonia, along the Berks and Dauphin turnpike, in Lower Heidelberg township, was born Feb. 21, 1865, in Mill-creek township, Lebanon county, son of John and Sarah M. (Groh) Hill. Johannes Hill, great-grandfather of James M. was born July 16, 1759, and died Oct. 25, 1821. He was twice married, his first wife being Susanna Rollman, but there are no records to be found of their children, if they had any. He married (second) Hannah Pennebacker, who died Oct. 5, 1846. To this union were born two children, Peter and John.

Peter Hill, grandfather of James M., was born June 15, 1809, and died Jan. 8, 1891, and was buried in the family plot at Womelsdorf, where there is a fine monument erected to his memory. He was a farmer, and owned a property near Sheridan, on which he resided for many years. He married Hannah Hain, daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Showers) Hain, born July 21, 1812, who died Aug. 12, 1897, and they had two children: Catherine, born Dec. 24, 1832, married to Dr. James C. Levingood, and died Sept. 27, 1905; and John.

John Hill, who is a farmer and horse and mule dealer, was born in Heidelberg township, Berks county, Feb 19, 1836, and was reared to agricultural pursuits, an occupation in which he engaged for many years. At the close of the Civil War, he engaged in trading horses and mules, in which business he has continued to the present time. In 1891 he came to Womelsdorf, where he has since resided, and in addition to his residence here he owns two farms in Marion township, which became his after the death of his sister Catherine, the old Hill homestead at Sheridan, Lebanon county, where he lived for thirty years, and a valuable tract above Womelsdorf in Heidelberg township.

On Nov. 16, 1862, Mr. Hill married Sarah M. Groh, who was born on her father's farm near Schaefferstown, Lebanon county, Aug. 12, 1839. To Mr. and Mrs. Hill the following children have been born: James M.; Hannah, who died in infancy; Katie S., born June 11, 1868, died Feb. 1, 1904, aged thirty-five years, seven months, twenty days; and Sallie E., wife of Dr. Evan Menzer of Reading, died July 23, 1903, aged twenty-eight years, nine month, sixteen days.

Abraham Groh, grandfather of Mrs.Hill, was a farmer near the "Half-Way House" in Jackson township, Lebanon county. He married Elizabeth Halderman, and their children were: Henry, Jacob, John, Abraham, Christian, Michael, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth and Catherine. Michael Groh, father of Mrs. Hill, lived near Myerstown, Lebanon county, and was a farmer and well known citizen. He married Susanna Moyer. daughter of John and Kate (Wolfensberger) Moyer, and they had these children: John; Israel W.; Sarah (m. John Hill); Susanna H.; and Michael (died in infancy). Mrs. Hill has the two old family Bibles, the one belonging to Peter and the other to the first John, or Johannes Hill. She also prizes very highly the two grandfather clocks, one of which belonged to her great-grandfather John Moyer and the other belonging to Johannes Hill, her husband's grandfather. Mr. and Mrs. Hill reside in a very nice residence on High street, Womelsdorf, and are in comfortable circumstances, the only shadow on an otherwise happy existence being the loss of their two daughters.

James M. Hill was educated in the public schools and at the Lock Haven Normal school, being brought up at the parental home, where he lived until 1889. In this year he began farming for himself on his father's farm at Stouchsburg, where he carried on successful operations for ten years, and then removed to Womelsdorf, where the following three years were spend in the mule business. In the spring of 1902 Mr. Hill moved upon his present fine farm in Lower Heidelberg township, situated along the trolley track on the pike, an excellent property of twenty-nine acres, the soil of which yields abundant crops. His substantial buildings present a fine appearance, and the brick residence is surrounded by large shade trees. He also has a good farm of ninety-two acres located in Marion township, which he has tenanted. Mr. Hill, who presents a commanding appearance, being tall and well built, is of a genial and courteous disposition, and is favorable known throughout this section of Berks county. He commenced to deal in mules in 1885, when comparatively a young man, and now handles from 200 to 250 mules annually, principally Kentucky bred. He has regular customers among the farmer of his district, as well as among the coal regions of Schuylkill county, also doing a good business with a large firm at Palo Alto, the telephone playing an important part in the transactions. He is a man of integrity, and enjoys an enviable reputation for honesty and square dealing with his customers. In politics Mr. Hill is an independent Democrat, voting rather for the man than the party.

On Oct. 31, 1889, Mr. Hill was married to Carrie Hauder. the estimable daughter, of William Hauder, deceased, a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere. Mr. and Mrs. Hill worship at Zions Union Church of Womelsdorf, of which they are Reformed members, and in the cemetery adjacent to this church is the Hill family burial plot, on which is erected a handsome monument.


p. 807


James Seidle Hill, who died in 1888, was for many years a leading citizen and prosperous agriculturist of Cumru township, where he was born April 2, 1824, son of John and Ellen (Seidle) Hill. John Hill was a native of Cumru township, and followed agricultural pursuits on a property now owned by Frank Lauer. He died in 1889, aged ninety-two years. He was a Democrat in politics, while his religious belief was that of the Reformed Church, to which his wife, Ellen (Seidle), also adhered. They had a family of fourteen children, twelve of whom grew to maturity, as follows: James S.; Eliza, m. John Schwartz; Hannah, m. Phillip Obold; Mary, m. Adam Hain; John m. Amanda Barnhardt; Charles m. Mary Sharp; Henry m. Sally Henning; William is deceased; Nicholas m. Mary Shaffer; Ellen m. George McCallister; Peter; and Jeremiah, m. Mary Spangler.

James S. Hill was reared in Cumru township, and after receiving his education, turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, which he carried on until his retirement in 1854. In 1851 Mr. Hill married Emma B. Seitzinger, daughter of Jacob W. and Anna (Schwartz) Seitzinger, the former the owner of the State Constabulary property, known as the old Seitzinger estate, which at his death became the property of Mrs. Hill. To Mr. and Mrs. Hill there were born these children: Anna died aged two years; Agnes m. Francis P. Schwartz, and had three children- Marie D., James S. and Jacob W. (she is the owner of two fine farms, which are superintended by her husband, Mr. Schwartz) ; Ellen S. ; Alice; Adelia; Frank; and Alma died unmarried. In religious belief Mr. Hill was a member of the Reformed Church, while his wife adhered to the Lutheran faith. He was a director of the Union National Bank of Reading, and served as assessor of Cumru township in 1855. Mrs. Hill died Jan. 14, 1908, and was buried in the Charles Evans cemetery, Reading.


p. 1089


Jonas F. Hill, a well-to-do resident of Richmond township, Berks county, is engaged in cultivating the soil on his 156-acre farm in the northeastern end, upon which he was born, and where he has spent all his life.

John Jacob Hill, the ancestor of the numerous Hill family in eastern Pennsylvania, especially in Berks county, located in Windsor township in 1741, where he became the owner of a plantation. To him and his wife, Elizabeth, were born the following children: Anna Mary m. George Nicholas Hildebrand; Caterina m. Adam Meyer; Mrs. John Heffley; John; Peter; Frederick; Casper and Jacob. The father made his last will and testament Nov. 21, 1775, and it was probated Jan. 17, 1776. As executors were named George Merckel, Michael Lesher and John Daniel Hill. In the will Frederick and Casper received special bequests of fifty pounds each.

Frederick Hill, son of John Jacob, lived in Richmond township, where he owned a farm and where he died. His wife, Maria, and Casper Merckel, an old neighbor, were the executors of the will. In this will he bequeathed all his lands in Richmond and Ruscombmanor townships to his two sons, Jacob and Frederick. He made ample provision for his wife, she to have 100 pounds before any distribution of the estate was made, besides receiving annually 15 pounds in gold and silver, and to have two cows, beef, pork, linens, iron pots, beds, stoves and all of the household furniture which might add to her comfort. He died in July, 1794.

Frederick Hill, (2) , son of Frederick, and the grandfather of Jonas F. Hill, was a most prosperous farmer and business man, owning a gristmill and sawmill on a tract of fifty-three acres owned by him, and adjoining lands of David Kutz, Isaac Levan and Isaac De Turk. He was the owner also of two tracts in Clinton township, Crawford Co., Pa., one containing 426 acres and the other 407 acres. Mr. Hill married Sarah Hill, a remote relative, and they became the parents of seven children as follows: Frederick, the father of Jonas F.; Philipina, m. to Jacob Stout; Mary; Catharine; Lucy; Sarah Ann; and Judith. The father of this family died in December, 1848, and in his will, which was made July 31, 1848, he disposes of a large estate. He gave his son Frederick a farm of 150 acres in Richmond township, for which the son was to pay $5,000 in payments of $400 a year to his six sisters until the whole amount was paid. He also ordered his executor, his "true and trusty friend, Henry Heffner", to sell the two tracts he owned in Crawford county, Pa., to the highest bidder, and to divide the proceeds among his six daughters.

Frederick Hill (3), son of Frederick(2), and father of Jonas F., was a born July 21, 1831, and died in 1901. He followed agriculture pursuits throughout his long and active life, at one time owning and operating the Hill homestead in Richmond township. In religious faith the Hills are Lutherans and members of the Moselem Church of that denomination. Mr. Hill married Emeline Yerger, daughter of Fred Yerger, of Montgomery county, Pa., and they became parents of the following children: Elizabeth, m. to Cyranus Weidenheimer; Clara, m. to Frank Weidenheimer; Jonas F.; Benjamin F.; Aquilla, m. to Frank Merkel; Rachel, Wilson and Emeline, who died unmarried; and Ella, Eda, David and Alice, all of whom died young. All the children of this family are deceased with the exception of Jonas F. and Mrs. Aquilla Merkel.

Jonas F. Hill was educated in the common schools of his native township, and subsequently took a course at the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown. On Jan. 4, 1879, he was married to Mary Schwoyer, daughter of Benneville Schwoyer, a well-to-do farmer of Richmond township, and this union was blessed with these children: Elda G., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, is connected with a leading firm in Kutztown, Pa., as bookkeeper and stenographer; Frederick S. (m. and has a son Paul); Irene B., m. to Irwin Schaeffer, a carpenter of Richmond township (they have two children, Arthur and Oliver); Annie E., m. to Edwin Sell; Laura E.; Warren S.; Sallie A.; Ida L.; and Stella M. In politics Mr. Hill is a Jeffersonian Democrat, and has served his township as school director for three years. He has taken quite an interest in the education of his children. He and his wife are members of Becker's St. Peter's Church, of the Lutheran denomination. Mr. Hill is a practical farmer, and his tract of land is one of the best cultivated in his locality. He has always maintained a good reputation in his district, and he is highly esteemed by all who know him.


p. 1405


Samuel J. Hill, of Pricetown, Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, is a native son of that township, born Aug. 6, 1850, son of Abraham D. and Margaret (Strunk) Hill.

Samuel K. Hill, his grandfather, was born in Oley township, Berks county, Dec. 27, 1798, and died June 5, 1831, and is buried in a private-burial ground on his farm in Ruscombmanor township. He came early to Ruscombmanor, and became the owner of several tracts of land, the one on which he lived being near the Dunkard Meeting-house. He was very successful in his undertakings. He married Hannah De Turck, daughter of Abraham De Turck. She was born March 31, 1796, and died Feb. 25, 1839. There children were: Abraham D.; Mary, m. to D. C. Westen; Elizabeth, m. to J. Lehman Heebner, of Reading; and Hannah, m. to H. H. Bernhard. Samuel K. Hill had a brother Jacob, who lived in or about Oley, and who had sons -- Jacob, David, and Benjamin.

Tradition states that Samuel K. and Jacob Hill were grandsons of Jacob Hill, who died in 1770, advanced in years, in the Western District of Berks. He made his will in 1767, and in it mentions children: John, Jacob, Catherine, Mary, Elizabeth, Hannah, and Susanna.

Abraham D. Hill, son of Samuel K. and father of Samuel J., was born in Ruscombmanor township Feb. 14, 1828. He lived there until he was seven years old, when his father died, and he went to live with his uncle Jacob Hill, at Birdsboro, remaining there until he was twenty-three years old. He then returned to Ruscombmanor where he owned a farm of 133 acres, formerly belonging to his father. This he cultivated until he was sixty-four years old, when he retired and moved to Reading, and there he died April 16, 1903. He is buried at Pricetown, of which church he was a Reformed member. He was one of the founders and organizers of this church in 1842, and was an elder many years.

He married Margaret Strunk, daughter of Jacob Strunk, of Amity township. She was born Feb. 11, 1828, and died June 6, 1866. Their children were: Samuel J.; Annie, m. to Peter L. Glase, of Oley; Mary m. and living at Phoenixville; Louisa, m. to Jacob Hoch, deceased; Charles S., of Philadelphia; John C., who farms the homestead; Lizzie, m. to Oscar Bush, of Reading; Clara, m. and living in Philadelphia; and George, of Reading.

Samuel J. Hill was educated in the township schools, and in the Oley Academy. He was licensed to teach in the public schools when seventeen years old by the late James N. Ermentrout, who was deputy county superintendent under his brother, Prof. John S. Ermentrout. He taught his first term in Ludwig's school, and taught fourteen consecutive terms in his native township. When he was twenty-one years old, he was elected in 1872 justice of the peace of Ruscombmanor township, and efficiently served in that office for thirty-five years, or seven successive terms, at the end of that time refusing re-election. Mr. Hill is a Democrat, and is a man of influence in his district. He was auditor of the district nine years, and was school director six years after he abandoned the teaching profession. In the spring of 1909 he was again elected to the school board. He has also clerked at a number of sales. He has resided at Pricetown since 1904, prior to this time he had lived on the Hill homestead in Ruscombmanor for twenty-five years, actively following farming. He is an interested member of the Berks County Agricultural Society, and is well posted on the latest and most scientific methods of farming. Mr. Hill and his family are members of the Reformed congregation of St. John's Church at Pricetown, of which he was deacon, treasurer, and trustee for many years. He became connected with the Pricetown Sunday-school in his youth, and held the various offices of the Sunday-school-was secretary many years, and for twenty-three years was its superintendent.

Mr. Hill has been twice married. In 1872 he m. Caroline Heffner, daughter of Peter and Catherine (Buskirk) Heffner, of Rockland. To this union were born six children, three of whom died young. Those surviving childhood were: Clarence A.; Lewis H.; and John P., who was killed in a railroad wreck near Harrisburg, Pa., in 1905, while fireman on pay train. Mrs. Hill died March 24, 1897, aged fifty-four years, two months, and eleven days. On Feb. 26, 1899, he m. (second) Catherine Weidner, the widow of the late Almond C. Westen. No children have been born of this marriage.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:36 EDT

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