Winchester Hill


WINCHESTER HILL, a farmer of Parks township, Armstrong county, was born at Leechburg, PA., June 20, 1833, son of Jacob and Hannah (Ulam) Hill. His paternal grandfather was John Hill.

Jacob Hill, son of John Hill, and father of Winchester Hill, was born Aug. 15, 1802. At one time he was numbered among the early merchants of Leechburg, where he was also engaged in contracting to a considerable extent, building the old locks at that place, as well as other important construction work. He came to old Allegheny township, this county, now Parks township, in 1837, buying 300 acres of land two and a half miles east of Leechburg, on which he built the present house, and two years later the barn. Mr. Hill cleared the greater part of this property, and developed it into a valuable farm. During his residence in the township he became one of the most prominent men of his locality, serving as school director, supervisor and justice of the peace before he was sent to the State Assembly, upon two occasions, as the successful candidate on the Democratic ticket. During these pioneer days he rode from his farm to Greensburg on horseback, carrying his baggage with him. From Greensburg he took a stagecoach to Harrisburg, to enter upon his duties as member of the Legislature. A man of commanding presence, Mr. Hill weighed 180 pounds and was very strong physically as well as mentally. The Lutheran Church of Leechburg had in him a faithful member and liberal supporter. The death of this excellent man occurred July 25, 1876, when he was seventy-four years, one month, ten days old. His wife was born Nov. 4, 1804, and died Aug. 10, 1891, in her eighty-seventh year. These excellent people are buried in a private burial ground on the farm. Their children were: Lucinda C., born Nov. 19, 1824, married James Bratton Parks, and died Jan. 27, 1878, aged fifty-three years, two months, eight days; Elizabeth J.; born Sept. 20, 1826, married Simon Truby; John W., born May 7,1828, married Jane Bratton Parks, and died at Greenville, Mercer Co., Pa., leaving a family; Alvina, born Dec. 20, 1829 , married Capt. Henry Truby, a brother of Simon Truby and died in Leechburg; Daniel U., born Nov. 25, 1831, married Kasiah Cochran and (second) Margaret Long, and died at Greensburg, being buried in the home cemetery on the farm; Winchester is mentioned below; Finley, born March 20, 1836, married Sarah Crosby, and died at the old homestead; Eliza A., born Feb. 2, 1838, married William Crosby, and they live in Parks township; Caroline M., born June 5, 1842 , married David Kuhns, and lives at Pittsburgh.

Daniel Ulam, the maternal grandfather of Winchester Hill, was the father of the following children: Elizabeth, born Oct. 17, 1792; Catherine, Sept. 28, 1794; Jacob, April 25, 1797; Martha, June 16, 1800; Hannah, Nov. 4, 1804 (Mr. Hill's mother); Daniel June 4, 1807; Peter, Dec. 31, 1809; John, Dec. 31, 1812; Joseph, in 1815.

Winchester Hill was reared upon the old Hill farm, now his home, and attended the public schools of his district. He gained a practical working knowledge of farming with his father, and after the death of the latter took the homestead, owing a tract of 197 acres of fine land, well improved, on which he carries on general farming. There are two gas wells on the farm, and gas in used for all practicable purposes in the home.

On Dec. 29, 1859, Mr. Hill was married to Elizabeth Fitzgerald, daughter of James F. and Jane Maria (Parks) Fitzgerald. They have five children: William F., married to Flora E. Kipple, is assistant cashier of the Citizens' National Bank at Vandergrift, but lives at the Hill homestead, which he aids in cultivating (he has two children, Mabel E. and William Winchester); Mary A. is the widow of Robert Parks, and resides at Leechburg; Hannah Caroline married Harris B. Shaffer, who died in California, and she subsequently married (second) L. A. Pierce (they reside at Long Beach, Cal.); Ella J. married Dr. Janson Carson, lives in Indiana county, Pa., and has two children, Thomas and Elizabeth H.; Agnes M., married William F. Hill, a resident of Huntingdon, Pa., and they have two children, Wallace M. and Donald.

Mr. and Mrs. Hill have traveled from coast to coast. In 1904 they made a trip to Long Beach, Cal., on a visit to their daughter. Mr. Hill is a Democrat, and for many years served as an overseer of the poor, proving a conscientious and efficient official. the First Lutheran Church of Leechburg holds his membership.

Source: Pages 573-574, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 1999 by Connie Mateer for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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