Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
It is often pleasant for a quiet New England village to claim by birthright the name of one who has gained the notice and esteem of the public by his wisdom and judgment in public life and affairs. The attractive town of Eliot, on the rim of the beatiful and historic Piscataqua, has had several public characters who have given honor to this locality, which was their birthplace and boyhood home. Among them is the recent governor of Maine, the Hon. John Fremont Hill, M. D. And not only his public official life, and his energetic business career has established his name, but a very pleasant family genealogy precedes him.
The name Hill begins even at the Plymouth Colony, shortly after the feet pressed Plymouth Rock. From the famed Plymouth Colony (1630) the name was familiar in Boston, and in 1639 was known in Dover, New Hampshire, now the city not far from the Eliot of Maine.
It was the second John Hill, perhaps, who was in Dover in 1639, and in 1653, whose descendants were known both in Dover and in Kittery, now Eliot.
Joseph Hill, of the third generation, was in Dover; a man of strength of character; he was constable and collector of public funds.
Samuel Hill, of the fourth generation, became a citizen of Eliot. He was the eldest son of Joseph Hill. Samuel's name is historic; he became a member of the Society of Friends, and the Friends of that section of Eliot became renowned and left a most ineresting chapter of village story and history.
Samuel (4) possessed land on the upper side of Cammocks creek, in Eliot. He married, Dec. 23, 1721, Hannah Allen, daughter of Francis and Hannah (Jenkins) Allen, of Kittery; the names of seven children are on record:
Joseph, Isaac, Simeon, Miriam, Ruth, Huldah and Jerusha.
Isaac, son of Samuel and Hannah (Allen) Hill, also resided in Eliot. He married (first) Lydia, daughter of Joseph Roberts, of Dover (N.H.); she died Sept. 17, 1769. Married (second) March 24, 1773, Elisabeth Estes, of Dover, daughter of Elijah and Sarah (Hodgdon) Estes. She died Oct. 10, 1784. Married (third) March 24, 1786, Widow Lucy Hill.
His children were:
Samuel, Simeon, Abner, Stephen, Lydia, Hannah (the third wife was the mother of Lydia and Hannah.).
Samuel, eldest child of Isaac and Elisabeth (Estes) Hill, was born April 13, 1777, died in Eliot in 1865. He inherited his father's estate in Eliot and passed his life there; an honest farmer, and a much respected citizen. His kindly face, pleasant voice and manner are still remembered.
He married, at Salem, the historic city in Massachusetts, by the Rev. Mr. Spaulding, April 28, 1799, Elisabeth Rawson. She was the daughter of John and Elisabeth (Bruce) Rawson; she was born Feb. 7, 1776.
Joseph, Eliza, John, Stephen, Mary, Samuel, Elisabeth, Asa A., Ira, Martha Estes and William, whose sketch follows.
William Hill, youngest child of Samuel and Elisabeth (Rawson) Hill, was born on the ancestral acres in Eliot, Feb. 4, 1821, and died there Nov. 27, 1902, aged eighty-one years. He was a man of wealth, a person of sterling integrity, good judgment, executive ability and generously endowed with common sense. Though qualified to fill a high station in business or public life, he chose to follow in the beaten path his ancestors trod; and was a successful and highly regarded farmer.
He married, Nov. 27, 1849, Miriam Leighton, born May 7, 1819, died Nov. 9, 1876. She was the daughter of Andrew P. and Sarah C. (Odiome) Leighton, of Kittery. [trans note: I'm wondering if the surname Odiome is really Odiorne or something like that.] Married (second) Jennie Brooks.
Children of 1st wife:
Ella Bruce, John Fremont, Lizzie Rawson and Howard.
Ella Bruce, born Sept. 19, 1850, married Nov. 29, 1877, Homer Hobbs of Berwick.
Lizzie Rawson, born March 23, 1857, married Dec. 18, 1883, William L. Hobbs, of Dover.
The Hon. John Fremont, M.D., second child of William and Miriam (Leighton) Hill, was born on the homestead of his ancestors in Eliot, Oct. 29, 1855. He acquired his literary education in the public schools of Eliot, and in the Eliot and South Berwick academies. In 1874 he matriculated in the medical department of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, from which he graduated Doctor of Medicine in 1877. Subsequently he took a post-graduate course at Long Island Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. In 1877 he began the practice of his profession at Boothbay Harbor. He remained a year, then went to Augusta, where after six months' practice he decided in 1879 to enter a more active business life, and joined Peleg O. Vickery, of Augusta, in the publication of periodicals. In a short time he became junior partner in the firm of Vickery & Hill, one of the most successful enterprises of its kind. In 1900 a substantial fireproof building with all modern improvements was erected in Augusta, to accomodate the large and constantly increasing business of the firm, now incorported as the Vickery & Hill Publishing Company. Governor Hill's fine executive ability and success in business led to his becoming an extensive owner and a leading organizer of electric railroad lines in Maine. From boyhood he entertained an abiding interest in politics, and early in life became an active participant in the councils and campagns of the Republican party. In 1889 he was elected to represent Augusta in the legislature, and served on the committees on banks and banking, railroads, telegraphs and expresses. In 1891 he was re-elected, and served as chairman of the committee on railroads. In August, 1892, he was nominated by acclamation for senator from Kennebec county, was elected and re-elected, and served in the legislature during the sessions of 1893-95, in that capacity, being chairman of the railroad committee each term. In 1896 he was a presidential elector and in 1899 and 1900 a member of Governor Powers' council. In the latter year he was nominated for governor of Maine, and at the September election following he was elected by one of the largest majorities ever given in the state. The able and business-like address which he delivered at his inauguration the following January foreshadowed an administration in which the duties of the office would be discharged in a proper manner, and the close of his term showed that the people of the state had made no mistake in placing him in the gubernatorial office. The large floating debt incurred during the Spanish-American war was extinguished, and all the financial affairs of the state received due attention and were in excellent condition at the close of his term of office. In 1902 Dr. Hill was a candidate for re-election to the governorship, and his election by one of the largest votes ever cast in an off year was a satisfactory and significant indorsement of his course as an officer. His second term was a period of prosperity in the state, and when he finally vacated the governor's chair he retired with the approval of his administration by a prosperous and contented people. During his term of service as the state's chief executive, Governor Hill and family resided in the Mansion on State street, in Augusta, which was for many years the home of Hon. James G. Blaine. In 1902 he built, a short distance away, on the same street, in the center of the residential portion of the city, a palatial home of St. Louis brick, with trimmings of Maine granite, which with its artistic furnishings and decorations is one of the finest residences in New England.
Governor Hill is a Universalist in relgious faith and contributes generously to the suppport of the organization of which he is a member and also to other similar organizations. He has always felt a deep regard for his native town, and to his encouragement and financial assistance the preparation and publication of its history in 1893 is largely due.
He is a member of various patriotic and fraternal organizations and of several clubs, among which are: The Maine Historical Society; the Society of Mayflower Descendants; the Society of Colonial Wars; the Pepperell Socity (composed of descendants of Sir William Pepperell); the Abnaki Club of Augusta, Maine; the St. Louis Club and the St. Louis Country Club of St. Louis, Missouri; Augusta Lodge, No. 141, Free and Accepted Masons; Cushnoc Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Trinity Commandery; Knits Templar; and Kora Temple, Ancient Arabic order of the Mystic Shrine.
Dr. John Fremont Hill married (first) May 19, 1880, Lizzie G. Vickery, who died April 10, 1893. She was the daughter of Hon. Peleg O. Vickery, of Augusta. He married (second) in St. Louis, April 25, 1897, Mrs. Laura Liggett, widow of Hiram S. Liggitt, and daughter of Hon. Norman J. Colman, of St. Louis, who was secretary of agriculture in the first cabinet of President Cleveland.
A son, Percy, was born of the first marriage, March 16, 1881, and a daughter by the second marriage, Katharine, born Dec. 23, 1904.