Biography of Hon. Arthur W. Hill
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





HON. ARTHUR WELLSLEY HILL. - The district attorney of Humboldt county is one of the native sons whose record is most praiseworthy and who, imbued with the spirit of progress, most firmly believes in the future advancement of this section of the state. A member of one of the honored pioneer families, he was born in Eureka in 1864 and received the excellent advantages which the schools of this city offered, while in addition, after having completed a high school course here, he was a student in the University of California and in 1893 was graduated from the Hastings Law School. One year prior to graduation he had passed the examination before the state supreme court in Sacramento and had been admitted to the bar of the state with a most creditable standing in all papers. After an association of one year with A. P. Van Dusen in law practice at San Francisco he returned to Eureka and has since here practiced his profession, with a growing reputation for thorough knowledge of its varied technicalities.

Taking a leading part in the deliberations of local politicians and progressive citizens, Mr. Hill became well and favorably known in other lines than that of the law. As early as 18% his name was brought forward as a candidate for official honors, and during 1897-98 he ably represented the district as assemblyman in the state legislature. He served as deputy attorney until January, 1914, at which time he was appointed district attorney for the unexpired term of the late Kenneth Newett, Jr. So conscientiously, diligently and well did he perform his duties that at the fall election in 1914 he was elected district attorney of Humboldt county by a large majority. In prosecutions he has been prompt to protect the interests of the county, intelligent in the application of the law and capable of carrying intricate cases through to the end. Although far from being an elderly man, he has seen within his recollections many changes in the city of his birth and the county of his lifelong identification. In every advance that has been made he takes a commendable pride. His encouragement is given to movements for the material growth of the community, and two very influential local organizations, the Eureka Board of Trade and the Humboldt Club, have been benefited by his active co-operation and efficient assistance. He was made a Mason in Humboldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M., and is also a member of Eureka Lodge No. 652, B. P. O. E., and Lincoln Lodge, K. of P. In the line of his profession he is a member of the Humboldt County Bar Association and the State Bar Association of California. By his marriage to Nanita Patten, a native of Vermont, he has two children, Dorothea and Arthur W., Jr.

The founder of the Hill family in Humboldt county was an uncle of the district attorney, Stephen Hill, a pioneer of 1854, who married Isabella Wilson, a native of New Brunswick; his death occurred on Christmas day of 1906, and that of his wife on the day following Christmas in 1907. A younger brother of Stephen Hill, John by name, horn in Charlotte county, New Brunswick, in 1834, and deceased in Humboldt county, July 20, 1911, was a man of sterling character and splendid energies. Destiny gave to him no favorable surroundings in youth, but made it necessary for him to begin to earn his livelihood at the age of twelve years. There were few opportunities for a lad of twelve in the world, but he managed to earn his board and clothes, though having no opportunity to save anything or to gain any educational advantages. To an unusual degree he might be termed self made. The long hours and the hard work of the lumber camps of Maine did not daunt his determination nor drive him from the occupation, for he still continued in it after moving to Wisconsin. Indeed, he was among the first to take up work in the lumber woods of that state. During 1859 he came via Panama to California, spending one month between New York and San Francisco, and then joining in Humboldt county his brother, Stephen, who had established a logging camp on Ryan slough near Eureka. After a considerable period of association with the brother in lumber interests he withdrew to take up farming on the old Hill place near Ryan slough, where he resided until his death, meantime in addition to agriculture establishing and maintaining a brick plant on his property. The people of the county, fully appreciating the worth of his citizenship, accorded to him and his brother a place among their foremost citizens and recognized him as a farmer and business man 'of judicious management and great perseverance. Through his marriage to Mary A. Baldwin, a native of New Brunswick, he was the father of four sons, all living and all men of standing and professional or business prestige. They are as follows: George F., a contractor in Eureka ; Arthur W., district attorney of Humboldt county; Dr. E. J. Hill, of Arcata; and Dr. Howard S. Hill, of Seattle.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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