GEORGE RUSSELL HILL. - One of the old timers in the Upper Mattole valley is George Russell Hill, who has resided
there for over forty years, and at his present home for the last thirty years. He has a valuable little fruit and
stock ranch about a mile south of Upper Mattole post office, on the opposite side of the river, and has been so
successful in the growing and evaporation of prunes that he has helped to give the Humboldt county product in that
line a reputation equal to any. His principal interests, however, are in general agriculture and stock.
Mr. Hill may well be proud of the record of his family in the west. His father came to the Pacific coast across
the plains in 1845, several years ahead of the gold discovery. Russell Taylor Hill was born in Tennessee, and died
in Idaho when about sixty five years old. His life was full of adventure typical of the times. He first settled
at Lebanon, Oregon, moving down to California when gold was discovered and living in this state a number of years.
He had married in Oregon, and after deciding to settle in California brought his family hither. Like many another
attracted by the mining possibilities, he found his fortune in quite another line, being engaged mainly as a stockman,
buying and selling cattle, and as a drover. For several years he lived in Suisun, Cal., moving thence when his
son George R. was seven years old to Idaho, where he built a toll road into Idaho City, where he also engaged in
butchering, raised stock, and led the life of a genuine frontiersman. He married Adelaide Cheadle, a native of
Michigan, who also came west by the plains route, and they had a family of nine children, four of whom survive
at this writing. The mother lived to the age of seventy four years.
George R. Hill was born December 24, 1855, at Suisun, Cal., where the first seven years of his life were spent.
He was next to the youngest of his parents' family, and is the only one living in Humboldt county. He obtained
his education in the public schools, and during his youth and early manhood saw a great deal of the northwest,
living at various places in California, Idaho and Oregon before settling down in the Upper Mattole district in
Humboldt county. As an expert sheep shearer he was never at a loss for occupation, following that calling, starting
in the Sacramento valley, whence working north each year up into Oregon, Washington and Montana, being thus engaged
more or less for thirty years. When a youth of eighteen years he came from Oregon to Ferndale, Humboldt county,
and at the age of twenty one he came to Upper Mattole and took up a claim ten miles from his present place in the
mountains. Thirty years ago he settled on his present property, a tract of twenty acres about one mile up the river
from Upper Mattole, and his varied experiences with stock have helped him in his successful operations here. He
is best known as a stockman and farmer, but his success in growing prunes has also gained him some reputation.
He evaporates large quantities by drying them on trays in the sun, and the excellence of his product shows that
as good prunes may be raised in Humboldt county as the famous Santa Clara variety or any other of popular renown.
His industry and other substantial qualities have brought him the esteem of all who know him, and he is considered
one of the best citizens of his neighborhood. Politically he is with the Progressive party.
On December 24, 1881, Mr. Hill was married to Miss Bertha Jane Roscoe, daughter of Wesley Horton Roscoe, one of
the prominent old settlers of the Upper Mattole district, and a family of five children was born to this union:
Dora M., now the wife of Frank Etter, a ranchman residing in the Mattole valley; Edward E., cashier of the Loleta
Bank at Loleta; Lulu A. and Georgie A., living at home; and Winifred, who is engaged as a teacher at Fortuna, this
county. Mrs. Hill died August 20, 1895, and while Mr. Hill was called upon to mourn the loss of a devoted helpmate
after a comparatively short wedded life, he has found great comfort in his children. He and his daughters have
a comfortable home on the ranch, and no family in the vicinity is more highly respected.
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915
Humboldt County, CA
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