JOHN B. HILL. - One of the old pioneers in Humboldt county, California, John B. Hill is well and favorably known
here, having made his home in this district since the year 1869, when he made the journey across the continent
on one of the first trains to California.
Born near Oak Bay, Charlotte county, N. B., on January 22, 1844, John B. Hill was the son of James, also a native
of New Brunswick. The grandfather, Daniel Hill, was born in the state of Maine, married to Sarah Sprague, and became
a farmer in Warwick, N. B. The great grandfather, David Hill, is connected with the early history of our country,
having served under Maj. Robert Rogers, the famous Indian ranger on Lake Champlain, during the French and Indian
war. He was one of the first English settlers of the town of Machias, Me., where he went in the year 1763, in 1779
removing to Calais, Me. His wife was Elizabeth Holmes, of Plymouth, Mass.
The third oldest in a family of seven children, John B. Hill was brought up in the town of Calais, Me., from the
age of five years, his parents, James and Cynthia (Leighton) Hill, having gone there from New Brunswick in 1849.
He received his education in the public schools, and from boyhood worked on the farm and in the woods, the latter
being the principal occupation for the young men of that vicinity during the winter months. In the spring Mr. Hill
was employed in driving on the St. Croix river, becoming an expert swimmer, as much at home in the water or riding
a log as walking on the river banks. The good reports of high wages paid for the same kind of labor in Humboldt
county brought about his determination to come to the Pacific coast. Accordingly, in the fall of 1869 he made the
long trip across the continent, coming immediately to Eureka. During the greater part of his first winter in this
state, Mr. Hill worked at shingle making, being later employed in the woods on Ryan Slough by his cousin, Charles
W. Hill, with whom he continued for twelve years, most of the time in the capacity of head chain tender. Leaving
the woods at the end of that time, he spent several years in Alex. Cookson's shipyards, and helped build the Halcyon,
Lena Sweasey, Fidelity, and Challenger, the Halcyon now being the only one afloat. Then, with his brother William,
he bought land on Harrison avenue, Eureka, whereon the two men built a brick plant and for two years were engaged
in the making of brick, after which Mr. Hill continued the manufacture of brick independently, as the best clay
was on his ten acres of land, and it was only after twelve years that he gave up the business and went into gardening
and the raising of fruit. For some years he raised strawberries extensively, having three acres of his property
given up to this fruit exclusively, but of late years he is devoting the land more to gardening and the raising
of potatoes, attending personally to the work, although he is now advanced in years.
The marriage of Mr. Hill to Louise Whittier took place in Charlotte county, N. B., and they became the parents
of seven children, of whom four are at present living: Edith, wife of Peter McRae, a grocer on Myrtle avenue, Eureka;
Chester, a shingle weaver in Eureka; Wesley, employed in the Eureka post office; Warren, with the Electric Light
Company in Eureka. Mr. Hill is a supporter of the principles of the Republican party, his fraternal associations
being with Fortuna Lodge No. 221, I. O. O. F., at Eureka, and with the Odd Fellows' Veteran Association in Eureka.
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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