George R. Hill is a well known and highly respected business man of Joliet, where he was born Feb. 1, 1868,
the son of Samuel and Helena F. (Ryan) Hill.
The Hills were of Irish descent, many serving in the British Navy, in which one Alfred Hill was a paymaster. Samuel
Hill was born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1830. He came to the United States in 1855 and located at St. Peters,
Minn., where he took up a government claim consisting of 160 acres of land. He built a log cabin, remained one
year, and sold his claim and removed to Minooka, Ill., where he engaged in farming until 1861, when he located
at Joliet. Here he engaged in the mercantile business with his brother, John Wesley Hill. During this time the
Civil War was in progress and Samuel Hill drilled troops in Minooka, having had experience in this line in Ireland
where he was a member of the Irish constabulary. His wife, Helena F. (Ryan) Hill, was born in Mallow, Ireland,
in 1829 and came to the United States in 1855, locating at Joliet. They were married in this city in 1859, and
to them three children were born: John William, who died in 1900, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Joliet; George
R., the subject of this sketch; and Maude F., who married John B. Mecham, an attorney, Joliet. Samuel Hill died
in 1883 and his wife in 1893. Both are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Joliet.
Samuel Hill was the son of Thomas Hill, a farmer, who spent his entire life in Ireland. His children were: John
W., Samuel, Robert, Rebecca, Susan, and Deborah, who all came to the United States. Another son, Joseph, remained
Helena F. Ryan was a daughter of John Ryan, a representative of the Stewart Company of New York, who lived his
entire life in Ireland. His children were: John, Matilda, Mary, Margaret, Dora, and Helena, who all came to America.
A son, Thomas, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, became a tutor to rich young men in Ireland. Later
he joined the British Army and died at Aden, Arabia.
George R. Hill attended the public and high schools of Joliet. His first employment was as bookkeeper for the Wilcox
Bros. Lumber and Carriage dealers, where he remained for 16 years. In 1902 he purchased the branch lumber yard
of the Wilcox Brothers, located at Plainfield, Ill., and it was known as the George R Hill Lumber Company for seven
years, when he disposed of the business. In 1909 he purchased the Whipple & Barr, grain and lumber business,
located in Plainfield, Ill., and at Frontenac, Ill., which he sold in 1910 and removed to Joliet, where he established
the George R. Hill real estate business with offices in the Joliet National Bank Building. He also added insurance
to his other activities. In 1928 he removed to his present office, in the Monroe Building on Scott Street. Mr.
Hill is also extensively interested in building and has a large display of the most modern and attractive building
plans. He has built some of the most unique homes in the Farragut district, and he has recently acquired the services
of Mr. E. Palmer Potter, of Milwaukee, a designer and builder, and a crew of twenty men are now engaged in building
three stone residences and a golf Club House for the new Crystal Lawns Golf Club.
Mr. Hill is a Republican and a member of the Methodist Church in which he is a steward. He is prominent in Masonic
circles being a member of Matteson Lodge, A. F. & A. M. No. 175; Joliet Chapter, R. A. M. No. 27; Joliet Council,
R. and S. M. M.; Joliet Commander, K. T. No. 4; Ansar Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; and Eastern Star. He is also a
member of the Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, Joliet Real Estate Board, Isaac Walton League, Joliet Riding Club,
Joliet Musical Association, Will County Historical Society, Chicago Motor Club, secretary of the Morning Star Mission,
and a director in the George C. Peterson Company.
History of Will County, Illinois
By: August Maue
Historical Publishing Company
Will County, Il
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