Biography of William M. Hill
Columbiana County, OH Biographies

William M. Hill. Among the many able and successful attorneys of Columbiana County, the name of Hill holds an honored place. Equally honorable is the ancestry from which the Hill family traces its descent. The founder of the family was Rev. Rowland Hill, the eloquent minister and author whose "Village Dialogues" are still read and quoted. In the 17th century the founder of the family in America settled in New England, where Roger Hill, great grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born. His son, Hon. Sanford C Hill, was born in New England and later became a pioneer of Hancock County, Va. In recalling the early leading men of East Liverpool, especial attention should be given Sanford C. Hill, astronomer and mathematician, many times mayor, and for over half a century intimately connected with all public matters pertaining to this locality. He settled here in 1817 and died in 1871. His son, Col. H. R. Hill, father of the subject of this sketch, ranked among the leading attorneys of Columbiana County. He was born in East Liverpool, Nov. 12, 1834. He attended the schools of East Liverpool and was graduated from Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa., in 1858. He then entered upon the study of law at Lisbon under the preceptorship of Hon. Jonathan H. Wallace, in the meantime teaching school in Columbiana County. In the spring of 1860 he went to Louisiana and acted as tutor in the family of a wealthy planter. In the fall of 1860 he returned to East Liverpool and was admitted to the bar at Lisbon. He then moved to Andrews, Jackson County, Iowa, on the Mississippi River, and began the practice of law. When Fort Sumpter was fired upon, although he had a good practice started, he decided it was every young man's duty to work for the preservation of the Union. Consequently he returned to East Liverpool with the intention of raising a squad of 20 men so that he would receive a commission as lieutenant. Recruiting was easy at that time and he soon had 100 men enlisted, being himself commissioned captain of Company A, 115th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served in Kentucky and Tennessee with the army of the Cumberland. His service was marked with efficiency and he was rewarded by promotion to the rank of Major, Aug. 19, 1864, and to that of lieutenant colonel, Feb. 8, 1865. Colonel Hill served until the war was over, being mustered out at Cleveland, Ohio, June 22, 1865. He returned to East Liverpool, which remained his home until his death. For several years he was associated in practice with Judge John M. Cook and subsequently with Hon. R. W. Tayler, who was United States District Judge at Cleveland. Colonel Hill was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Presbyterian Church, and a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. His wife, Louise D. Briggs, also a native of Columbiana County, died May 30, 1925. They are buried in Riverview Cemetery. To Colonel and Mrs. Hill four children were born: Walter B., born Sept. 10, 1866, was graduated from Princeton University in 1890, Cincinnati Law School in 1892, and is now engaged in the practice of law in East Liverpool; William M., the subject of this sketch; Louise, born July 1, 1870, married Rollin W. Patterson, cashier of the Potters National Bank, East Liverpool; and Marion, born Nov. 19, 1872, married George E. Davidson, an attorney of East Liverpool.

William M. Hill was born in East Liverpool, Oct. 24, 1868. He attended Western Reserve Academy at Hudson, Ohio, Pennsylvania Military Academy at Chester, Pa.; was graduated from Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1893, and from the law school of Ohio State University in 1895. He was captain of Company E, Eighth Regiment, Ohio Infantry, U. S. Volunteers, known as "McKinley's Own," during the Spanish-American War, and saw service in Cuba before Santiago. In the spring of 1917 he again formed Company E, 10th Ohio National Guard, which became the 10th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. They were sent to Camp Sheridan, Alabama, with Mr. Hill as captain of the company, and on arrival were made a machine gun battalion, part of the 124th Machine Gun Battalion, 37th Division, which was again split and made into the 135th Machine Gun Battalion. Mr. Hill was discharged on account of physical disability before the company left for France.

In 1903 Mr. Hill was married to Miss Edna E. Cunningham, of East Liverpool, the daughter of John and Mary (Guppy) Cunningham, both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Hill are the parents of six children: Helen L., Evelyn Irene, Margaret M., John H., George C., and Robert R.

Mr. Hill is a member of the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Columbiana County Bar Association. He is identified with the United Spanish-American War Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is a Republican and a member of the Christian Church.

History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

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