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Hill, John N.

Posted by MarthaCrossSargent 
Hill, John N.
March 10, 2007 02:08PM
Kentucky: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin, 3rd ed., 1885,
Hardin Co.

JOHN N. HILL and his wife Fanny, are the oldest couple in Hardin County,
or, perhaps, in the State of Kentucky, being ninety-eight and ninety-nine
years, respectively. They are both remarkably well preserved, showing fewer
bodily infirmities than most people of seventy, and they have lived to see
their descendants, who are numerous of the fourth generation--great-great-
grandchildren. John N. Hill is the son of Frederic Hill and Mary
(Klinglesmith) Hill, both of German descent, and was born in May 28, 1788,
in Westmoreland County, Penn. The parents of Frederic Hill, and also of his
wife, were born in Germany. Frederic Hill's father and mother were born in
1755 and 1763, respectively. The marriage of the father and mother of our
subject occurred at Fort Klinglesmith, Westmoreland Co., Penn., in 1785.
Both of Mary Klinglesmith's parents were killed in an Indian raid on the
fort, during which Peter, Mary's brother, was carried away by the Indians,
and kept in captivity until he reached his majority. After he became of age
he returned home, claimed his portion of his father's estate, sold it, and
having taken a squaw among the Indians as his wife, went back and spent the
remainder of his life among them. Before his marriage Frederic Hill served
under Washington in the Revolution, participated in many of the battles and
underwent many of the hardships; he was wounded at the battle of
Brandywine, and received $96 per annum pension during the remainder of his
life. After his marriage, in 1789, he moved to Louisville, Ky., where he
was one of the first settlers, and when there were only a few huts there.
He remained four years, and in 1793 moved to Nelson County, where he
resided ten years, and in 1803 went to Washington County, where he remained
twenty-six years, engaged in milling, farming, and trading on the
Mississippi. He was the father of the following children: Jacob, John N.,
George, Christina, Mary, Joseph and Susanna, of whom all are dead, except
John N. (subject.) Frederic Hill did not make money at his various
callings, owing to the mismanagement of his employes [sic], and losses
consequent thereto; but in 1810, John N. Hill took charge of his father's
trading on the Mississippi, and in four years made his father $30,000. In
1816 Frederic Hill and his two sons, John N. and George, embarked in the
general merchandising business with this sum, but, being wholly
inexperienced in the business, by 1820 had lost their entire capital and
were deeply in debt besides. In 1826 John took charge of the wreck of his
father's once large business and compromised the indebtedness of the firm
by giving up everything, leaving them without a dollar. He then rented his
father's mill for two years, and made enough money to buy 480 acres of land
in Hardin County, where he settled in 1829. He has lived on this tract ever
since, and added 250 acres to it by purchase. He conducted a horse-mill and
farmed until his advanced age rendered him unable to do active labor, and
at which time he divided among his children what he had not already given
them, and with his wife has since lived with his son, John W. Hill. The
marriage of John N. Hill occurred in Nelson County, September 7, 1813, to
Fanny Nall, who was born June 30, 1787, and is the daughter of James and
Elizabeth (Kelly) Nall, who came from Culpeper Court House Va., to Nelson
County very early in the present century. She was one of fourteen children-
-seven girls and seven boys--of triplets, each of which lived to an
advanced age, and reached the weight of 200 pounds. John N. and Fanny Hill
were the parents of ten children: James F., Mary E., Cyrus M., Matilda
(Slack), Martin, John W., George W., William L. and two who died in
infancy; only James F., Matilda and John W. are now living. John N. Hill's
father lived with him until his death in 1839; his wife died in 1834. He
remembers well many incidents which occurred in the early part of this
century--one of them was his trip on the first steamboat which ascended the
Mississippi. He went aboard of the boat at New Orleans to go to Natchez,
but owing to mutiny of the crew, had the captain to put him ashore, and
walked to Natchez, arriving there two days before the boat. His first vote
was cast in 1828 for Gen. Andrew Jackson, and was due to an act of kindness
shown him by the General, while he (subject) was flat-boating on the
Mississippi. Every vote since has been for a Democrat. His conversion
occurred in 1828, and since he has been a pious man and a zealous member of
the Presbyterian Church. His wife has been a member of the Baptist Church
since 1811--seventy-five years. He has abstained from the use of alcoholic
liquors, except for medical purposes, since 1829, and is probably the
oldest Prohibitionist.

Hill Klinglesmith Nall Kelly Slack
Westmoreland-PA Germany Jefferson-KY Nelson-KY Washington-KY Culpeper-VA

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