Page 458-460, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


L. C. Hill, a representative merchant of Benton, is one of the progressive and wide-awake business men of Butler county. He was born in in[sic] Pennsylvania, August 2, 1869, and is a son of A. S. and Elizabeth Hill, both natives of Pennsylvania. The Hill family consisted of three children, as follows: Mrs. Letta Greenwood, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Bert, Custer City, Okla.; L. C., the subject of this sketch, and Lula and Nona, deceased. The family came to Kansas in 1871, locating one and one-half miles east of Towanda, where the father homesteaded a quarter-section of land, where he was successfully engaged in farming and stock raising for fifteen years. He then retired, and for a time lived in Towanda, El Dorado and Cleveland, Okla., and died in 1893. His wife died in 1891, while on a visit in Pennsylvania.

Although L. C. Hill was a very young man when the family came to Butler county, he has a very distinct recollection of many events that transpired in the early days. Anything out of the ordinary made a lasting impression on his youthful mind. He was only five years old at the time of the visitation of the grasshoppers, in 1874, yet he remembers very clearly how they came in great clouds and turned daylight into darkness, and devastated everything in the nature of vegetation before


them. He has seen prairie chickens by the thousands, and killed a great many of them in the early days, they being a common article of food with the early settlers. He says that while there were many inconveniences in the early days that social conditions were not bad. Neighbors frequently met on various occasions and had good times and enjoyed themselves.

A. S. Hill, the father of L. C., was a stone mason, and after coming to Kansas worked at his trade occasionally. He assisted in building the dam at Towanda, and the Lyttle Mill on the west branch of the Whitewater. He built his own house after settling on his claim, which was a combination stone and log house, and was plastered with mud. It was comfortable but not elegant and made a good substantial home, and much better than the average pioneer of that locality possessed.

L. C. Hill began making his own way in the world at the early age of fifteen, his first work being that of a cow-boy, and he herded cattle on the plains for $3 per month for two years. When eighteen years of age he entered the employ of Sam Fulton and remained with him for eight years. He then entered the employ of Gust Loncer, a general merchant at Towanda, remaining with him as clerk for nine years. In 1905 he formed a partnership with his brother Bert and they engaged in the general mercantile business at Benton, Kans. under the firm name of Hill Brothers. On December 1, 1910 his brother disposed of his interest in the business to Henry Enoch and the firm became Hill & Enoch and about a year later Mr. Hill bought Mr. Enoch's interest and since that time he has conducted the business alone. His business occupies the best store building in Benton which Mr. Hill built in 1913. He carries a complete line of general merchandise and has built up a large business in and around Benton. He has built up a reputation for square dealing and won the confidence of the buying public which is the greatest asset that any commercial institution can have. Mr. Hill has met with well merited success in the mercantile world.

November 1, 1900, Mr. Hill was married to Miss Minne May Doyle, a daughter of John and Eliza Doyle, natives of Missouri and to this marriage three children were born: Marvin, aged 13; Edith, aged 9, and Merton, aged 5. The wife and mother of these children died September 17, 1912. Mr. Hill's second wife, to whom he was married October 1, 1913, bore the maiden name of Miss Glena Opal Mallicoat, and was a successful and popular teacher in the Benton public schools prior to her marriage.

Mr. Hill since reaching maturity has taken a keen interest in local affairs, and while living in Towanda township held the office of township clerk for four years, and has been a member of the city council of Benton for a number of years. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Methodist Episcopal church, having been superintendent of the Sunday school of that denomination for four years.

Notwithstanding the rapid development of his mercantile business


at Benton, which would seem to take all the time and attention of any one man. Mr. Hill has taken on additional business responsibility and on March 6, 1914, he opened a branch store at Towanda, where he is doing a very satisfactory business and building up a large commercial institution, W. G. Turner, being his local manager at Towanda while A. C. Wallace assists Mr. Hill in the Benton establishment.

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