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Clement S HILL 10483, Marion Co

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Clement S HILL 10483, Marion Co

Posted: 1121257624000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Hill, Miles, Pottinger, Cartwright, Hamilton, Spalding, Byrne, Chapeze, Clay, Rives
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Genealogy and Biography, Volume IV, 2nd edition, 1885, Marion Co.

HON. CLEMENT S. HILL. Among the old Catholic families that at an early period in the history of the State became identified with its pioneer history and development, none have occupied a more conspicuous and honorable place than the one represented by the subject of this sketch. About the middle of the last century Thomas Hill, a member of an old English Catholic family, immigrated to America and settled in St. Mary’s County, Md., where, abut the year 1754, he married Rebecca Miles, a representative of another family of similar faith, who bore him a family of seven children – three sons and four daughters. At the beginning of the year 1787, he, with his brother-in-law, Philip Miles, living up to that time near Leonardtown, St. Mary’s Co., Md., arranged to remove their families to Kentucky. Their proposed journey was begun in February, and toward the end of March, on the very day they expected to land above the falls of the Ohio, their boat was fired on by the Indians. A negro slave of Thomas Hill was killed, besides several horses, and he himself was seriously wounded by the passage of an ounce ball through both of his thighs. This happened about eighteen miles above Louisville. The boat was soon carried by the current beyond reach of the savages’ guns and before night its living freight of men, women and children was safely housed in that town. Soon after the entire party went to Bardstown where they remained a year, and Thomas Hill, owing to the severity of his wounds, for a much longer time. In March, 1788, Philip Miles and Harry Hill, son of Thomas Hill, purchased lands in the Pottinger’s Creek settlement, to which they removed immediately and upon which they passed the remainder of their days. Thomas Hill, after recovering from his wounds, moved from Bardstown to Cartwright’s Creek, in the spring of 1789, where he soon purchased land and entered upon the life of farmer. He was very zealous in his Catholic faith and was one of the chief promoters of the strong Catholic colony which afterward centered in that locality; and was chiefly instrumental in erecting the first house of worship there. He labored also to provide for his children every facility for culture that was within his means, and especially to found them securely in the Catholic faith, and to present to them reasonable motives for its constant and systematic practice. His death occurred in 1820, at the ripe age of ninety-seven years, and his descendants are numerously distributed through the South and the West. Clement Hill, the youngest son of Thomas Hill, remained with his parents until after his majority, when he married, in 1798, Mary Hamilton, a daughter of Thomas Hamilton, whose cousin Leonard was the maternal grandfather of the late Most Rev. M. J. Spalding, bishop of Louisville and archbishop of Baltimore. In the year 1803 he removed to and opened a farm lying within two miles of the site of the present town of Lebanon, where he lived to the date of his death, December 13, 1832. He was a man of exemplary faith and piety, true to the tenets of his church, and of unquestioned integrity in all the relations of life. He was the father of seventeen children born of one wife. Clement S. Hill, son of Clement, to whom this sketch is chiefly dedicated, was born on the old homestead near Lebanon, on the 13th of February 1813. He received a thorough education at St. Mary’s College, Lebanon, when that institution was still controlled by its founder, Rev. Wm. Byrne. He afterward taught school in different parts of the State, and subsequently pursued the study of law under the late Benjamin Chapeze, of Bardstown, a lawyer of great ability and a man of singular worth and purity of character, and in the fall of 1837 was admitted to the bar. He located at Lebanon, and, being possessed of an analytic mind and of rare gifts as a speaker, soon secured a lucrative practice and full recognition of his legal acquirements at the hands of the leading lawyers of the State, among whom he soon occupied the front rank. He continued in active practice, adding constantly to his reputation as a successful practitioner down to 1885, when, feeling the effects of years of close professional study and of active work as an advocate, he relaxed his energies and made way for younger men. As a general practitioner Mr. Hill has had few superiors at the Kentucky bar. To an unexampled skill as a pleader, he had the added qualities of a strong advocate and an exceeding aptitude in the taking of proof and the establishment of his case. Politically Mr. Hill was formerly a Henry Clay Whig, but since the dissolution of the Whig party has acted more or less with political independence. He was a strong Union man during the late civil war, and was authorized by the Government to raise a regiment for the national defense, but was prevented by failing health from taking the field. In 1839 he was elected on local issues to the lower branch of the State Legislature, and in 1853, the Fifth District in Congress, serving the full term at Washington. In his religious belief he is a firm and ardent supporter of the Catholic faith. Since 1846 he has resided on his farm about two miles from Lebanon, coming to the county seat each day to attend his professional business. He was married November 24, 1840, to Miss Alathair, daughter of Joseph Spalding, of Marion County, who became the mother of twelve children. Of these four only attained years of maturity: Ann Mary, Clement J. (who died a farmer and left seven children), John B. (who died at the age of twenty-four) and Susan (wife of H. W. Rives, a native of Mississippi practicing law at Lebanon.

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