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Hitt Bios

Submitted by Linda Thank 4/2009


The History of the Dakota Territory
By George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith
Publisher:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1915.
Pages 869-870


The Hitt family is one of the best known in Bon Homme county, where three brothers, Martin E., Thomas M. and Henry P., and a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Wagner, reside and are among the largest landowners in that section of the state. The father. Rev. Thomas S. Hitt, was a native of Bourbon county, Kentucky, born February 14, 1797, a son of Rev. Martin Hitt, who was born in Virginia but as a young man crossed the mountains to Kentucky, later removing to Ohio. The family, which is of German descent, had lived for several generations in Virginia previous to the removal to Kentucky. Rev. Thomas S. Hitt went to Indiana in 1827 and seven years later settled in Ohio, both states being at that time but sparsely settled. There he won distinction as a minister of the Militant Methodist church. In 1837 he removed to Ogle county, Illinois, that region being then upon the western frontier, and in 1851 he established the Rock River Academy at Mount Morris, which for years was the most famous institution of higher learning in Illinois. Many of the prominent statesmen and business men of the Prairie state today claim it as their alma mater and are proud of its record.


Rev. Hitt married Miss Emily John, whose father, Robert John, was a son of John John, who resided in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary war. Robert John removed from Pennsylvania to Indiana, becoming a resident of the latter state in the early days of its history. Of the eight children born to Rev. Thomas S. Hitt four remained in Illinois and four came to Dakota. The two sons who continued to reside in the Prairie state both became prominent in political circles there. John was for almost forty years deputy United States collector of revenue in Chicago and Robert R. represented his district in congress for twenty-four years. He was assistant secretary of state under James G. Elaine and accompanied General Grant upon the latter's tour around the world.


Martin E. Hitt, the oldest of the family, was born in Urbana, Champaign county, Ohio, April 27, 1836. He was but a year old when the family removed to Illinois and the other children were all born in that state. He received his education in the Rock River Academy, established by his father and which he inherited after the latter's death. In September, 1874, he came to Dakota territory and secured a half section of land in what is now Bon Homme county under the homestead and timber acts. In the fall of the following year he settled upon the place and began its improvement. He has purchased additional land there from time to time and now owns almost a thousand acres. After the death of his brother-in-law, Captain Wagner, in 1898, his sister, Mrs. Wagner, took charge of his bachelor quarters and still makes her home with him. In 1913 he retired from active farming and he and his sister now live in Tyndall.


Thomas M. Hitt served in the Fourth Illinois Cavalry from 1863 until the close of the Civil war, participating in the fighting around Memphis and in other parts of the Mississippi valley. After the cessation of hostilities he learned stenography and was for a time employed in the department of the interior. Later he became private secretary for Governor Oglesby when he was elected United States senator from Illinois and subsequently served in a like capacity for Charles B. Farwell, United States senator from Illinois. In 1878 Mr. Hitt removed to Dakota territory and acquired a large tract of land, giving his attention principally to the breeding of fine horses. In 1894 he retired and removed to Tyndall, where he is still residing. He has never ceased, however, to take an interest in fine horses and always owns a few standard bred horses of the Wilkes stock. He finds much pleasure in driving and indulges himself in that regard almost every fine day.


Henry P. Hitt, the youngest of the three brothers who removed to this state, was born November 11, 1842, and came to Dakota territory in 1875 but remained only long enough to make entry on a claim. He then returned to Illinois, where he remained for three years, but in 1878 permanently located here. He has also become a large landowner in Bon Homme county and derives a handsome income from his property. At one time the three brothers and their sister, Mrs. Wagner, owned a tract of land in the western part of Bon Homme county extending on both sides of the road for a distance of six miles. The family Ib not only one of the wealthiest in the state but its members have also gained positions of leadership in their locality, where they are universally respected and esteemed.


Daniel Hitt

Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature
John McClintock
Publisher: Harper & brothers; 1891.Page 278.

Hitt, Daniel, a Methodist Episcopal minister of considerable eminence, was born in Fauquier County, Va., entered the itinerancy in 1790, became the travelling companion of bishop Asbury in 1807, and in 1808 was elected by the General Conference one of the agents of the Methodist Book Concern, the duties of which office he discharged for eight years. He next, with great fidelity, served as presiding elder until 1822, when he became the travelling companion of bishop M'Kendree. In 1823 he took charge of the Potomac District; after two years' labors he passed to the Carlisle District, and there closed his earthly work. Mr. Hitt was a man of marked "simplicity and integrity," and "the affability of his manners and the sweetness of his disposition, in his private intercourse in society, gained him the affection of all" He died of typhus fever, in great peace and sure hope, in September, 1825.—Minutes of Conf. i, 507.

HITT, Edna
ife of Benjamin WILLIAMS of Beaufort S.C.

History and dictionary of Alabama biography
By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
Published by s. J. Clarke publishing company, 1921

WILLIAMS. DAVID H., physician and planter, was born October 25, 1827, in Greene County; son of Benjamin and Edna (Hitt) Williams, natives respectively, of Beaufort and Lawrence Districts, S. C., who located in Tuscaloosa County, 1818, the former a farmer, captain of State militia at its first organization, and for many years thereafter, and justice of the peace for forty years; grandson of Benjamin and Mary (Abercrombie) Williams, the former a native of England, who located in Virginia, was a colonel in the U. S. Army, and met his death during an engagement with the Indians, 1797; and of David and Jane (Meek) Hitt, natives of South Carolina, who located in Greene County about 1874, where he died at the ripe age of ninety-three. Dr. Williams received his academic education in Alabama and was graduated from the South Carolina medical college, Charleston, in 1851. He entered upon his profession in his native county, but removed to Gainesville where he practiced both medicine and surgery. He was captain of a company in Armstead's cavalry, C. S. Army, and served until the close of the war. Among his most brilliant military achievements was the feint on Rome, Ga., which detained Sherman until Hood could get well on his way to Tennessee. In 1872 he visited Mexico and secured a half million acres of land and engaged in the live stock business. He also owned an apple orchard in Missouri. He was a Democrat; a Methodist; and Mason. Married: in 1853, to Eugenia Floride, daughter of Aquilla and Elizabeth (Tutt) Hutton, the former a physician, natives of South Carolina, who removed early in life to Greene County; granddaughter of Gen. Joseph and Nancy (Cal- licmn) Hutton, the latter a first cousin of John C. Calhoun. Children: 1. Eugene, circuit judge, Waco, Tex. 2. David H., physician, professor in medical college, Knoxville, Tenn., first honor man of New York medical college; 3. Gesner, (q. v.). Residence: Gainesville.