Fred Hill grew up in Guthrie Co., Iowa where his father had a 80 acre farm located four miles South of Bayard, Iowa. While growing up on this farm Fred met Emma Lavada Rawlings whose parents, Thomas Ray Rawlings and Esther Ann Clendenen also lived in the township.
On 20 Feb 1901 Fred Hill and Emma LaVada Rawlings (who was known as Vada) were married in Guthrie Co., Iowa. From the Guthrian Newspaper of Guthrie Co., Iowa under Seeley Township items, dated 28 Feb 1901, page 4, " Hill, Mr and Miss Rawlings wedding was celebrated by festivities."
After his marriage Fred and Vada farmed in Guthrie Co., (on his fathers farm?) for 4 years then operated a restaurant in Redfield, Iowa for approximately 3 years. The information on his restaurant activities came from his son Kenneth R. Hill and from a item in a history of Guthrie Co, Iowa published in 1907, under the John W. Hill family. "Unto Mr and Mrs Hill (John W. Hill) have been born four children, Fred A. who was born September 18, 1877, and is now conducting a restaurant at Redfield, Dallas County, Iowa.
Iowa.Information on Fred A. Hill in Redfield, Iowa 1904 to 1908.
Also the following information was found at the Des Moines Library and Archives,
State Historical Society of Iowa. Taken from the “Redfield Review” the local
newspaper in Redfield, Iowa. August 27, 1992
Jan 12 1905 The household effects of F. A. Hill, the new restaurant man, arrived the latter part of last week and the family are now full fledged citizens of our town.
Restaurant probably taken over from a T. M. Davis in December 1904. Davis had an add in the Redfield paper up to December 1904. This same add appears in the paper on Jan 12, 1905, word for word, however, F. A. Hill is listed as the proprietor. The Jan 12, 1905 is as follows:.
Redfield Restaurant, Is prepared to serve you with all kinds of bakery goods, cold drinks, ice cream, canned goods, and confectionery. Regular and short order meals. All kinds of fruit in season. F. A. Hill Proprietor -- Redfield, Iowa
Jan 18, 1906 Mr F. A. Hill has moved his restaurant up main street and is now located in the first door east of Tice's Restaurant where he will be pleased to meet all his customers.
Nov 23, 1905 Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hill rejoice over the visitation of the stork on Saturday. The baby is a boy. (Birth of Veryl F. Hill)
Another add Dec 5, Dec 12 and Dec 19, 1907:
Christmas Candies, Nuts, Fruits, Etc. In great variety at "Hill Restaurant" Oysters, Fresh, fried, stewed, Oysters served any style you like,. try them. Hill's Restaurant, Redfield, Iowa
Jan 23, 1908 Mrs Ira Heasley of near Yale returned home Saturday morning after a few days visit with her sister Mrs Fred Hill (My note: who is this person????) See note on Martha Kever Heasley Moffitt
Jan 23, 1908 Harry Ingledue who has been visiting his sister, Mrs F. A. Hill left Monday. He is on the road in the interest of an insurance company ( My note :How about a sister in law ??)
Note: No mention of the birth of Kenneth R. Hill, who would have been born Jan 10, 1908. His mother said that the doctor never recorded the birth record.
Feb 1908 Mr and Mrs Childs of Bayard arrived Tuesday for a short visit with Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Hill. They are on their way to Texas where they expect to make there future home.
March 12, 1908 F. A. Hill and wife and children left for Bagley for a two week visit with friends.
Last date found that mentions the Hill family
One more add for the restaurant:
Hills Quick Lunch
Our meals are the talk of the town, why, because we serve only the best. Our home made pastry is a surprise and our coffee brings us new customers each day. We also have a fine line of cigars, tobacco, fruits and candy.. Remember the place, Hill's Restaurant, Redfield, Iowa.
In 1908 Fred Hill have up the restaurant business for a bigger challenge, homesteading in Southwest, North Dakota. It is surprising that homestead land was still available in the early 1900's, however thousands of homesteaders came into Bowman county, North Dakota for a chance to buy 160 acres of land at $1.25 an acre. It should be noted that to ways were available to homestead as written in the original Homestead Act, one way was to live on the land for 5 years, or pay as Fred Hill did, $1.25 an acre for the land and acquiring title to the land in the normal manner as in any other land transactions.
A small note book found by Fred Hill's son, Kenneth Hill, shows that Fred Hill was in North Dakota in 1900. According to his note book, Fred Hill left Bismarck, North Dakota, on a train and lists the towns that the train went through on it's way to Bayard, Iowa. Fred Hill may have been working in the wheat harvest or perhaps on one of the large "Bonanza" farms located in North Dakota. These farms were very large, consisting of several thousand acres, mostly located in the Eastern half of the state of North Dakota, and run largely by corporations
Fred may have seen how successful these farms were and decided to try farming himself. According to land records located at Bowman, North Dakota, Fred Hill paid $200 for 160 acres of land which was the South half of the North East QT of the North one half of the SE QT in Sec 19, Twp.. 129 W, Range 99 West, Th Meridian, Haley Twp., Haley, North Dakota. The deed was dated 20 Sept 1910. Book 2 page 602.( Recorded at the Department of the Interior, Lemmon, S.D. Document 5802) He also paid $`1.25 for 80 more acres on 7 Dec 1910. This 80 acres was South and adjoin the 160 acres. It was known as a "stone claim" as it was of poorer quality than other land. This was the South half of the SE QT, Sec 19 Twp. 129 W, Range 99 West (Recorded in book 6, page 70 Bowman, North Dakota and recorded at Lemmon S.D., Department of the Interior as Doc 6931.
These two parcels of land are located 1 ½ miles NE of Haley, North Dakota and are now part of the Odell Sabe farm. Odell Sabe's grandfather homesteaded at the same time as Fred Hill and he acquired most of the land in the area. Odell's grandfather passed the land to his son Oscar and then to Odell. The 80 acre "stone claim", that Fred Hill purchased, has never been plowed. The original prairie grass still is growing on this land, also, the ruts made by the Dickinson, North Dakota to Belle Fourche Stage line can still be seen.
For many years the foundation of the Hill home was left in the field, however, Odell Sabe finally filled it in. The Hill home was on the East side of the 160 acres near the North end of the claim.
The exact dates when Fred Hill and his family lived on the claim is unknown. The Fred Hill family is listed in the 1910 census for Bowman County, Township 129 West, Range 99 West. The census was taken on 26 May 1910 so Fred Hill was living on his claim well before it was recorded in the land office in Lemmon, S.D. or at the Bowman, N.D. courthouse. The patent to his land mentions "conditions and limitations of the Act of March 3, 1909" so the homesteader may have had to live on the claim for sometime prior to filing a claim on it. It is believed that Fred Hill moved to North Dakota in about 1908 and probably "proved" the homestead claim by living on it, then purchasing the land from the government in 1910.
Fred Hill probably left the claim in 1911, however, in a post card dated 19 July 1911, written by Emma LaVada Hill's mother, Esther Ann Rawlings, she writes: " Vade, Your Pa's hand is right smart better. I guess we won't go out their for a while. He is still putting that mud on it. Are you getting any rain we are not. We are coming to stay a long time after harvest, why don't you write? Oh, it is so dry, but we have it all right, write, Your Ma."
The card is addressed to Fred A. Hill, Haley, North Dakota so the Fred Hill family must have still been on the claim during the summer of 1911.
Local histories of the Bowman county area report that most of the homesteaders left around 1911 because of a drought that had lasted several years. The land in Southwest North Dakota is not suitable for dry land farming receiving only 10 to 12 inches of rain in good year. The 1910 census records show that Thomas Ray Rawlings was also homesteading in Harding Co, S.D. about 20 miles SW of the Hill claim in 1910. As indicated by the above mentioned post card 1911 the entire area was very dry. Fred Hill may have stayed on the claim until the harvest of the 1911 and then moved on. According to the land records, he sold his claim on 3 January 1913 after he was listed as living in Woodbury County, Iowa. Fred Hill's son Kenneth thought that the family lived on the claim for about two year, however, it may have been longer than that. Kenneth remembers leaving the claim on a train and seeing the ox that his father used to plow with. Fred had to use an ox and a horse after on horse died, which sums up the lot of the homesteader. As Kenneth Hill would have been only three years old in 1911 the family may have lived on the claim until 1912 for Kenneth to remember leaving the claim.
It would have been interesting to ask Fred Hill the reason for leaving the claim, however, as is often the case in family histories, the interest came too late to ask. Whatever the reason was, when Fred Hill gave up farming it closed out four generations of Hill's as farmers. From Fred Hill to his father John W. Hill to his father Joseph Hill and to his father John Hill.
According to the land records in the Bowman court house, Fred Hill sold 240 acres to David R, Brown on 3 Jan 1913 for $5000, which was a good return on his money in a little over two years. Deed is recorded in book 6 page 532 29 Jan 1913, Bowman Co., N.D. At the time of the sale his address was listed as Bowman Co., North Dakota, however, the deed was presented in Woodbury, Co., Iowa. The David R. Brown is believed to be the person that owned the ranch in South Dakota that Fred Hill work on for about 3 years after leaving the claim in North Dakota.
On a post card written by Vada Hill, Fred Hill's wife, is a picture of Bowman, North Dakota with the following message: "this was taken before the business houses were finished. That large building is where Fred is Janitor" the card is dated 1909 with a question mark. Fred Hill most have worked in Bowman either before, during or after leaving his claim.
In August of 1985, Robert Hill and family, the grandson of Fred Hill, visited the site of Fred's homestead. Fred's son, Kenneth Hill and wife Esther Hill had visited this site several years prior to 1985 and had met the present owners of the property, Odel Sabe. In 1985 Odel gave a tour of the old homestead. Odel pointed out the wheel tracks of the old stage line and the site of the Hill home. Odell finally filled in the home site for fear that his cattle would break a leg in the hole. Later, Odel sent a part of the stove from the homesite to Fred grandson, Robert Hill.
The land is true prairie with the only trees being the ones that hugged the creeks and the windbreaks that have been planted around the farm homes. Nothing brakes the view of the fair off horizon. This is a land where the sunshine, the wind blows, the thunderstorms rumble and the blizzards howl. What this land was like to the homesteader without the modern conforms is hard to imagine.
The nearby town of Haley, North Dakota was also visited. At that time (1985) the only people living in this town were Oscar Anfinson and his wife Elsie. The Anfinsons like the Sabes have lived in the area for three generations. The Anfinson home is partly made of sod. The sod part is the original house. These sod walls are three feet thick and even the North Dakota winters can not penetrate the walls.
After leaving North Dakota, Fred Hill stayed in the outdoors by working on two ranches in South Dakota. One ranch was called Brown's ranch which was located near Kingsburg, South Dakota and the other was Mauler's ranch which was located near Springfield, South Dakota. As mention above, a David R. Brown purchased the Fred Hill claim in North Dakota. This David Brown is probably the same person that Fred Hill worked for in South Dakota.
Fred Hill moved to Sioux City, Iowa in 1914 and went to work as a pipefitter for the Chicago and St Paul Railroad. The family moved to Riverside, a suburb of Sioux City, Iowa in 1918. Fred retired from the Railroad in 1952 and died on 9 February 1955 in Sioux City, Iowa. His wife Vada died on 19 February 1944 in Sioux City, Iowa. They are buried in the Highland Township Cemetery, Bayard, Iowa just a mile North of Fred Hill's father's farm.
Note: The following was taken from "Prarie Tales" a local history of Bowman Co., North Dakota: Fred Hill, wife and two sons, homesteaded in section 19 in 1907. They came via Dickinson. He bought an additional 80 acres as a stone claim. This rocky land was purchased from the government at a small cost. The Hill family came from Nebraska (came from Iowa). He had a large white pair of Oxen. The heavy yoke and wooden beam braking plow was a combination that broke the sod for him and others for hire. They left in 1911 for Nebraska (went to South Dakota to Browns Ranch) and later lived at Sioux City, Iowa.
Summary of Fred Hill’s activities: From information as of 2002.
Born in 1876 in Guthrie Co, Iowa and raised on his parents farm South of Bayard, Iowa.
Married in 1901 and may have worked on his fathers farm, however, no proof of this
Took over as manager of a Restaurant in Redfield , Iowa in Jan of 1905
Went to Bowman County North Dakota to homestead in April 1908
Left the homestead in North Dakota in the fall of 1911
Worked as a foreman on Brown's Ranch, Bon Homme Co., South Dakota until 1914
Worked as a foreman at Mullers' Ranch in the same county for 6 months in 1914
Moved to Sioux City, Iowa in 1914 where Fred went to work with the Chicago and St Paul Rail Road.as a pipe fitter
Lived in lived in Greenville and Coles Addition. , Sioux City, Iowa 1914 to 1918
Moved to Riverside, Sioux City Iowa in 1918
Retired from the Rail Road in 1952
Died in Sioux City in 1955