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Cherokee County, Texas



The History of the Stella Hill Library


Contributors Dr. James C. Hill and Stella Salmon Hill

 The Stella Hill Library was named after the wife of Dr. James Curtis Hill and opened to public in June, 1959. It was begun in a small log cabin donated by the Hill family and became the Stella Hill Memorial Library after her death in 1966.

Mrs. Hill was the only child of Richard Minott Salmon and Sallie Kelley Salmon, who moved to Alto about 1907. Mrs. Hill was born in Bright Star, Miller CO., Arkansas. She passed away on May 27, 1966.

 The Library is now located at 200 W. San Antonio St, Alto, TX 75925.

 Dr. James Jim C. Hill was born August2, 1893 the oldest child of L. F Frank and Ellen A. Hill. His brother John and sister Ellen Hill attended school at Grange Hall near the Linwood community East of Alto, and Lon Morris in Jacksonville. In 1911 he entered the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where he graduated in 1914 with his D.D.S. degree. He returned to Alto and began his practice in dentistry with Dr. G.A. Fisher. He joined the military in 1919 and served with the 90th Div., Medical Corps, attached to the 357th Inf. A.E.F. In December of 1919, he married his fiancÚ of three years Stella Salmon, in her home in Alto, TX.

Jim closed his practice of dentistry after twenty years when his father died in 1933. He took on the responsibility of management of the family farm. He spent the rest of his life on a quest for making the best use of East Texas land. He phased out row-crop farming and began cattle ranching of registered breeding stock. He began new clovers and grasses and brought in modern equipment replacing horse-drawn implements. Forest and land conservation practices were introduced by him and he brought to Alto the ownership of International-Harvester Co., dealership from 1934-1972. As he learned the best ways to utilize the land he shared his knowledge with ranchers and farmers of the area.