Biography of Leslie G. Hill, M. D.
This biography appears on pages 313-314 in
"History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. V (1915)
Dr. Leslie G. Hill, specializing in the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, is today one of the best known representatives of the medical profession in South Dakota. He was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, May 31, 1868, and is a son of Edward and Isabelle (Stannard) Hill, both of whom were natives of the state of New York. In early life, however, they became residents of Kenosha, Wisconsin, where they were married. The father became a farmer of Mitchell county, Iowa, in 1869, and there carried on general agricultural pursuits until 1894. In 1911 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, but he survives at the age of seventy-nine years and now resides in Osage, Mitchell county. He has long been an exemplary member and active worker in the Masonic fraternity.
Dr. Hill was reared amid rural surroundings, with the usual experiences of the farm lad. He supplemented a public-school education by study in the Cedar Valley Seminary at Osage, Iowa, from which he was graduated with the-class of 1887. Two years prior thereto, however, he began teaching, being then a youth of seventeen years, and he followed that profession for four years, but regarded it merely as an initial step to other professional labor, taking up the study of medicine in 1890, reading under the preceptorship, of Dr. George H. Ripley of Kenosha, Wisconsin, who for some years was a member of the state board of health of Wisconsin and one of the foremost representatives of the medical profession there. In 1891 Dr. Hill entered the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago, completing the course with the class of 1895. He then returned home and the first important event following was his marriage to Miss Helen St. John of Cedar Falls, Iowa, who is a lady of liberal education, being a graduate of the Iowa State Teachers, College. They established their home in Sibley, Iowa, where Dr. Hill remained in general practice for five years. He was most liberally patronized, building up a practice of extensive proportions, and during that period he also served as coroner of the county.
In 1902 he removed to Chicago in order to enter upon the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. He spent two and a half years in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York in his special work and subsequently studied under Dr. L. Webster Fox of Philadelphia, one of the greatest ophthalmologists of the world, then at the head of the Medico-Chirurgical College, from which Dr. Hill received his diploma in June, 1908. However, in the meantime-1904-he had located in Watertown, being the first physician to specialize exclusively in inside treatment of the eye, ear, nose and throat in this section of the state. He has kept in touch with the advancement of the times in medical science pertaining to his work and each year has pursued postgraduate courses, giving him intimate and accurate knowledge of the most modern methods and the latest scientific investigations which have to bear upon his particular field. He is a member of the staff of the new Luther Hospital of Watertown, and is oculist for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company. He has a license permitting him to practice in seven different states.
In 1907 Dr. Hill was appointed a member of the state board of ,medical examiners of South Dakota and soon thereafter was elected president of the board, while later he was chosen secretary and executive officer. He was also appointed by Governor Vessey a member of the national board of reciprocity and examination and his activity in that important position led to his advanced ideas on medical registration being adopted, so that they are now in operation in many states. Under Dr. Hill's administration the South Dakota state requirements were advanced to the highest plane of efficiency. He is a member of the Watertown District Medical Society, the Sioux Valley Medical Society, the South Dakota State Medical Society, the Iowa and the Nebraska State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association, the last named having elected him a delegate to its national convention in 1915. In the same year he was elected to fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. and Mrs. Hill have become the parents of three children, Helen Maud, Leslie St. John and Dorothy Alice. The family is a prominent one socially in Watertown and Dr. Hill is a valued member of the Masonic fraternity, belongs also to the Knights of Pythias and is a life member of Watertown Lodge, No. 838, B. P. 0. E. He also belongs to the Watertown Country Club and he is president of the board of trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church. Progress might well be termed the keynote of his character. The spirit of advancement has always actuated him and he stands today among the foremost representatives of his profession because of his wide study, the thoroughness with which he has mastered the work of the profession and his ready and accurate adaptability of his learning to specific needs. Without invidious distinction he may be termed one of the eminent specialists of South Dakota.