Almoran Hill

Almoran Hill portrait     Sarah J. Hill portrait
(Almoran and Sarah J. Hill)

Gaston, Joseph. "The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811 - 1912." Vol. 3. Chicago, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1912. p. 430.


now deceased, who was one of the early settlers of Oregon and gained recognition as a successful farmer and a man of unimpeachable character, was for sixty-six years a resident of Washington county. He was born in Sheridan county, Missouri, December 26, 1822, a son of Wright and Frances (Christian) Hill. The father was born in Tennessee and became a settler of Missouri, continuing there during the remainder of his life.

Mr. Hill of this sketch grew to manhood in his native state. At the age of nineteen he was married and in 1843 started with his wife across the plains with an ox team and wagon. They joined with others who collected on the Missouri river the same spring. The party was the largest that had undertaken the journey on the overland trail up to that time. There were six hundred wagons in the caravan and in accordance with the custom of those days, officers were chosen before leaving the river, Jesse Applegate being selected as captain. It required six months lacking two days to accomplish the journey, the start being made May 18 from St. Clair, Missouri. Fortunately the Indians Were not upon the war path at this time and they were free from many disasters which overcame other parties in the years following. A little boy was ran over and killed on the route and several persons were drowned in the Columbia river near The Dalles, but with these exceptions no fatalities occurred. They left their wagons and oxen at Fort Walla Walla until the following spring and came down the Columbia river in a batteau and three skiffs. Peter H. Burnett, who subsequently was elected the first governor of California, was captain during this voyage. The travelers arrived at Fort Vancouver November 10 and were most hospitably received by Dr. McLoughlin, who extended to them every assistance within his power, Mr. Hill and his wife spent a week at Oregon City, where one of the brothers of Mrs. Hill had settled, and then came to Washington county. On February 20, 1845, Mr. Hill took up a donation land claim upon which he established his home. He built a little log cabin with a clapboard roof, in which he and his family lived for eighteen months. There was no floor to the cabin and the latchstring always hung on the outside of the door. The family then moved into another log house with one room and continued there until 1860 when a more commodious log residence was erected. This house still stands as it was originally built and is one the interesting historic structures of this region. About sixty acres of land was cleared at the time the claim was taken up, the rest being thickly set in timber. Mr. Hill applied himself with great diligence in the establishment of a comfortable home and also cleared the land, finally developing the farm into one of the productive properties of the neighborhood.

On July 4, 1841, Mr. Hill was married on the Big Sock river, in Missouri, to Miss Sarah Jane Reed who was born at Indianapolis, Indiana, July 26, 1823. She is a daughter of Joseph C. and Hannah Joan (Clemens) Reed. The father was born in Connecticut and became one of the pioneers of the middle west. In his family were twelve children, all of whom grew to maturity except one. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Hill, ten attained maturity. The eldest child died in infancy in Missouri. Diantha was born when her mother was on her way to Oregon and became the wife of Thomas Jenkins. She died in February, 1911. A son William went to Alaska and has not been heard from for six years past. It is, therefore, believed that he is dead. The other children were born on the home place in Washington county. Francis Marion was married and is now a widower with four children who make their home with Mrs. Hill. Narcissa married James Allen and died leaving two children. Mary Ann was the wife of William Davis and is also deceased. She was the mother of one child. Margaret is the widow of William Campbell and has one child. Tryphena married Edward Money and they have four children. Hannah is the wife of Herbert Cowles and they are the parents of eight children. Sarah Jane, who married Edward Tate, is now a widow and has one daughter. Almoran Lincoln is married and has three children. Mrs. Hill has had thirty-seven grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and three great-great- grandchildren.

Mr. Hill died February 2, 1909, in the eighty-seventh year of his ape. In politics he adhered to the republican party. He was for a number of years a member of the school board but held no other offices as he had no desire for political honors. He was a stanch friend of education and the Hill schoolhouse which stands on part of the original donation claim located by him was named in his honor. He was a member of the Christian church and he and his family attended the church many times at Hillsboro, fourteen miles from home. He enlisted in the Cayuse Indian war and went with other volunteers as far as The Dalles and there learned that the Indians had given up hostilities. He was a brave, straightforward, manly and generous-hearted man who nobly performed his part in opening the way for civilization. Mrs. Hill proved indeed a worthy helpmate to her husband and a kind and considerate mother to her children. She still resides in the old home which is endeared to her by countless associations. She is one of the esteemed pioneer women of Oregon. Her mind reverts to the time when there were no towns in Oregon apart from the fortified settlements on the large rivers and the country was occupied by Indians and wild animals. She was a witness of the great transformation represented by steamboats, railways and the automobile and in her declining years is receiving the loving care of her children and descendants even to the fourth generation. That she has earned the gratitude of those who appreciate the sacrifices of the pioneer women of the northwest is the opinion of all who know her.


Submitted to the Oregon Bios. Project in April 2009 by Diana Smith. Submitter has no additional information about the person(s) or family mentioned above.

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