Alexander Hill

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Alexander Hill, proprietor of Walnut Hill Stock Farm, near the city of Owensboro, son of Dr. Alfred David Hill, late of Owensboro, was born in Daviess County, near Owensboro, Kentucky, December 25, 1855.

His father was born in Bertie County, North Carolina, near Albemarle Sound, June 11, 1828. He received a good education in his native county and studied medicine in the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, from which he graduated in 1852. After completing his medical course he performed hospital duty in Cincinnati for two or three years, and was offered a professorship in the Ohio Medical College, but declined it. He located in Owensboro, where he began the practice of his profession, but becoming dissatisfied with his vocation, he abandoned it and taught school for a time in Daviess County. His inclinations were toward agricultural pursuits, and he soon abandoned professional work for the life of a farmer, in which occupation he was very successful, and by industry and good management he acquired a great deal of valuable land in the county. In 1873 he leased his several farms, removed to Owensboro, and engaged in merchandising, and soon became one of the leading business men of that city. In 1876, associated with others, he incorporated the Farmers’ & Traders’ Bank of Owensboro, of which he was elected president, a position which he held until his death. He continued his mercantile business in connection with his banking interests and was a busy and successful man, highly respected and honored by all who had dealings with him. He never sought prominence as a politician, but he was well informed in all matters pertaining to local, state and national government, and could have wielded a strong influence, but he simply voted the Democratic ticket and was satisfied with having done his duty. He was more zealous in religious than political work, being a member of the Methodist Church and for many years a member of the board of deacons, in which capacity his fine business qualifications were of inestimable value to the church. He was married in 1853 to Minerva McFarland, and died December 23, 1878. Benjamin Hill (grandfather) was a native of North Carolina, a farmer by occupation. His wife was Rachel Alexander. Their only child was Dr. Alfred D. Hill.

Robert W. McFarland (maternal grandfather) was a native of South Carolina who came to Daviess County, Kentucky, with his parents when he was a child, and there married a Miss Phebe Glover, who was the mother of four children: Louisa, Minerva, Robert W., Jr., and Beatrice.

Alexander Hill was educated in the common schools of Daviess County, the high school of Owensboro, and the University of Virginia, attending the latter institution in 1874 and 1875. He began his business career as a clerk in his father’s store, and ‘became proprietor of that establishment upon the death of his father. He had quite a fancy for farming and for fine stock and soon became the owner of the beautiful place near the city known as the Walnut Hill Farm, and gave much of his time in the improvement of the place and to raising and training fine saddle and harness horses, an occupation that has given him much pleasure and yielded a handsome profit.

He is actively interested in a number of enterprises, and is an earnest promoter of the advancement of the city. He is vice-president and director of the Farmers’ & Traders’ Bank, and has been president of the Owensboro Female College, having been one of the most active citizens in procuring its organization. He is president of the board of stewards in the Methodist Church, and like his father takes a deeper interest in church matters than in politics. He is essentially a business man, and has been remarkably successful in all of his undertakings. He is intensely interested in educational matters, and is known in the community as a man of unswerving integrity and of the most upright moral character.

Mr. Hill was married November 6, 1879, to May Sutherland, daughter of William and Susan (May) Sutherland, natives of Nelson County, Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Hill have been blessed with a happy family of four children: Alfred David, born January 13, 1882; Mary Lee, born March 6, 1884; Helen Kimbley, born March 16, 1886; and Alexander Hill, Jr., born August 1, 1893.

Source: Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. John M. Gresham Company, Chicago, Philadelphia, 1896. Courtesy of the Daviess County Bicentennial Committee