Family Stories

Oliver Perry Hill Biography

from Kentucky Genealogy and Biography, Volume V

Oliver Perry Hill, M.D., is a lineal descendant, in the fourth generation of Thomas Hill, one of the early settlers at Cartwright’s Creek and an emigrant from Virginia, at a period when but few permanent settlements had been established in the state.  Thomas Hill immigrated to this country from England and first settled in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, where about the year 1754 he married Rebecca Miles, who bore him a family of seven children – three sons and four daughters.  At the beginning of the year 1787 he and his brother-in-law, Philip Miles, arranged to remove their families to Kentucky, and while en route down the Ohio River, in boats, to Louisville in March of that year, the party were fired upon with fatal effect by hostile savages who lined the banks.  A negro slave of Thomas Hill, as well as several horses, were killed, and he himself severely wounded in the thighs.  They reached Louisville in safety, however, and after went to Bardstown, where, owing to the severity of his wounds, Hill remained some time.  In the spring of 1789, he removed to Cartwright’s Creek, where he purchased land and entered upon the life of a farmer.  He was very zealous in the Catholic faith, and one of the chief promoters of the strong Catholic colony which afterward centered in that locality.  His death occurred in 1820, at the ripe age of ninety-seven years, and his descendants are numerously represented in the south and west.  Among the children of Thomas Hill was a son, William, who left the paternal roof at an early age and located in Garrard County.  He was a believer in the Protestant religion, and a teacher by profession, a vocation which he successfully pursued for many years in Kentucky.  Upon the breaking out of the war with England in 1812, he volunteered his services in behalf of the nation and served in the brigade of General Jennings.  He participated on Lake Erie under Commodore Perry, and later was taken ill with dysentery and died, his remains being interred at Put-In-Bay.  His wife was Nancy Mayfield, of Garrard County, Kentucky, and his children, John; George; Isaac, who died young; Martha, who married Archibald Woods; Mary, who married John Sullivan; Elizabeth, who married William Young; Nancy, who became the wife of David Gabbard; and Jane, who was married to Luda Martin.  John Hill, the eldest of this family, located in the northern part of Garrard County, near the Kentucky River, and during his lifetime became a successful and representative farmer.  He married Malinda Pollard, daughter of Absalom Pollard, a Revolutionary soldier and one of the earliest settlers from Virginia to locate in Garrard County.  He was related to the well-known family of that name in Virginia.  But two children were born to that union:  Oliver Perry Hill and his brother William, who was an artisan by vocation, and died in Butler County, Kentucky.  Dr. Oliver Perry Hill was born in Garrard County, March 2, 1814, and was named in honor of the great naval captain, under whom his grandfather had fought on Lake Erie.  His early educational advantages were naturally limited to the common schools of his day, and he assisted his father in working upon the farm until he had reached the age of nearly twenty years.  He then began the study of medicine under Dr. William Pawling, of Lexington, and subsequently attended lectures at Transylvania University, at that place, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of M.D. in March, 1838.  From that time until 1840 he practiced his profession near his birthplace in the north end of the county, but in the latter year located at Lancaster, where he has been in active practice since, a period of about forty-seven years.  During all that time Dr. Hill has been recognized as an intelligent and skillful practitioner, and has been in the enjoyment of a large and lucrative practice, performing in the meanwhile the full duty of a useful and respected citizen.  His first political vote was cast in 1836 for the candidates of the Democratic party, Van Buren and Johnson, and with that party he has always since acted, though never aspiring to political position.  During the late Civil War he was a consistent Union man and gave what support he could to the measures and policy of the National Government.  From 1853 to 1855 Dr. Hill traveled extensively in the western country, crossing the plains on horseback, and extended his observations not only as far as the Pacific Ocean, but through Oregon and California down into Mexico and through several of the Central American states and the West Indies.  He resumed his practice in 1855.  He is of a naturally studious tendency of mind, and being possessed of a remarkably retentive memory, has added greatly to his store of knowledge, being able to repeat almost whole books from memory without special effort.  He is particularly fond of the study of languages, and has mastered, without a teacher, French, German and Spanish, possessing a large library in these languages on general subjects.  In religion he is liberal; he believes in one God from whom all things in the universe have emanated.  He believes in a future state of rewards and punishments.  He believes in the  immortality of the soul.  He believes there is more or less good in all religions, as all are founded on Bibles claiming to be of divine origin, as all religions and all nations seem to be equally favored by God.  He believes, if the Bible be true, that it teaches that all evil as well as all good comes from God, for His greatest prophets so declares, and the Bible so declares in many places.

1 reply »

  1. My name is Scott Reid Hill. This Oliver Perry Hill is my great-great-great uncle. His brother is my g-g-g-grand father. Awsome to see a picture of him.

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