descendant of hills namesake will attend 125th celebration


During the Hills Friendship Days and 125th celebration, a descendant of the namesake of Hills will be among the residents and visitors attending activities and riding in the parade.

Gregory Newton Hills and his wife, Shirley, from Newark, Delaware, will be attending the festivities.

Hills is a great-grandson of Frederick Clark Hills, for whom Hills was named.

Frederick Clark Hills was born at Betherden England, Jan. 22, 1842.  F.C. was educated at the Vernon Academy and then the Commercial College in Rome, New York.

In 1862 he volunteered for the Union Army during the Civil War and was appointed 2nd Sergeant for the E Company at the 117th NY Infantry.

Hills married Lucy C. Pippey on March 19,1864, in New York and moved to Sioux City, Iowa, soon thereafter.

He started working for a railroad, and after many different jobs, he became the general manager for the Sioux City and Northern Railway in 1889.  

It was in this position that he became influential in building the railroad that went through Hills, which was named after him.


Details on display at city office

More details about Hills can be found in the Hills City Office in a display case made by the Patriots Millwork student artists and their instructor, Ray Vander Wolde.

The office is open through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.

The display includes artifacts and a book about Hills, which includes a journal he started in the army from Aug. 26, 1862, until June 1, 1864.  

The book, compiled by his great-grandson Gregory, will be on display for one year and then moved to the Rock County Historical Society in Luverne.

Another interesting story about the town’s namesake is that he died of arsenic poisoning, having eaten breakfast food mixed with powdered arsenic.

It was served on the breakfast table through the “dreadful error of a new servant girl” according to history books. Mrs. Hills also partook of the poisoned food, but she survived.


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