The William F. Hill House was built circa 1889.
This 2 story Queen Anne house has a stone foundation, brick walls and a hip roof with front and side cross gables. The front entrance features a double door with a rectangular 3-lite transom. The gable ends of the projecting cross gables have decorative bargeboards, crossbracing and brackets.
William Franklin Hill was born in Tyler county, West Virginia, August 4, 1830. He was the son of James Hill and Sarah Craig. Per his obituary, Judge Hill was of Irish descent. His grandfather died while making the voyage from Ireland to America and was buried at sea.
In the summer of 1854, Judge Hill came to Louisiana from New Martinsville, West Virginia. He brought with him his carpentry tools and was soon employed by Levi Ruggles, a leading builder in Louisiana. He later partnered with P.H. Baird as building contractors. They erected some of the most substantial buildings in the city. He later partnered with J.W. Soward, again as building contractors. Together they built a planing mill and added a stock of lumber to their flourishing business. After a few years he retired from his firm with Soward. 1866 brought a new venture when he partnered with Marcus Dreyfus, Col. P. F. Lonergan and Capt. Enos Woracek to establish a lumber yard on south Third Street. In the spring of 1883 Judge Hill purchased his partners’ interests and continued the business under the name of W.F. Hill & Son. In the fall of 1888 he sold his business to J. F. Crawford, of Fulton, MO.
He did not stay retired for very long. He soon joined John P. Lynott in the hardware and furniture business. In 1894 he sold his furniture interest to F. C. Haley, Jr. and his hardware to his partner J. P. Lynott. Hill next engaged in the grocery business with A. T. Keeble on south Third and at some point bought Keeble’s interest. At this point in time he moved his stock to the Pearson building on the corner of Main & Georgia streets where he continued his business until November of 1915. He finally retired from his many business ventures due to advancing age and declining health.
William married Miss Elizabeth Jane English on October 28, 1856. Elizabeth was born June 6, 1839 to William English and Fannie L Summers. November 24, 1888 Elizabeth passed on at age 49. Elizabeth and William had nine children, two of the children did not obtain adulthood. Their children were Harry C. Hill, who became the Treasurer of Louisiana, William E. Hill a special agent for the Illinois of London Assurance Co. of London, Ben S. Hill. a druggist of Kansas City, Charles Hill, conductor on the Chicago & Alton railroad, Mrs. Hallie Hill Watson of San Francisco, Mrs. Fannie R. Griffis of Omaha and Mrs. Bessie Luge of Chicago.
February 25, 1892 William marries again to Miss Fannie Jackson. She was born September 7, 1859 to John J. Jackson and Lucinda Arganbright of La Grange, Mo.
Judge Hill passed away on October 19, 1916 at the ripe old age of 86 years, 2 months and 15 days.
Taken from his obituary in the Louisiana Press Journal November 11, 1916:
“Judge Hill was many times called upon by his fellow citizens to serve them in a public capacity and he brought to the discharge of there public duties the same honesty and integrity that characterized his business career. He served for twelve years consecutively as a member of the city council and two years as county judge. He was a member of Perseverance Lodge, A.F. & A. M. of this city for more than 60 years. He was also a member of Pike chapter, Royal Arch Masons as well as a member of the old Cyrene commandery, Knights Templar. He was probably the oldest Mason in the city and quite likely the oldest in the state.”
” He lived a neighbor to the writer (I.N. Bryson, Jr.) for more than half a century and if aught was ever said against his character we never heard of it. He was a good neighbor, a faithful husband, a kind and indulgent parent and a pure-minded gentleman. As will be noted in this sketch Judge Hill was the sold survivor, save one, Capt. Woracek, of all his business associates of half a century and the was also almost the last of the veterans of the fifties and his passing marks the going of the old and coming of the new order of civilization, but there are some things in which the new, may never surpass the old and that is in the rugged simplicity of character, the steadfast integrity and the child-like faith of our fathers.”1
1. Louisiana Press Journal. 1916. “Judge Wm. F. Hill- Sketch of One of the Few Remaining Pioneer Citizens,” November 11.