The Hill Brothers: Vanransaler, William, and Walter

These brothers were my first cousins four times removed. Their father, John R. HILL, was a brother to my 3rd great-grandfather, Richard D. HILL. Both John and Richard were born somewhere in New York State, about 1803 and 1808 respectively. The brothers had 3 other siblings: John P. HILL (born circa 1830), Eliza HILL (born circa 1833), and Julia HILL (born 31 Aug 1852, died 28 Jul 1930.) John P. was somehow crippled, had no profession, and I last found him on the 1870 U.S. Census living with his parents. Eliza was present in the 1840 and 1850 U.S. Censuses, but I have not found any further documentation for her. Julia married Joseph KEMPEL (children were: Gertrude KEMPEL, Joseph KEMPEL, Henry KEMPEL, & Bertha KEMPEL) and moved to Akron, Ohio. Their father was living in Medina Township with his widowed sister-in-law, Matilda Harriet (KNAPP) HILL, in June 1880. Their mother, Maria FERGUSON, died 16 May 1869 and is buried at Coddingville Jones Cemetery in Granger Twp., Medina County.)

Vanransaler Ferguson HILL

Born 18 Oct 1836 in Harrisville Township, Medina County, Ohio. He lived in Lafayette Township for several years prior to the family moving to Granger Township before 1860. He worked at his father's mill, and as a carpenter before he married Sally A. RUDESILL in Medina on 26 May 1861. He enlisted as a Private 05 Nov 1862 in Cleveland, Ohio, and then enlisted in Company 5th Independent, Sharpshooters Regiment Ohio on 05 December 1862. His regiment fought in the following battles: Hollowell's Landing, Alabama; on 19 January 1864 at Seymour, IN; on 21 January 1864 at Chattanooga, TN, and at Nashville, TN on 28 October 1864. He mustered out of the Company 5th Independent, Sharpshooters Regiment on 19 July 1865 with Distinguished Service.

1890 Reunion of the Ohio Fifth Independent Sharpshooters
Berea, Ohio
Vanransaler Hill #15

After his discharge, he resided in Granger Twp., Medina County, before moving to Akron. On 05 Aug 1894 he was admitted to the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Sandusky into "H" Cottage. In March of 1899, during an examination at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, his physical description was entered as follows: 5'8", 145 pounds, 62 years of age, with a fair complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes. He was discharged per his request on 22 Aug 1912, and then readmitted to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home on 25 Apr 1913. He was admitted into the home's hospital 15 Mar 1916 and passed away on 26 Apr 1916 due to cardiac asthenia myocarditis. He is buried in Section I, Row 3, Marker 7.

*Ohio Soldiers' & Sailors' Home, Cottage H

[Sources: U.S. Census 1840, 1850, 1860, 1880, 1900, 1910; Marriage Certificate for Vanransaler Hill and Sally A. Rudesill; Civil War Database at; Ohio Veteran's Home records.]

Regimental History
Ohio Fifth Independent Company Sharpshooters
(Three Years)

Fifth Independent Company Sharpshooters. - Capts., Gershom M. Barber, David W. Botsford; First Lieuts., Jonathan Rickard, Franklin H. Somers, William N. Watson; Second Lieuts., William L. Stearns, William G Lemon. This independent organization was composed of recruits from Cleveland and vicinity, who were enrolled during the months of Oct. and Nov. 1862, and mustered into the U. S. service Dec. 5, at Camp Cleveland. It left Cleveland on March 1, 1863, and proceeded to Murfreesboro, Tenn., via Cincinnati and the OH and Cumberland rivers. Ar-riving at Murfreesboro on March 9, it reported to Maj.Gen. Rosecrans. A battalion was formed of the 5th, 6th, and 7th companies, OH volunteer sharpshooters. The battalion left Murfreesboro on June 24 and marched via Tullahoma to Normandy, where it arrived on July 5guarded a bridge over Duck river, and then proceeded to Chattanooga, arriving there Sept. 10; marched to Crawfish Springs Sept. 15, and was engaged guarding headquarters train and picking up stragglers through the battle of Chickamauga; returned to Chattanooga Sept. 21, established a line of sharpshooters at Little Suck on Oct. 13, and was engaged with a continual line of sharpshooters of the enemy untilNov. 1, driving them from their post; crossed the Tennessee river and scouted Sand mountain, returning to Chattanooga on Nov. 4. From Feb. 1 to 13, 1864, it buried 875 dead on the battlefield of Chickamauga. This company was mustered out on July 19, 1865, at Nashville, Tenn. The roll of honor shows that 17 men lost their lives during the period of service of the company, 14 of whom died of disease.

Battles Fought

Fought at Hollowell's Landing, AL.
Fought on 19 January 1864 at Seymour, IN.
Fought on 21 January 1864 at Chattanooga, TN.
Fought on 28 October 1864 at Nashville, TN.

[Source: The Union Army, vol. 2]

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William Henry HILL

William Henry HILL, who is probably one of the best-known citizens of Howard county, resides in the beautiful city of St. Paul. He is one of the earliest pioneers in that region, and, during his early residence here, followed farming, afterward engaging in the contracting and building business, and was for a number of years connected with the bridge building department of the Union Pacific railroad. He is a man of wide experience and has met with decided success in his different business ventures. Mr. Hill is a native of Medina County, Ohio, and was born July 29, 1840. He is a brother of Walter F. HILL (a sketch of whom appears in this volume on another page) and his childhood was spent in the vicinity of his birthplace, remaining on the home farm until his twenty-second year. In August 1862, he enlisted in the army and went with Company I, 103rd Ohio regiment of infantry, to the struggle serving until the close of the war. He participated in a number of the famous battles of civil war history, chief among them being the siege of Knoxville, Buzzard's Roost, the siege of Atlanta, and was all through that vicinity with his company, including the engagements at Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee, besides numerous minor skirmishes. In June of 1865 Mr. Hill received an honorable discharge from the army, and returned to his home, remaining there for about a year and a half, and during that time was united in marriage to Miss Mary Jane MERTON of Portage County, Ohio. The young couple settled in Portage County, and followed farming for about three years then moved into Missouri, where they farmed until the spring of 1872 when they came to Howard county, the family consisting at that time of Mr. and Mrs. Hill and little daughter. They located on a homestead in section two, township ten, range fourteen, proved up on the claim, and farmed for about thirteen years, retiring from active farm work in 1885, when they moved to St. Paul, where Mr. Hill bought a comfortable home, which they still occupy. For about ten years after coming to St. Paul, Mr. Hill was engaged in doing bridge work for the Union Pacific railway company, then began at the builders' and contractors' trade, of which he has made a success. During his early residence in Howard County, Mr. Hill was director of school district number fifteen for a number of years and aided in every way possible to develop his locality along educational and commercial lines. He has held different township offices of trust, and, with his good wife, is classed among the prominent early pioneers of the county. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hill, but only three of them are now living, namely: Cora M., wife of Chas. Dunn, they have three children and residing in Howard County; Inez M., wife of L. A. [Lemuel] Parker, parents of two children, and living in Cotesfield; Edna M., wife of Lee DeBord, who have one son, their home being in Brayton, Nebraska. The parents of Mrs. Hill are dead, but she has two sisters living, one of whom resides in St. Paul and the other in Pennsylvania. Mr. Hill's father and mother [John R. Hill and Maria] both died in Ohio. One brother, Vanrensler [Vanransaler], lives in Ohio, Walter F., mentioned above, and one sister, Mrs. Julia Kemple [Kempel], also living in Ohio.

[Source: Compendium of History, Reminiscence, and Biography of Nebraska; pages 115 & 116 Alden Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1912]

Mary Jane (MERTON) HILL died 23 Dec 1916 and William 02 Jul 1921. Both are buried at Elmwood Cemetery, St. Paul, Howard County, NE

Regimental History 
Ohio 103rd Regiment 
(Three Years)

Organized at Cleveland, Ohio, August, 1862. Ordered to Kentucky September 3, 1862. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Army of Kentucky, Dept. of the Ohio, to October, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of Kentucky, Dept. Ohio, January 1863. 1st Brigade, District of Central Kentucky, Dept. Ohio, to June 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of Ohio, to August 1863. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of Ohio, to February 1865, and Dept. of North Carolina, to June, 1865. SERVICE--Pursuit of Kirby Smith to Lexington, Ky., September 18-22, 1862. Duty at Snow's Pond until October 6, and at Frankfort until May, 1863. Expedition to Monticello and operations in Southeastern Kentucky April 26-May 12, 1863. Action at Monticello May 1. Duty in Central Kentucky until August. Burnside's Campaign in East Tennessee August 16 - October 17. At Greenville until September 19. Carter's Depot September 20-21. Jonesboro September 21. Knoxville Campaign November 4 - December 23. Siege of Knoxville November 17 - December 5. Operations about Dandridge January 16-17, 1864. Duty at Blain's Cross Roads until April 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to September 8. Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge and Dalton, Ga., May 8-13. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Cartersville May 20. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church, and Allatoona Hills May 25 - June 5. Near Marietta June 1-9. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10 - July 2. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Muddy Creek June 17. Noyes Creek June 19. Cheyney's Farm June 22. Olley's Farm June 26-27. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Isham's Ford, Chattahoochie River, July 8 (1st Regiment to cross). Decatur July 18-19. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Near Rough and Ready August 31. Battle of Jonesboro August 31 - September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Operations against Hood in Northern Georgia and Northern Alabama October. At Decatur until October 20. Nashville Campaign November-December. Columbia, Duck River, November 24-27. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. At Clifton, Tenn., until January 16, 1865. Movement to Washington, D.C., thence to North Carolina January 16 - February 9. Operations against Hoke, near Fort Fisher, N. C., February 11-14. Near Sugar Loaf Battery February 11. Fort Anderson, Cape Fear River, February 18-19. Town Creek February 19-20. Capture of Wilmington February 22. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1 - April 26. Advance on Goldsboro March 6-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 21. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty at Raleigh, N. C., and in the Dept. of North Carolina until June. Mustered out June 12, 1865. Regiment lost during service 2 Officers and 137 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 106 Enlisted men by disease. Total 148.

[Source: The Civil War Archive 1998-2002]

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Walter Ferguson HILL

The gentleman above mentioned is one of the popular pioneers of Howard county, bears an excellent reputation as a patriotic citizen and successful business man, and is one of the leaders in local affairs in that city. Although at present retired from active labor, and residing in one of the handsome homes in St. Paul, he was for many years intimately identified with the agricultural interests of the county and has been a potent factor in its development. Walter F. Hill was born in Medina County, Ohio, on January 8, 1843, and at about the age of fourteen, engaged in the saw-mill business with his father [John R. HILL] and two brothers [William Henry HILL and Vanransaler F. HILL], continuing in the work for a number of years. At the beginning of the civil war, he enlisted for six months, but on account of an accident, was unable to serve until 1864, when he entered the army in August, serving in Company D, One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Ohio Regiment of Infantry, and took part in some of the principal engagements toward the close of the war, among them being the battle of Stone River, Tennessee, besides different skirmishes. He received an honorable discharge on May 18, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee, having several months previously received injuries which resulted in his confinement in a hospital for three months. After leaving the army, Mr. Hill returned to his home in Ohio, and worked at railroading for about one year and a half, then began farming, and was successful in the work, continuing at it all the time he remained in Ohio, which was up to 1873. On March 20, 1870, he was married to Weltha A. Boham, a native of Portage County, Ohio, who was a teacher in the public schools in that vicinity for a number of years. They came to Nebraska in the spring of 1873, locating in Howard County, where Mr. Hill homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres on section twenty-two, township fourteen, range ten, and proved up on the land. He later purchased another quarter in the same section and succeeded in developing a fine stock and grain farm. He afterward added to his acreage until he owned in all about four hundred acres, all of which he has now disposed of. A short time ago, Mr. Hill retired from active farming and bought a fine residence in St. Paul, where himself and wife are popular members of their social circle. Mr. Hill was one of the principal organizers of school district number eleven, and for about twenty years served as its director and treasurer. Mr. and Mrs. Hill were among the earliest families to settle in this part of Howard County, and have passed through all the various stages of its development, becoming widely known through their aid in furthering in every way possible the best interests of their locality. Mr. Hill has a brother [William Henry Hill] living in St. Paul, also one brother [Vanransaler F. Hill] who lives in Ohio, and Mrs. Hill has a brother living in Kansas, another in Iowa, and a sister, who still makes Ohio her permanent home.
[Source: Compendium of History, Reminiscence, and Biography of Nebraska; pages 175 & 176 Alden Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1912]  

Weltha (BOHAM) HILL passed away 14 Mar 1914. Walter died 20 Aug 1916. Both are laid to rest at Elmwood Cemetery, St. Paul, Howard County, NE.

Regimental History 
Ohio One Hundred and Seventy-Eighth Infantry 
(One Year)

One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Infantry. - Col., Joab A. Stafford; Lieut.-Col., Aaron C. Johnson; Maj., John C. Hamilton. This regiment was organized at Camp Chase, Sept. 26, 1864, to serve for one year, and was at once dispatched by rail and river to Nashville, with orders to report to Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas for duty. It remained in Nashville some two weeks, performing guard duty when it was sent to Tullahoma, Tenn., where it composed part of the post command. The post at Tullahoma was evacuated in the winter of 1864 and the regiment was sent to Murfreesboro, where it remained during the siege. After the defeat of Gen. Hood's army at Nashville the regiment was ordered to North Carolina. It landed at Morehead City with the 23d corps and a few days thereafter participated in a skirmish with the enemy at Wise's Forks. After the surrender of Johnston's army, the regiment was ordered to Charlotte, N. C., where it performed garrison duty until mustered out on June 29, 1865, in accordance with orders from the war department.  

Battles Fought

Fought on 30 November 1864 at Elk River, TN.
Fought on 06 December 1864 at Murfreesboro, TN.
Fought on 07 December 1864 at Murfreesboro, TN.
Fought on 07 December 1864 at Wilkerson's Pike, TN.
Fought on 14 December 1864 at Murfreesboro, TN.
Fought on 14 December 1864 at Wilkinson's Pike, TN.
Fought on 10 March 1865 at NC.
Fought on 08 April 1865 at Wilmington, NC To Goldsboro, NC.

[Source: The Union Army, vol. 2]  

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(rev. 07/03/2022)

*Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator. Ohio Soldiers' & Sailors' Home, Cottage H, U.S. Route 250 at DeWitt Avenue, Sandusky, Erie County, OH. Ohio Sandusky Erie County, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph.