Thomas Watson Hill
Thomas Watson Hill, the sixth child and the third son of John and Mary Ann Hill, was born on September 13, 1880, in Montfort, Wisconsin. Tom grew up and made his living amid the productive farm region in Southwestern Wisconsin, and married Dora Mae Washburn on November 22, 1901. Dora was the daughter of Frederick and Clara Fields Washburn.
The marriage of Tom and Dora Hill produced four children. Their three sons were born in the years leading up to and just after World War I—Virgil (1906), Eldon (1908), and Carlos (1919). Their only daughter, Virginia Hill Kenny, was born several years later in 1927.
In addition to being a successful farmer, Tom was also a member of the local school board for 30 years and at one time a president of the Annaton and Preston Telephone Company. He also served in many other capacities in his local community. Later in life, Tom and Dora moved to nearby Platteville where they lived the last years of their lives.
Five sons born to John and Mary Ann Hill--Thomas is pictured at the right in the second row.
Tom and Dora Hill on their 60th wedding anniversary in 1961
Thomas Hill died on July 10, 1966, and is buried in the Rock Church Cemetery near Livingston. Dora lived in Platteville until her death several years later on July 1, 1978.
The obituary that was printed after Thomas Hill’s death sums up some of the main qualities that characterized his life:
“His active, outgoing, and generous spirit inspired Tom to enthusiastic support and appreciation of his family and friends who treasure the memory of his warm tenderness. In the Christian home of his parents, Tom early learned the lessons of reverence, honesty, industry, and kindness. This training was continued at the Rock Church in Livingston and he later became a member of the Platteville Methodist Church.”
Thomas and Dora were married for 65 years, and they were blessed with 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Dora Washburn Hill later in life
Hill Family Picnic--1959; (l-r) Carlos, Virginia, Dora, Jackie Hill, Dixie Hill, Sharon Hill, Joyce Hill
Hill Family Picnic at Montfort Park--1959; Tom, Alta Pearson, Dora, Mabel Clark, Lillian Washburn, Emma & Vic Hill, and Bess Hannan
Dora, Virginia, and Tom--1964
Dora Hill's 90th birthday party--1975; (l-r) Bess Hill, Dora Hill, and Alta Pearson