Death of Thomas Jefferson Hill
From a newspaper clipping, August 1914: “Thomas Jefferson Hill — Youngest son of Elisha and Pamelia (Pope) Hill, was born in Liberty, Union County, Ind, October 5th, 1840, and quietly passed away at his home in Colon, August 5th, 1914. Had he lived until October 5th, he would have been seventy-four years of age.
The deceased came from and old and well-known family, whose name is closely linked with the history of the community. Both Mr. Hill (illegible) locating at Colon with their family in 1849. They were strong in character, vigorous in purpose, indomitable of will, and their strong personalities were handed down to the children, Mrs. Pamelia Hill, the mother, was a descendent of General Pope, coming from one of the best known families in the New England States.
Thomas J. Hill passed virtually all his life in St. Joseph, having come to Colon when but nine years of age. When seventeen years old he began his business career in his father’s store, and from that time until he was seventy years of age he was closely allied with the business and civic life of the community. He has been an indefatigable worker, his strong will and personality bringing success where others had failed.
In 1870 the E. Hill and Sons Exchange Bank (now known as the E. Hill and Sons State Bank) was organized by the father, Elisha Hill, and the two sons; T. J. Hill holding the office of cashier and vice president until 1909 when he became its president.
In 1891 Mr. Hill became manager and superintendent of the Lamb Knit Goods Company, which had been organized two years before. When he took charge of the business it was but a comparatively small concern, but under his skillful management and natural executive ability the business soon began to grow, and continued to do so until the factory and its superintendent were known, not only throughout Michigan, but throughout the country. After nineteen years of service and successful management, Mr. Hill severed his connection with the Lamb Knit Goods Co. in 1910.
The deceased was married in 1863 to Miss Fannie Crippen, of Milford, Mich. To this union were born two children, Nellie, who died at three years of age, and Frank E. Hill.
In 1898 Mr. Hill was married to Mrs. Evelyn (McNiel) Doak of Springport, Mich., and to this union were born three children, Marian Elizabeth, aged 14, Edwin R. Jr., aged 13, and Thomas Jefferson Jr., deceased.
Two years ago Mr. Hill suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. But owing to his immense energy and strong will power he did not give up and his familiar figure could be seen upon the streets only a few days before his death.
Thomas Jefferson Hill with part of the staff at Lamb Knit Goods Company
Five days before the end came he was taken to bed and was unconscious a part of the time. About sundown of last Wednesday, as the village clerk struck the hour of six, his spirit passed on into eternity.
During the closing weeks of the deceased’s life his faithful and loving wife was his constant attendant. She (illegible) of loving heart could do to make his last hours comfortable and happy. She was to him a wife, companion, nurse and mother, and her administrations are now a source of satisfaction and solace to her. His last days were also brightened by the presence of all his children, and grandchildren who were never far away.
Mr. Hill leaves to mourn their loss, a wife, his son Frank E., cashier of the E. Hill & Sons State Bank, one daughter, Marian E., and his youngest daughter, Marian E., and his youngest son, Edwin R. Jr., besides other relatives, a host of business associates, former employees and friends.
Mr. Hill loved his home, was generous to a fault, loyal to his friends, charitable in spirit, kindly toward all, unostentatious, reverential in spirit for the things that were sacred. He was respected by all who knew him, trusted by the community, and he will now be missed, for the large place he filled in the business and civic life of the village and community round about. Thus has passed away another early settler, homemaker, and friend of the people from our midst.
We wish to express our gratitude to the friends who so kindly assisted during our recent sorrow; to Rev. Vernon for his words of comfort, to Mesdames Watson and VacSlyke for their sweet music, for the expressions of sympathy, and the beautiful floral offerings.
MRS. THOMAS J. HILL,
MARIAN AND EDWIN HILL,
MR. AND MRS. FRANK E. HILL AND FAMILY
The Thomas Jefferson home was located on South Blackstone (was Main St.) in Colon, right across the street from Lamb Knit Goods Co. The home was later occupied by Percy Abbott and was razed to allow for the curve in M86. That is the present funeral home in background.