Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Hill Family

A few questions that I forgot to ask you:  I was calling your father 'Eddie', maybe not the name you'd prefer?  What name would you prefer we call your dad?  What was Edward's occupation?  Was there any final disappointment that would have caused Jorgen to take his life?  Is Diann older than you?  Am I spelling Diann's name correctly.

Again, I'm working on a history of Henry and Verena Hill and their 10 children, one of which is your grandmother Edna.   I get sidetracked easily and got interested in your grandfather Jorgen, who really isn't blood-related to me (or Kent).  He's just a very interesting guy and had a life which seemed to include real highs and lows.  Maybe the reason Kent became interested in Jorgen is that Kent lost his young wife to illness like Jorgen lost his first two wives. 

Kent has researched that Jorgen and his second wife, Ethel, had 2 sons, Blaine and Arnold.  Then Jorgen married Francis and had one son, Glen.  He divorced Francis for 'desertion', married Lena, who filed for divorce but never went through with it.  I think she might have been ill at the time and died shortly after Jorgen.

So my focus would be more on Edna.  The trouble is that we know very little about your grandmother, because she died so young (of TB).  We have 2 photos of her--  one when she's about 21 (very attractive) and another when she's about 12.  Kent found a newspaper article reporting that Edna threw a wedding shower for her younger sister, Hazel, and I think we have another article about Edna attending a party.  The 1910 census tells us that Jorgen and Edna lived next door to Henry and Verena on West 21st St. in Ogden.

So Edna was in the daiy life of her youngest brother, my grandfather Harold, before and after her marriage.  My grandfather named his only child 'Betty Edna Hill', I'm sure in honor of your grandmother.   Interestingly, your parents named their daughter 'Betty Diann Peterson' after my mother.  Another interesting thing is that Edna named one of her 2 sons Clarence, I'm sure after Edna's little brother Clarence, who had died at age 15 months. 

As you probably know, the two Peterson brothers, John and Jorgen, married two Hill sisters, Elizabeth and Edna.  When Edna died, Elizabeth and John took Clarence but not Edward.  I wonder how that was decided? 

The question arises of who raised Edward.  Diann says 'nobody'.  I know enough about psychology to know that if Edward bonded with 'nobody', he would have turned out a psychological mess, but, by your and Diann's account, Edward grew into a fine man, with good ethics.   Diann says that Edward left home as soon as he could, and we have that strange newspaper article where Jorgen is petitioning the court to get custody of Edward.   Can you think of any explanation for that?

My theory is that Jorgen was trying to get help from the court to get Edward to come home.  As for who raised Edward, I think "a village" of Hills and Petersons raised him --  probably the Hill uncles (who by all accounts were fine blue-collar family men), Hazel Hill Boyle (who saw herself as the keeping the family together and who would 'hold court' from time to time), John and Elizabeth ( later John and Irene), and Soren Peterson (and the Ogden Valley Petersons and Bachmans). 

Elizabeth Hill also died young and John married an English convert, Irene Davis.  Irene became mother to Clarence and Elizabeth's 2 sons, Clyde and Floyd, and had 2 children of her own, Elva and Herb.  According to Elva, Irene took care of Edward when he was recovering from his leg amputation.

There is surprisingly little known about what Henry and Verena Hill were like .  Henry was especially camera shy-- there are only 2 known photos of him.  His obituary reads that he was the 'most popular railroad man in Ogden'.  I've talked to two people who knew Verena, and they both said she was a sweet, loving person.  The only photo we had of her wasn't her at all--  it turns out to be her mother-in-law.  But I've located 3 photos of Verena that I will share.

I've tried to locate the Hill family home and now know the general area--  near where West 21st and West 20th streets connect and near Wilson Lane.  It was within walking distance of the railroad yards, where Henry, Fred, Henry Jr., and Harold worked.

So anything you'd like to add, Roger, would be appreciated.  l've located about 8 Hill relatives in the Salt Lake area.  Good people.  It's too bad that you don't all know each other --  we could have a great family reunion :)