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Peter O Hill

Company "I"

4th Illinois Cavalry

When Peter O. Hill returned to Illinois in 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army at Earlville in DeKalb County and was assigned to the 4th Illinois Cavalry. Company "I" was assembled at Ottawa, Illinois where they obtained their horses. There they received more equipment and the road down to Cairo, Illinois under very dry, dusty conditions. Some of the men were almost blinded by the dust. A doctor treated Peter at that time for an eye infection.

At this time General Grant was in charge of this unit, and as the year 1861 ended, seven large ironclad gunboats were assigned to the Mississippi squadron. These gunboats were 175' long, 51' wide, with 13 large cannons. Two steam engines have the vessel a speed of about 6 knots. The Cairo was a 500-ton ship, built of white oak in ninety days at a cost of $90,000 by James Eads, a famous engineer. Each gunboat had a crew of 175 men. To encourage service on these vessels, the government offered a bonus of $100 and reduced the enlistment period from a three-year Army term to a one-year Navy term. In addition, any Confederate property seized on the river was to be divided among the crew as a prize of war. General Grant gave Army discharges to 35 men of the 4th Illinois Cavalry so they could enlist in the Navy. Peter O. Hill received one of these discharges and on January 30, 1862 went aboard the U.S.S. Cairo. Here he became Captain of Mess No. 4, which included immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Their utensils were kept in a mess box 2' x 2' x 5'.

By the middle of February 1862 the U.S.S. Cairo was proceeding up the Cumberland River beyond Fort Donelson to Clarksville and on to Nashville, Tennessee. The U.S.S. Cairo steamed up the Tennessee River to Fort Henry and on to Pittsburgh Landing (Shiloh). Then taking the Mississippi River to Columbus, Tennessee, where the Cairo engaged in naval action. The battle at Memphis was considered one of the most important naval battles of the war as five Confederate ships was seized, some of which were loaded with cotton. The U.S.S. Cairo was then assigned to transport and support Sherman's troops at Vicksburg, Mississippi. There were reports that a 300-foot Confederate gunboat was being constructed at Yazoo City, about 70 miles up the Yazoo River from Vicksburg. The U.S.S.Cairo headed up the Yazoo River, which had been mined by the Confederates. About 16 miles from Vicksburg, the U.S.S. Cairo was heavily damaged when two 5-gallon black powder mines were detonated by galvanic cells from the shore. The Cairo sank to the bottom of the Yazoo River at the Benson Blake plantation. No lives were lost. The U.S.S.Cairo remained on the Yazoo River bottom for over one hundred years until Edwin Bearrs, a National Parks historian, headed a group, which found and raised it in 1964. (Mr. Bearrs wrote "Hard Luck Ironclad" which tells the story of raising the ship.) The U.S.S. Cairo was later moved to Pascagoula, Mississippi. Presently, it is being restored in the Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, Mississippi. Only two of the Mess Boxes have been recovered, one being the box of Mess No. 4. The mess gear of Peter O. Hill, with his initials "P.O.H." scratched on it, is now on display at the Visitor's Center of the Vicksburg National Military Park. After the U.S.S. Cairo was lost, Peter O. Hill was reassigned to the Tin-clad Forest Rose, commanded by Acting Master George W. Brown. We have a pass to General Grant's Cavalry Headquarters dated January 27, 1863 (Peter Hill's old Company I) for Peder Anderson and Peter O. Hill. We assume the pass was to visit their old friends in Company I. Navy records indicate he also served on the Rattler, no further details are known. Captain Selfridge, commander of the Cairo, had previously worked on the development of the Union submarine, Alligator. When the Alligator failed, Selfridge and some of the men were transferred to the Cairo. This gives an idea of the varied backgrounds of crewmen with whom Peter O. Hill served.

After the war, Peter O. Hill and Aasa Espe were married on February 4, 1866 at Dixon, Illinois. "Osey" had been born at South Fyord in Hardanger, Norway on December 12, 1841. She was a very fine and gentlewoman. The year of their marriage Peter and Aasa bought 160 acres in Dement Township, Ogle County, Illinois. The first year, however, they lived with Aasa's brother, Elias Espe, who was recently widowed. He bought a yoke, oxen and a breaking plow to turn the tough prairie sod. He carried a file so he could sharpen the share at the end of each furrow. He always carried a stout stick to kill rattlesnakes. He had to borrow money from a local loan shark paying 10% interest in advance. After the first year he was able to use horses.

About 1878, Peter rented some swampy land (Brush Grove), about a mile west of the present Rochelle Airport. This land was rented from George Mix, Ogle County Treasurer, for .75 cents per acre. Mr. Mix had purchased the land for $2.50 and acre. Family members have an 1867 warehouse receipt from McCrea Elevator in Creston for 1800 lbs. of wheat shipped to Norway. The transportation costs were as follows: From Creston to Clinton $41.40, Bridge Charge $2.70, Clinton (Iowa) to Norway $41.40, making a total of $85.50. We have been told that Peter had a special shoulder yoke, which he used to carry butter or milk to Creston, a distance of 3 1/2 miles. From Creston the butter was shipped to Chicago.

Service records indicate he was a broad-shouldered 5'-11" man with blue eyes and dark hair. Tradition has it that he was a strong and very good arm wrestler, a champion in this sport in ship-wide contests. He was known to believe in discipline and was one of the founding fathers of what is now known as Calvary Lutheran Church of Rural Lee, Lee County, Illinois.

Through rough years he built substantial buildings and a fine home. Six sons and fours daughters were raised on the homestead. The corncrib and large barn are still in use. Peter died as the result of being run over by runaway horses when he was 55 years old, leaving Aasa a widow at 49. Members of the family say Aasa never raised her voice or spoke a harsh word in discipline, but the "Golden Rule" was taught and used - together with mother's love quieted every disturbance and healed every hurt. She lived on 25 years after Peter's death.

The door to their house was always open to welcome every guest and it is said they never went to church without another family coming and sharing dinner with them or being invited to another home. They loved music and were among the first to get an organ. A beautiful walnut, foot-pedal instrument that became the center of the family leisure time. It was Aasa's delight to sit and listen by the hour to the family sing hymns and popular, rollicking songs. They were self-taught musicians except for one sister, Anna that had an especially fine voice and went to St. Louis for a short course of formal training. However they were known far and wide and were called upon to sing for funerals and weddings and at public meetings throughout the community. The family was known, too, for the amount of reading they did. They subscribed to local papers and also to papers from Norway. They were a public-spirited family and had unbounded faith in their new homeland and believed they needed to be well informed if they were able to wisely help make this new democracy work. They served willingly in local government.

Peter was the only known Hill "kinsman" to have served in the Civil War. Their grandchildren now farm several thousand acres in the vicinity.

Peder O. Hill is buried in Union Cemetery, Atlo Twp., Lee County, Illinois

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Descendants of Ola Olson Foss

Generation No. 3

3. OLA OLSON3 HIDLE (OLA OLSON JORSTAD2, OLA OLSON1 FOSS) was born August 04, 1824 in Nord Hidle, Sjernaroy Islands, Norway, and died February 25, 1864 in Nord Hidle, Sjernaroy Islands, Norway. He married GUNN-ELI KARINA GUNNARSDTR. HIDLE September 17, 1858 in Nord Hidle, Sjernaroy Islands, Norway.

Notes for OLA OLSON HIDLE:

Stayed in Norway.

Children of OLA HIDLE and GUNN-ELI HIDLE are:

.........

..........i.

OLA4 HIDLE, b. April 01, 1860.

......

.........ii.

KARINA OLENA HIDLE, b. May 11, 1861.

.......

........iii.

KARINA OLENA HIDLE, b. May 11, 1861.

.9.

........iv.

KAREN OLENA OLSDTR. HIDLE, b. September 27, 1863, Nord Hidle, Sjernaroy Islands, Norway; d. June 15, 1939.

4. ANNA KARINA OLSDTR.3 HIDLE (OLA OLSON JORSTAD2, OLA OLSON1 FOSS) was born August 31, 1826 in Nord Hidle, Sjernaroy Islands, Norway, and died November 25, 1911 in Creston,Ogle County, Illinois. She married PEDER PEDERSON July 18, 1847 in Hidle Island, Norway.

Notes for ANNA KARINA OLSDTR. HIDLE:

Born on Hidle Island, August 31, 1826, she married Peder Pederson (Peter Hill) and sailed for the Fox River Settlement in Illinois. The traveling was very difficult as all food had to be supplied by the passengers and cholera was a plague from New York to the very end of the trip. Since they were settling among her brothers and all were from Hidle Island, they registered with the immigration service as Peter and Caroline Hill. Her brothers and sisters in the settlement:

Peter and Elsie Espe, called "Hills up North"; Ole, called "South Hills" ; Rasmus, called "The clergyman" and Caroline (Osmundson).

Peter and Elsie (Espe) had ten children: Lincoln, Josie, Oscar (his wife is Olive they had 3 boys, 2 girls), Carri, Peter (his wife is Minnie, they had 3 boys, she remarried Tom Richolson at Creston), Emma, Charles (his wife was Ethyl Tracy of Ames, Iowa), Anna, Joseph and Roy (Roy married Martha Hjelvik, a German government secretary and they lived near Charles and Ethyl in Glendale, Califonia.)

Ole married Bertha Govig, a sister of Peter Govig. They settled on a farm south of Anna Karena Hill near the town of Lee. Their family consisted of: Martha, Clarence, Charles O., a broker at Denton, Minn. Died in 1947, John and Oliver, who was a war correspondent in 1898 in Cuba for the Minneapolis Tribune. He married a wealthy Spanish girl who was very beautiful and they finally settled in Dawson, Minn, near Charles O.

Caroline married Osmundson who returned from the Civil War in 1865 in an unhappy mental state and was a very heavy drinker. She died a young woman (in her twenties) and left three children: Julius, Caroline and Martha who married Peter P. Hill, her cousin. Their baby of 13 months died. Caroline Hill Ottosen was with them a good deal, caring for mother and baby. Martha died of tuberculosis the next year. The baby's name was Albert.

Caroline Hill managed the farm and raised the family of ten children. Bertha was her constant companion. She died November 25, 1911 and was buried beside her husband in the local church yard.

More About ANNA KARINA OLSDTR. HIDLE:

Fact 1: Buried in Union Cemetery, Atlo Twp., Lee County, Illinois.

Notes for PEDER PEDERSON:

The year 1849, which was such a milestone in American history, was also an important one in the lives of Peter and Karena Hidle, or Hille, ancestors of the Hill family now scattered far and wide over the American continent. For it was May 1, 1849 that the two you people, who had been born and lived all their lives until then on tiny Stjernera Island off the southwest tip of Norway, rowed away from the familiar shore on the way to nearby Stavanger and the beginning of a journey to the new world.

Peter was in his twenty-ninth year, and we can picture him rowing strongly while his young wife, twenty-three year old Karena (or Caroline as she came to be called later) looked back with tear filled eyes to the diminishing hills where she had been born, grown to womanhood and where her first child was buried. As always when a tie must be broken, it is the man who moves with determination, the woman who looks regretfully over her shoulder.

In Stavanger they boarded a small sailing ship from the voyage to America. It has been said that lumber meant for a much larger vessel was concentrated in this one of lesser size, so that it was of extra strength and stoutness. If this had not been so, this story might well have had a different ending, or never have been written at all. For the voyage proved to be stormier and more perilous than had been expected.

They were only a few days out when the first storm struck. Terrific winds shattered masts and spars. Huge waves flung the small ship about like a toy and threatened to engulf her and all her freight. Only the captain's stern will kept the sailors from abandoning what seemed a hopeless wreck.

But at last the fury abated somewhat. The ruined masts and rigging were cut away. Such repairs as possible were hurriedly made. The exhausted passengers gazed out fearfully over a momentarily quiet sea.

For six endless weeks storm succeeded storm before the battered vessel and its weary human freight staggered into the port of New York. How they would have welcomed the site of the torch of Liberty, had the heroic statue stood there then. No wonder Grand-mother Hill never, after reaching her final destination, set foot in so much as a rowboat.

But there were weeks of travel still ahead of them. Up the Hudson to Albany; then by flat-bottomed mule drawn barge, which the captain tried to force them to share with a party of roistering Irish immigrants, along the Erie Canal to Buffalo. It was in Buffalo that one of the bitterest moments of the whole trip came to Grandmother Caroline. For weeks there had been almost nothing to eat but the dry loaves which she baked and brought from the old home. But in Buffalo a man was selling apples, shiny red apples. She bought one and polished it even brighter on her shawl. She weighed it lovingly in her hand and feasted her eyes on it, dreaming of the luscious crispness of the first bite. Then Peter spied it. 'No Karena, no!' he cried. 'Do you not see! All around us people are dying of cholera. This apple may carry the fatal sickness. You must not eat it!' He took the apple from her and threw it as far as he could out into the lake. They escaped the cholera, but it was a disappointment she never forgot.

From Buffalo they traveled by lake boat to the Chicago area, a journey of about 5 weeks in those days. In all this route, they didn't see a railroad train. In Chicago they boarded another canal boat which took them to the little town of Norway, Illinois, on the Fox River, where they knew a freind. Then at last their feet were on firm ground to stay.

After visiting Peter's uncle who had been in the little Norwegian settlement since 1834, the young people resumed their journey on foot. This was located on the Fox river in La Salle county Illinois. In the spring of 1850 they departed for the town of Leland. They walked for miles through the tall grass of the Illinois prairie. At last they were overtaken by a team and wagon and given a lift to the little town of Leland. Some months later they moved to their first farm, eighty acres twenty miles northwest of the town, remaing there for 15 years.

Most of Peter's two hundred dollars capital had gone into that farm. They had to work hard to stretch what was left. Much of their furniture Peter made himself with tools brought from the old home. There were crops to be made, a new language to learn. The old story of pioneer courage and determination which established the American settlement everywhere.

The first six children were born on this original place, including Caroline, who married Otto Ottosen of Creston, Illinois. In 1865 they moved to a larger farm in Alto township, Lee county, Illinois east of the town of Steward. There five more children were born, and Peter died in 1875, having become overheated, they said, in the harvest field, one account reports that he died from stomach cancer. After his death his widow lived on there for nearly thirty five years and raised the family with the help of the older boys. When she died in 1911, two of the younger children, Andrew and Bertha, bought the place from the other heirs for one hundred sixty five dollars an acre, and lived there until 1943 when it passed out of the family.

More About PEDER PEDERSON:

Fact 1: Buried in Union Cemetery, Atlo Twp., Lee County, Illinois

Children of ANNA HIDLE and PEDER PEDERSON are:

..10.

.......i.

PETER P.4 HILL, b. September 28, 1849, Leland, Illinois; d. April 20, 1894, Grand Junction, Colorado.

..11.

......ii.

OLE HILL, b. October 23, 1851, Leland, Illinois; d. 1930, Winnipeg, Canada.

..12.

.....iii.

NELS HILL, b. January 17, 1854, Leland, Illinois; d. 1931, Fort Dodge, Iowa.

..13.

.....iv.

JULIA ANN HILL, b. February 05, 1856, Leland, Illinois; d. April 11, 1901, Creston, Illinois.

..14.

......v.

CAROLINE HILL, b. May 15, 1858, Leland, Illinois; d. June 13, 1923.

.........

.....vi.

BERTHA M. HILL, b. April 17, 1860, Leland, Illinois; d. January 11, 1947, Ottawa, Illinois.

Notes for BERTHA M. HILL:

Bertha was the advisor and constant companion of her mother after her fathers death. During the years when her younger brothers were in Colorado she actively managed the farm.

She never married and kept the house for brother Andrew on the farm for many years. She frequently visited her married brothers and sisters and took great pride in their children. Finally she turned the homestead over to her brother Andrew and retired to the Old Ladies Home where she lived happily the last years of her life.

Fact:1..........

...........

More About BERTHA M. HILL:

Buried in Union Cemetery, Atlo Twp., Lee County , Illinois

..15.

......vii.

CHARLES HILL, b. June 27, 1862, Creston, Illinois; d. April 1937, Chicago, Illinois.

...........

.....viii.

ANDREW HILL, b. April 05, 1865, Creston, Illinois; d. October 07, 1867, Creston, Illinois.

..16.

.......ix.

ANDREW OSCAR HILL, b. December 05, 1867, Creston, Illinois; d. March 08, 1947, Creston, Illinois.

..17.

........x.

BENJAMIN HILL, b. September 06, 1869, Creston, Illinois; d. June 09, 1950, Dawson, Minnesota.

..18.

.......xi.

WILLIAM PERRY HILL, b. October 31, 1874, Creston, Illinois; d. March 26, 1954, Bellingham, Washington.

5. OLA3 HIDLE (OLA OLSON JORSTAD2, OLA OLSON1 FOSS) was born February 16, 1832 in Nord Hidle, Sjernaroy Islands, Norway. He married BERTHA GOVIG, daughter of GOVIG.

Notes for OLA HIDLE:

He and his wife were called "The South Hills". Came to the USA in 1856 to Illinois and then the family went West

Children of OLA HIDLE and BERTHA GOVIG are:

..19.

............i.

MARTHA4 HILL.

..20.

...........ii.

CLARENCE HILL.

..21.

..........iii.

CHARLES O. HILL.

..22.

..........iv.

JOHN HILL, b. August 31, 1866; d. October 11, 1943.

...........

...........v.

OLIVER HILL, m. ANGELIA.

Notes for OLIVER HILL: Lived in Cuba for some years

6. PEDER O.3 HIDLE (OLA OLSON JORSTAD2, OLA OLSON1 FOSS) was born March 01, 1835 in Nord Hidle, Sjernaroy Islands, Norway, and died April 14, 1890 in Creston, Illinois. He married AASA ESPE February 04, 1866 in Dixon, Illinois, daughter of OLE ESPE and JOA.

Notes for PEDER O. HIDLE:

Occupation - Farmer, had 10 children, he and his wife were called "The Hills up North".

Peter O. Hill came to the USA in 1856 to Leland, Illinois area to live where his sister Anna Karina (Caroline) and brother in law Peder Pederson (Peter Hill) lived. They later moved to Alto Township in Lee County, Illinois. This was the same year Peter and Elias Espe came to the U.S, Peter O. later married their sister Aasa. In 1859 he set off on the gold rush with them in a large group of perhaps 100 men. Among them were Peter J. Govig, Peter and Elias Espe, the Rogde brothers and many others. However Peter O. got sick with "Rocky Mountain Fever" near the Platte River in Nebraska and he was left there. He was so desperately sick with terrible fever and chills that he decided he was going to "kill or cure" - he took a huge dose of quinine that knocked him entirely out but it also knocked out the fever. He stayed with a family in Nebraska and husked corn for his keep and the farmers gave him $25.00 when he left for Illinois the following spring.

Peter Govig went farther and finally hit it big at Alder Gulch, Montana, north and west of Yellowstone National Park. He brought back $20,000 to $30,000 and turned most of it in for green backs after the Civil War, about 2 paper dollars for 1 gold dollar. With his gold he bought a large farm near Creston, Illinois. (Carl M. Hill, son of Oscar and Olive Hill owns and lives on part of this farm.)

When Peter O. returned to Illinois in 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army at Earlville in DeKalb County and was assigned to the 4th Illinois Cavalry. This Cavalry Company was assembled at Ottowa, Illinois where they obtained their horses. There they received more equipment and the road down to Cairo, Illinois under very dry, dusty conditions. Some of the men were almost blinded by the dust. Peter was treated by a doctor at that time for an eye infection.

At this time General Grant was in charge of this unit, and as the year 1861 ended, seven large ironclad gunboats were assigned to the Mississippi squadron. These gunboats were 175' long, 51' wide, with 13 large cannons. Two steam engines have the vessel a speed of about 6 knots. The Cairo was a 500-ton ship, built of white oak in ninety days at a cost of $90,000 by James Eads, a famous engineer. Each gunboat had a crew of 175 men. To encourage service on these vessels, the government offered a bonus of $100 and reduced the enlistment period from a three-year Army term to a one-year Navy term. In addition, any Confederate property seized on the river was to be divided among the crew as a prize of war. General Grant gave Army discharges to 35 men of the Illinois 4th Cavalry so they could enlist in the Navy. Peter O. Hill received one of these discharges and on January 30, 1862 went aboard the Cairo. Here he became Captain of Mess No. 4, which included immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Their utensils were kept in a mess box 2' x 2' x 5'.

By the middle of February 1862 the Cairo was proceeding up the Cumberland River beyond Fort Donnelson to Clarksville and on to Nashville, Tennessee. The Cairo steamed up the Tennessee River to Fort Henry and on to Pittsburgh Landing and Shiloh. Then taking the Mississippi River to Columbus, Tennessee, where the Cairo engaged in naval action. The battle at Memphis was considered one of the most important naval battles of the war as five Confederate ships were seized, some of which were loaded with cotton. The Ciaro was then assigned to transport and support Sherman's troops at Vicksburg, Mississippi. There were reports that a 300-foot Confederate gunboat was being constructed at Yazoo City, about 70 miles up the Yazoo River from Vicksburg. The Cairo headed up the Yazoo River which had been mined by the Confederates. About 16 miles from Vicksburg, the Ciaro was heavily damaged when two 5-gallon black powder mines were detonated by galvanic cells from the shore. The Cairo sank to the bottom of the Yazoo River at the Benson Blake plantation. No lives were lost.

The Cairo remained on the Yazoo River bottom for over one hundred years until Edwin Bearrs, a National Parks historian, headed a group which found and raised it it 1964. (Mr. Bearrs wrote "Hard Luck Ironclad" which tells the story of raising the ship.) The Cairo was later moved to Pascagoula, Mississippi. Presently, it is being restored in the Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, Mississippi. Only two of the Mess Boxes have been recovered, one being the box of Mess No. 4. The mess gear of Peter O. Hill, with his initials "P.O.H." scratched on it, is now on display at the Visitor's Center of the Vicksburg National Military Park.

After the Cairo was lost, Peter O. Hill was reassigned to the tinclad Forest Rose, commanded by Acting Master George W. Brown. We have a pass to General Grant's Cavalry Headquarters dated January 27, 1863 (Peter Hill's old Company I) for Peder Anderson and Peter O. Hill. We assume the pass was to visit their old friends in Company I. Navy records indicate he also served on the Rattler, no further details are known. Captain Selfridge, commander of the Cairo, had previously worked on the development of the Union submarine, Alligator. When the Alligator failed, Selfridge and some of the men were transferred to the Cairo. This gives an idea of the varied backgrounds of crewmen with whom Peter O. Hill served.

After the war, Peter O. Hill and Aasa Espe were married on February 4, 1866 at Dixon, Illinois. "Osey" had been born at South Fyord in Hardanger, Norway on December 12, 1841. She was a very fine and gentle woman. The year of their marriage Peter and Aasa bought 160 acres in Dement Township, Ogle County, Illinois. The first year, however, they lived with Aasa's brother, Elias Espe, who was recently widowed. He bought a yoke, oxen and a breaking plow to turn the tough prairie sod. He carried a file so he could sharpen the share at the end of each furrow. He always carried a stout stick to kill rattlesnakes. He had to borrow money from a local loan shark paying 10% interest in advance. After the first year he was able to use horses.

About 1878, Peter rented some swampy land (Brush Grove), about a mile west of the present Rochelle Airport. This land was rented from George Mix, Ogle County Treasurer, for .75 cents per acre. Mr. Mix had purchased the land for $2.50 and acre. Family members have a 1867 warehouse receipt from McCrea Elevator in Creston for 1800 lbs. of wheat shipped to Norway. The transportation costs were as follows: From Creston to Clinton $41.40, Bridge Charge $2.70, Clinton (Iowa) to Norway $41.40, making a total of $85.50. We have been told that Peter had a special shoulder yoke which he used to carry butter or milk to Creston, a distance of 3 1/2 miles. From Creston the butter was shipped to Chicago.

What was he like? Service records indicate he was a broad-shouldered 5'-11" man with blue eyes and dark hair. Tradition has it that he was a strong and very good arm wrestler, a champion in this sport in ship-wide contests. He was known to believe in discipline and was one of the founding fathers of what is now known as Calvary Lutheran Church of Rural Lee, Lee County, Illinois.

Through rough years he built substantial buildings and a fine home. Six sons and fours daughters were raised on the homestead. The corn crib and large barn are still in use. Peter died as the result of being run over by runaway horses when he was 55 years old, leaving Aasa a widow at 49. Members of the family say Aasa never raised her voice or spoke a harsh word in discipline, but the "Golden Rule" was taught and used - together with mother's love quieted every disturbance and healed every hurt. She lived on 25 years after Peters death.

The door to their house was always open to welcome every guest and it is said they never went to church without another family coming and sharing dinner with them or being invited to another home. They loved music and were among the first to get an organ. A beautiful walnut, foot-pedal instrument that became the center of the family leisure time. It was Aasa's delight to sit and listen by the hour to the family sing hymns and popular, rollicking songs. They were self-taught musicians except for one sister, Anna, that had an especially fine voice and went to St. Louis for a short course of formal training. However they were known far and wide and were called upon to sing for funerals and weddings and at public meetings throughout the community. The family was known, too, for the amount of reading they did. They subscribed to local papers and also to papers from Norway. They were a public-spirited family and had unbounded faith in their new homeland and believed they needed to be well informed if they were able to wisely help make this new democracy work. They served willingly in local government.

Peter was the only known Hill "kinsman" to have served in the Civil War. Their grandchildren now farm several thousand acres in the vicinity.

More About PEDER O. HIDLE:

Fact 1: Buried in Union Cemetery, Atlo Twp., Lee County, Illinois

Notes for AASA ESPE:

Aasa came to America in 1859. Her brothers, Peter, Elias, and Ola, having come in 1856, were living in Lee County, Illinois. She worked for various pioneers near Lee Center and the Shaw family is one of the places she worked. She told of one place where she was to dry knives and forks in the oven and that it warped the wooden handles on the forks so she had to pay for them. They deducted $1.25 from her wages. At the time she was earning .25 cents a week. Calico was $1.50 a yard, so she didn't own many new dresses!

At another place, it is told she had to milk cows. They had no barn so she had to milk them even in the winter out in the wind by the straw stack. When her brother heard about it, he came over and got her, taking her to another place. The English, Irish and Germans that were there didn't exactly shower these Norwegian newcomers with Christian love. But Aasa radiated Christian love as long as she lived.

Her obituary in The Rochelle Independent, Rochelle, Illinois - March 4, 1915

Mrs. Osey Hill was born in Hardenger, Norway, Dec. 12, 1841, of the parents Ole and Joa Espe. At the age of 17, she immigrated to this country and settled in Lee County, Illinois. Feb 5, 1866, at the age of 24, she was united in marriage to Peter O. Hill, who died April 14, 1890. To this marriage were born eleven children, seven of whom still survive. Of the four children who passed before mother, one boy, Joseph Oliver, died at the age of two years. The other three, Emma, Carrie and Joseph grew to maturity. Of the seven children living, Lincoln, Oscar, Peter, Royal and Anna, reside on farms south of Creston, Illinois; Josephine on a farm near Swea City, Iowa, and Charles, at Oxford, Pa. Besides her children, she leaves ten grand children and one brother. In the year 1868, about two years after their marriage, they settled in Ogle County, two miles south of Creston, on the prairie, where they built their first home and lived until they answered thier final summons. The deceased died February 18, 1915, at the age of 73 years, 2 months, and 6 days, and was buried Feb 21st. She was a true, loving and kind mother and will be greatly missed by her immediate family, and a wide circle of relatives and friends.

Those from a distance who attended the funeral were her daughter Josephine, of Swea City, Iowa; her brother Chas., of Oxford, Pa.; O.j. Olson, of Thor, Iowa, and Dr. Chas. Hill of Chicago.

More About AASA ESPE:

Fact 1: Buried in Union Cemetery, Atlo Twp., Lee County, Illinois

Children of PEDER HIDLE and AASA ESPE are:

..23.

........i.

OLE LINCOLN4 HILL, b. October 28, 1866, Alto Township, Lee County, Illinois; d. December 13, 1938.

..........

.......ii.

JOSEPHINE CAROLINE HILL, b. September 29, 1869; d. 1920; m. HENRY GETTMAN, June 06, 1916, Dixon, Illinois.

..24.

......iii.

OSCAR CORNELIUS HILL, b. December 25, 1867, Lee County, Illinoiss; d. June 25, 1932, Creston, Illinois.

..........

......iv.

CARRIE OLENA HILL, b. January 21, 1873; d. November 14, 1909.

..25.

.......v.

PETER OSIAS HILL, b. April 10, 1871, Creston, Illinois; d. March 01, 1949

..........

......vi.

EMMA MALENA HILL, b. January 03, 1875; d. March 22, 1896.

..26.

.....vii.

CHARLES OLAUS HILL, b. September 30, 1876, Ogle County, Illinois; d. July 17, 1966, Burbank, California.

..27.

....viii.

ANNA ELISA HILL, b. November 20, 1880, Creston, Illinois; d. February 1948, Seattle, Washington.

......ix.

JOSEPH OLIVER HILL, b. October 06, 1878; d. June 15, 1880.

..28.

.......x.

ROYAL ELMER HILL, b. June 06, 1886, Creston, Illinois; d. March 30, 1965, Sandwich, Illinois.

..29.

......xi.

JOSEPH OLIVER HILL, b. November 13, 1883, Creston, Illinois; d. January 23, 1910, Dekalb, Illinois.