Samuel Hill

Samuel Hill and Family.

Samuel Hill, born on 15 June 1836 in Cornwall, came to South Australia at the age of 14 on the ship Prince Regent. With him were his brother Hamish and sisters Elisabeth, born 2 May 1834, Mary, Jane, and Harriet. They landed at Port Adelaide on 5 March 1851.

From here they moved to Woodside in the Adelaide hills. Samuel married Sarah Day on 27 January 1859. Sarah was born on 21 August 1841 at Bedford England. She arrived with her family in South Australia, three years after Samuel Hill, on 14 March 1854 on the Hydrabad. Samuel and Sarah would eventually have twelve children. Sarah died 6 April 1915, Samuel died on 2 April 1922. Both are buried at Quorn.

Their first child, a daughter Rebecca, was born on 17 September 1860. She married Levi Turner, a teamster 29, at the Beltana Hotel on 29 February 1880. The ceremony was performed by Rev JP Buttfield and witnessed by TJC Hantke. During their short time together they had three children. Levi died at Quorn from a heart disease on 29 March 1889. She remarried in 1891 to Charles M. Moore. Rebecca died, while pregnant, at Waukaringa on 30 September 1905, as a result of being kicked by a cow.

There were two more girls born to Samuel and Sarah after Rebecca. Sarah was born on 23 August 1862 but sadly she died, not even two years old, on 12 March 1864. The other girl was Elizabeth, born on 13 August 1864. Elizabeth later married Joseph Henry Turner at Blinman in 1880. Joseph, born at Quorn was a brother of Levi Turner. Elizabeth and Joseph had six children. One of their boys, born on 17 December 1888 at Teetulpa, where his father worked as a miner, was named Samuel Hill. One of their daughters, born 11 June 1891 at Quorn, was named Sarah. This Sarah would later marry Reube Dunn Davison who was born in Blinman on 26 December 1887.

The fourth child born to Samuel and Sarah Hill was a boy on 14 October 1866. They named him Samuel. Two years later they had another daughter, Sarah, born 16 September 1868. With five children in his family now, Samuel had to look for better job opportunities. This time he moved north where there was plenty of work carting for the Overland Telegraph line, which was under construction, or for local stations, such as Willigan, and mines.

While up north, carting poles for the Telegraph line and his wife expecting their sixth child, it was decided to settled at Sliding Rock where there was enough carting work available to keep Samuel occupied for some time. Some of his first money was invested in buying five shares in the recently formed Sliding Rock Mining Company. By 1874 he had accumulated 56 shares. Being stationed at one spot for some time would also be of benefit to the Hill children. As a result of their moving about so often several of the older ones, including Rebecca and Elizabeth, were unable to read or write.

During their stay at Sliding Rock they had three more sons. John, born on 5 November 1870 died on 7 December 1874. Their next son was born on 12 September 1875. They named him John as well. This was common practice in the nineteenth century when children often died very young. The third son born at the mine was Sampson on 6 October 1877.

Soon after the birth of Sampson the mine closed and affected many people. Several miners and teamsters were leaving almost every day. As Samuel could not seen any chance in the mine reopening soon and with eight children to feed, he and Sarah decided to move to where the work was. This time it was Mount Freeling. Here they had their last four children. Mary born on 13 August 1879 and Jane born on 7 October 1883. Jane died very young on 8 March 1886 at Marree.

It must have been heartbreaking, particularly for Sarah, living in such an isolated place and pregnant again, but also for Samuel who was often away for long times. Within three months of Jane's death their son James was born on 24 December 1886 followed by Stella Agnes in 1887. When in 1890 their mail, the only form of communication, was taken away he and many others signed a strongly worded petition.

In part the document read, 'at the present time Mt Freeling is the most important position between Farina and Innamincka. It would be very unreasonable to cut off the residents there from their usual weekly mail...' Among those who signed the petition were Samuel Hill teamster, Francis Hill, Frank Hill, G. Dunbar, Thomas Dunbar, and A Dunbar, all miners.

By this time Samuel had enough of being on the road and changed his occupation. He became a butcher at Mount Freeling and practiced this trade until the family moved south to Quorn. Having made some money Samuel and Sarah invested it in property and became owners of several houses in Quorn. By the time Samuel died he was almost blind.


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