History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(biographicals transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 538
John Hill, who by his numerous friends is familiarly called Jack, is the owner of extensive farming interests in Taylor county, his possessions embracing four hundred and eighty acres, located in Grove township on section 4.  He was born in Somersetshire, England, March 23, 1850, and when a little lad of five years was taken by his parents to South Swanza, a seaport town in South Wales.  He was there reared to the age of eighteen, during which period he acquired his education in the common schools and through the periods of vacation worked on his father's truck farm.  His advantages, in his youth, however, were somewhat limited and he is largely a self-educated man.  When eighteen years of age, believing that he might enjoy better opportunities on this side of the Atlantic, he set sail for America, landing in the new world in February, 1868.  He spent a short time in Portland, Maine, but soon sought a home farther west, journeying to Chicago.  From that city he made his way to Warren county, Illinois, and worked for a time as a farm hand near Galesburg.  He then returned to Chicago, being there in 1871, at the time of the memorable fire.  For a time he was employed as a conductor on the street cars and later for about a year acted as solicitor and delivered for a meat market.  He became so well versed in this particular branch of business that he was later made salesman and buyer, being accounted a man of good judgment in making purchases in the wholesale markets.  After about three years spent in that business he returned once more to Warren county and again took up farming.  It was while making his home in Warren county that he was married, January 23, 1873, to Miss Lucy E. Franklin, who was there born and reared, a daughter of John Franklin, a pioneer of that county.
Following his marriage Mr. Hill located on a farm of eighty acres in Warren county.  After a year he removed to another farm of one hundred and sixty acres, where he spent a similar period and then removed to a still larger place, this tract comprising two hundred acres.  He spent five years on the latter farm and then, believing that the rich and undeveloped soil of Iowa might prove more remunerative, in 1880 he made a trip to Taylor county and bought one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 4, Grove township, this constituting a portion of his present acreage.  A year later, in 1881, he removed his family to Iowa and taking up his abode on his newly acquired farm, has since made it his home.  It, however, today bears little resemblance to the place when he first took possession.  At that time there was a crude dwelling and but few other improvements on the farm.  It seemed a hard task that was presented to Mr. Hill but with undaunted energy and a courageous spirit he took up his work and although many years passed before he brought the place to its desired condition, he kept adding to his holdings and making further improvements, until it is now one of the most valuable farms (page 539) of this section of the state.  He now owns four hundred and eighty acres, which is supplied with three sets of buildings, including houses, barns, machine sheds, granaries, etc.  He farms on an extensive scale and also raises considerable stock, formerly feeding forty thousand bushels of corn annually.  He now ships from two to four carloads of cattle and hogs each year and always keeps the best grades of stock.  His life has been a success and yet it has come to him through his own well directed labors and his capable management of business affairs, so that all may rejoice with him in what he has accomplished.
Mr. and Mrs. Hill have three living sons and three daughters: Bert, who is married, is a prominent farmer of Taylor county and at the present writing, in 1909, is serving as assessor of Grove township; Otto, who is also married and follows farming; and Eddie, Grace, Ethel May and Lucy Fay, who are at home.  They also lost three sons and one daughter in infancy, the sons being Irwin, Arthur and Ray who passed away at the ages of eighteen, ten and eight months respectively
Mr. Hill is independent in his political views, voting for men and measures rather than adhering strictly to party ties.  He has participated to some extent in public affairs and served for some years as treasurer of the school board.  He has also been a delegate to county, state and national conventions and was a delegate to the free silver convention in Kansas City, when William J. Bryan was nominated for the presidency.  He has also been United States crop reporter at Washington for a number of years.  He is a Mason, belonging to the blue lodge at Lenox, the chapter at Corning, the commandery at Creston and the Mystic Shrine at Davenport.  His stock buying interests have taken him into various sections of Iowa so that his acquaintanceship is not confined to the bounds of Taylor county but extends over Adams, Monroe and Ringgold counties as well and likewise into Nodaway county, Missouri.  For almost three decades he has lived in Taylor county and his interests are thoroughly allied with those of the county and while seeking to advance his own personal welfare he has also been a beneficial and helpful factor in the community at large.