Hill City - 1906


     Hill City, like Kansas, was builded by great effort and hard struggles and the future for her is full of promise. Her history reads like fiction - it is a living poem, the best illustration of the motto of our great state that can be found within her borders. A great heroic stormy epic of more than Homeric grandeur is the story of her growth. She has come up thorough many difficulties, droughts, hot winds, cyclones,  county seat fights, and prairie fires, but she has ever kept her face towards the Sun of Progress, and these difficulties are as "a tale that is told." Today the air is full of prosperity. The rumble of the locomotives, the shrieks of the whistles, the whirl of the wheels of industry are born to the ear of the prosperous happy citizen. The strike of the carpenter's hammer is incessant and homes, for which there is a constant demand, are growing rapidly under the hands of the mechanics.

     Hill City is not a one-man's town, it was builded by the people. She has the confidence of the entire county as is demonstrated by the hundreds of her farmer friends who crowd her streets on Saturday. To theses friends she is indebted for her marvelous growth and phenomenal business prosperity. Hill City, unlike most western towns, has grown rich with the producers and not off of them. Competition is close, merchants buy and sell to one advantage, but prices are reasonable and the country folk do not feel, that out of the exorbitant prices paid to them the town is afforded luxuries and advantages of which they are deprived. We have borne the trails of adversity, and shared the joys of prosperity together. Hill City, the peerless gem of the prairies, lies in the central part of the county, on the Solomon River. It was surveyed in 1880 and incorporated in 1882. The surveying the railroad precipitated one of the fiercest county seat contests that was ever with five towns contesting. In 1888, the year that the railroad was completed, Hill City was made the County Seat. It bears the name of its founder and first mayor, W.R. Hill.

     During this County Seat contest several newspapers were launched; among them the Reveille. That same energy, ambition, and determination that characterized the people in the contest of the eighties, is now turned into business channels and marks each business man of Hill City today - he can not be excelled in enterprise and knowledge of shrewd business methods. Some sixty business houses are supplying the demands of the people with mutual satisfaction and advantage to the patron and the proprietor. The homes and business houses are connected with a well equipped telephone system and county lines are numerous. Mail is carried daily over three mail routes running out of Hill City. Hill City is the center of county business owing to her well stocked business houses, also to her two grain elevators, and the fine new flour mill recently established. The town boasts of many neat well kept residences, and there is scarcely a business man that does not own his home free of mortgage. This is not a landlord and tenant town. The many eastern land buyers and commercial men who crowd Hill City, proclaim with one accord that she is the best hotel town between Salina and Denver. Five good hotels flourish, two of which are two dollar a day houses and maintain transportation services to and from every train.

     Owing to Hill City's two large and well equipped opera houses her people are favored with many theatrical attractions during the season.

     Just north of Hill City is Creighton Athletic Park where all summer sports are carried on. Hill City has two large baseball teams, two tennis clubs, three basketball teams and an enthusiastic riding club. We are not unmindful of advantages for learning. An imposing stone structure of eight well equipped rooms has recently been built where a corps of efficient teachers presides over the 200 school children for nine months out of the year. Social and religious opportunities are many. Hearty hospitality, born of the remembrance of the time when they too, were strangers, marks the residents of the entire county. Coming west does not mean isolation, or of giving up of any of the social or religious life. Many are the opportunities for advancement in culture and refinement. And Hill City knows no "400", there is an open free easy enjoyment peculiar to the west. Religion is a strong element in the life of the people. Numerous church organizations are represented and nearly every person can find a home of his faith. There are five churches in Hill City. The Presbyterian church has a neat edifice worth about $2,000.00 and is free of debt.  The church has recently been renovated and presents a very attractive appearance. Rev. Keeler is the present pastor. The parsonage is a stone structure valued at $2,000.00.  Rev. Holt is the pastor of the First Baptist church, and the building in which he holds a regular services is valued at $2,200.00. The Christian organization is erecting a $3,000.00 stone building. Rev. Hibbs is the pastor. The Methodist Episcopal church was organized in May, 1889, by Rev M.J. Bailey. Their property, church and parsonage is worth $3,700.00. The present pastor is Rev. Shuler. Two African churches are maintained, the A.M.E. having just purchased a $2,000.00 building.

     Numerous fraternal organizations and lodges are supported by the people. The Mason's lodge was chartered in '85 and has always maintained an active organization. The present membership is 90, with property valued at $1200.00. A.C. Inlow is the present Worthy Master. The Odd Fellows organized a year before the Masons with Synder Horton as N.G. Today the lodge numbers 95, with W.W. Justus as N.G. Their property is valued at $2400.00. In 1893 the Woodmen began operations with 27 members and F.D. Turck as presiding officer. They have increased this membership to 78 with Grant Morris as Venerable Counsel. Each of these orders has a flourishing Woman's Auxiliary. Eight years ago was established the fraternal insurance order, known as the Triple Tie. It carries today a membership of 80, each carrying insurance. It's president is George Ambrosier. The Workman are well represented with 40 members, with policy holders. The M.W. is C.E. Dazey. About a hundred members if the G.A.R. are located in Graham county, a small number of them being residents of Hill City.

     Hill City boasts of a strong and active W.C.T.U. Literary and social clubs are found throughout the city. In short Hill City furnishes ideal opportunities for activity in business and social life. It is a good place to live; a good place to own a home; a good place in which to become prosperous; a good place to rear a family. We think we have a future of unlimited possibilities. We aspire to be the grain and stock market of the west. The Chicago of the prairies.


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