By Ann Chrissos and Lynne Johnson
Many of the places and street names in Chesterfield commemorate families who settled here. The August Hill family is one example. A shopping center, a housing development, and two streets bear the Hill name. August Hill, Sr. (b. 1814, d. 1890) and his wife, Maria E. Weinrich (b. 1823, d. ?) arrived in the Chesterfield area of Bellefontaine around 1837. They purchased farmland along Olive/Clarkson Roads from a Mr. Humphreys for $18,000 and hired Otto Nelkier to build their house. Chesterfield Mall now occupies this site. The area along Olive/Clarkson Roads became known as Hilltown in honor of August Hill, Sr. and today a shopping center on Olive Boulevard bears the name Hilltown Village. August and Maria had three children—Ernst, Mary and Augusta. In 1888, Ernst married Mary Woerther and they also had three children—August E., Ernst V., and George E.
August E. (d. 1971) and his wife Lydia (d. 1963) continued to live on his grandfather August’s farm called Orchard Hill Farm. While August farmed, Lydia taught school at Melrose, Bellefontaine, and Fern Ridge Schools. Since Lydia’s teaching positions left her husband in need of help, Donald Karl, a teenager who lived with Hills, took over feeding the chickens, milking the cows, trimming the fruit trees, and performing various other chores. During the summers, Lydia sold peaches from a roadside stand near their house. Today you can find August Hill Road off of Baxter Road, Lydia Hill Drive off of Chesterfield Parkway West, and August Hill on Conway, a development of attached homes.
Courtesy of Sachs Properties
Ernest and Mary Hill (center) with sons (from left) Ernest, George, and August Jr., plus their dog, Romeo.
Karl, Donald interviewed by Jane Durrell and Arland Stemme in May 1991.