I ARCHIBALD NEWELL HILL 1816-1900
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Orson Pratt Brown - First Wife, Mattie Romney's Family
Archibald Newell Hill
Contributed by Ron W. Shaw
Before the recent candidacy of for the Republican Party nomination to the Presidency of the United States becomes a historical footnote, it may be interesting to note Mr. Romney’s ancestral connection to Lanark County, Ontario. Among his forefathers are not just one, but two Society Settler families who arrived at the Lanark settlement in 1820 and 1821. Their story, encompassing a journey from Scotland through Lanark and Simcoe Counties in Ontario, and Illinois, Nebraska, Utah and Mexico is illustrative of that at least 17 other Lanark Society Settler families who converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1830s and 1840s.
James Hood (1775-1859), born at Colton, Lanarkshire, with wife Margaret Bisland (1787-1856), born at Glasgow, Lanarkshire, sailed to Upper Canada with the Anderston and Rutherglen Society via the ship Prompt in 1820. They were accompanied by at least five children; Jean (1809-1899), Agnes (1811-1872), James (1812-1827), Margaret (1813-1871) and Robert (1816-1820). James and Margaret Hood had two children die in infancy in Scotland, Jean (1809-1809) and Isabel (1814-1816) and another five born in Canada; Isabella (1821-1847), Annie (1823-1912), Mary (1825-1826), Mary (1827-1910) and Janet (1829-1830).
The following year, 1821, Alexander Hill (1779-1867), born at Skipness, Argylshire with wife Elizabeth Curry (1775-1855), born at Greenock, Renfrewshire, sailed with the Paisley Townhead Society on the ship Earl of Buckinghamshire. Sailing with them were seven children; Daniel (1807-1881), Agnes (1808-1886), Alexander Jr. (1811-1889), Mary (1812-1871), John (1814-1863), Archibald Newell (1816-1900) and Elizabeth (1818-1891).
The Hood family settled on Dalhousie Township Conc-3/Lot-15(E) and the Hills on Lanark Township Conc-1/Lot-25. They created homes and farms among the swamp and rock of the Lanark Highlands but within a decade were looking for better prospects.
James and Margaret Hood moved to Nottawasaga Township, Simcoe County about 1830, together with at least two of their children, Agnes and Isabella. By 1834 all of the nine-member Alexander Hill family was gone from Lanark Township and resettled in the Townships of Tosorontio, Collingwood and Essa in Simcoe County.
Archibald Newell Hill, son of Alexander and Elizabeth, is listed in the IGI as marrying Isabella Hood, daughter of James and Margaret, at Toronto in 1840. Their first child, Samuel (1840-1903) is recorded as born in Simcoe Township, Norfolk County, and their second child, Hannah (1842-1928), is listed as born in Tosorontio Township, Simcoe County. It is likely the IGI is in error and both their marriage and the births of their children probably all occurred in Tosorontio Township, Simcoe County.
Missionaries Samuel Lake and James Standing converted the Hill family of Simcoe County to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1840. A family history records that; “The whole Hill family became interested in this faith, and notwithstanding the fact that Alexander Hill, his wife Elizabeth and son-in-law John Richards were momentarily less susceptible to these principles of faith than the other members of the family, yet on 12th April 1840, all the members of this family (including Archibald and wife Isabella Hood) went down into the waters of baptism.
Writing of the 1840s Mormon converts in his ‘History of Simcoe County’ (1909), Andrew F. Hunter says that, “Before long these left their lands, several families in number, and like a swarm of bees they went off all at one time in covered wagons, going to swell the Mormon settlement in Illinois or Missouri, and later at Salt Lake City.”
A Hill family history records that; “In the spring of the year 1841 Archibald Newell Hill (who had married Isabella Hood a year earlier), John Hill (his brother) and five other members of this branch of the Church crossed over the boundary lines of Canada into the United States, and wended their way to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they stayed for a short time. They returned (to Simcoe County), laden with Biblical grapes for their report. Considerable time was now spent in disposing of their farms and making preparations for their departure. All being ready near the beginning of September, Archibald and family and relatives started for the United States on the 30th day of this month, in the year 1842.
When they reached Nauvoo, “Winter was coming on and the time for building houses being limited, Archibald and his family together with his father and his family, lived in a board shanty during the winter. He occupied his time during this winter in hauling bricks for the Nauvoo House, stones for the Nauvoo Temple, timber and firewood from the islands of the Mississippi River.”
Under repeated and sustained mob attack from their non-Mormon neighbors the LDS experiment at Nauvoo (the Kingdom on the Mississippi) collapsed. The Saints evacuated the city in early 1846 and fled westward across Iowa. Delayed by spring rain, inadequate transport and lack of supplies, by late summer they had only reached the banks of the Missouri River, with the season too far advanced for further travel that year. Thousands of evacuees had dropped out at way stations across Iowa and a huge refugee camp assembled on the Missouri at Council Bluffs, Iowa and Winter Quarters, Nebraska.
Archibald Hill and his brother Alexander were a part of the first (winter) exodus, but they left their wives Isabella and Agnes Hood and 10 children at Nauvoo while they took their teams and helped haul Mormon refugees westward. Returning to Nauvoo for their families and parents, they then re-crossed Iowa and did not reach the Missouri until late autumn.
At Winter Quarters the Hill family built a 10 X 12 foot log cabin in which seven people struggled through the winter. Hunger and disease stalked the camp and nearly 1,000 refugees died. Among those deaths, on 20 March 1847, was that of Isabella Hood-Hill, born in Dalhousie Township, the daughter of Lanark Society Settler pioneers James and Elizabeth Hood.
On 18 June 1847 Archibald Hill, working as a teamster for Bishop Newel K. Whitney, was among a party of 223 that moved west from the Winter Quarters outfitting post on the Elkhorn River, Nebraska. He was just two months behind the Brigham Young Pioneer Company, which would identify the Great Salt Lake Valley as the new Mormon homeland. His motherless children remained on the Missouri; Samuel (7) with his grandparents, Alexander and Elizabeth Hill; Hannah (5) with her uncle and aunt William Swapp and Elizabeth Hill-Swapp, and Rebecca (2), with her uncle and aunt, James Bulloch and Mary Hill-Bulloch.
The following June Archibald’s daughters Hannah and Rebecca would cross the plains with the Brigham Young 1848 Company in the care of their Bulloch relatives. His son Samuel would make the crossing with his grandparents in 1851.
Archibald Hill first moved into the adobe fort which stood on the site of present day Salt Lake City and his children joined him there in 1848 and 1851. Within a few years he was placed in charge of the storehouse department of the general tithing office and held that position for the next 15 years. Archibald Hill took four plural wives; Margaret Fotheringham (1851), Mary Emma Milam (1855), Caroline Graham (1857) and Mary (1872). He died at Salt Lake City on 02 January 1900.
, the daughter of Archibald Hill and Isabella Hood, was just six years of age when she arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1848. She grew up in Salt Lake City and on 10 May 1862 married (1843-1904) at Salt Lake. Hannah would bear Romney 11 children; Isabella (1863-1919), Elizabeth (1865-1866), Mary Ann (1868-1951), Miles Archibald (1869-1939), Gaskell (1871-1955), Stillborn (1873-1873), George Samuel (1874-1935), Ernest Van (1877-1951), Maggie (1880-1902), Eugene (1883-1946) and Leo (1887-1939). The first eight of these were all born in Utah, Eugene was born in Arizona and Leo was born in Juárez Galeana, Chihuahua State, Mexico.
How did the daughter of Lanark County pioneers, born in Simcoe County, find herself giving birth to her last child in Chihuahua, Mexico? The explanation lies largely in the fact that she was only the first of five wives to Miles Park Romney.
Shortly after [1843-1904] married Hannah Hill [1842-1929] he was sent to England as a missionary. When he returned in 1866 he settled Hannah and his children in a new house in the Seventeenth Ward of Salt Lake City. At this point, according to a family history by one of his daughters (Martha Romney-Brown), at the request of LDS President Brigham Young, Miles took a second wife, on 23 March 1867;
“Nothing short of a firm belief in the divine origin of the Revelation of plural marriage could have induced Miles to take a second wife, and certain it is that Hannah (Hill), the first wife, would never have permitted such a heart-breaking thing to come into her life had it not been for the testimony she had of the divinity of the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith”. Miles Park would subsequently take three more wives; Catherine Jane Cottom (b.1873), Annie Maria Woodbury (m.1877) and Emily Henrietta Snow (m.1897).
In 1862 the U.S. Congress passed the first piece of antipolygamy legislation, the Morrill Act. In 1882 additional federal legislation, the Edmunds Act, prohibited polygamists (which included virtually all Church leaders) from voting or holding office. Five years later, in 1887, the most sweeping attack on polygamy and Mormon political control in the territory was enacted through the Edmunds-Tucker Act. In the late 1880s Federal Marshals launched a full-blown assault on polygamy. During this period, referred to by Latter Day Saints as ‘the raid’, about 1,300 Mormon men were arrested, convicted and jailed for practicing plural marriage. In order to avoid testifying against their husbands, as required under the Edmunds-Tucker Act, plural wives often went into hiding.
In 1888 Hannah’s father, Archibald Newell Hill, then 72 years of age, was arrested at his home by three marshals. Charged under the Edmunds-Tucker law (with unlawful cohabitation) he pled guilty and was sentenced to five months in jail and a $50 fine. On the same day, his son Samuel Hood Hill entered the same plea and received the same sentence. Both father and son served their time and then returned to their wives. [Archibald's brother, Alexander Hill was married to three sisters: Elizabeth Curry, Catherine Curry, and Margaret Curry. Archibald N. Hill was married to Isabella Hood; Margaret Fotheringham; Mary Emma Milam; Caroline Graham; Mary House. Samuel Hood Hill was married to Audrey Elizabeth Bensley Payne; Martha Thomas, Jane G. Seaman.]
In 1890, with the church facing even the loss of its temples to U.S. government seizure, Church President Wilford Woodrow concluded that “for the temporal salvation of the church” the practice of plural marriage must be ended. That year he issued a manifesto submitting the church to the antipolygamy laws.
Even after the manifesto of 1890 however, under which the church publicly discontinued (though did not disavow) polygamy, some plural marriages were still secretly blessed into the early 1900s. Many of these were solemnized in Mexico where a Mormon colony came to serve as sanctuary for the older generation of polygamists.
By about 1880 Miles Park Romney and his extended family were living in St. Johns, Arizona, but in 1885, with Federal Marshals arresting and imprisoning more and more polygamists, Miles took his fourth wife Annie Woodbury and her children and left for Mexico. The following year he sent two sons, Will and Miles, back to Arizona to collect wife Hannah Hill, her children, and wife
The Hill-Romney family intended to travel with another family, but at the last moment found themselves making the perilous wagon journey on their own. Over dusty broken trails, they made their way to Nutrioso in eastern Arizona where they were warned to go no further as this was Apache Country and Chief Geromino was on the warpath. Nevertheless they decided to push on south and soon passed three dead horses lying beside the track, learning later that Apache’s had killed them with their riders only a few days earlier. The shoes of the dead horses were removed to re-shoe the foot-sore Romney teams. At one point on the trail they were caught in a blizzard and the temperature dropped until the water barrels froze.
When they finally reached Galeana Mexico they moved into an adobe stockade, which Miles had prepared, and, according to descendent Martha Romney-Brown’s family history, Hannah said she were “thankful for it, as my dear children and I would be with their father and we could live in peace with no marshals to molest us or separate us again”.
Miles Romney was one of those who continued to practice polygamy in Mexico, just beyond the reach of U.S. Marshals trying to enforce the Morrill [July 8,1862, Morrill Anti-Bigamy Law, signed by Abraham Lincoln]. and Edmunds-Tucker passed [June 3, 1887] laws. His first three (plural) marriages all took place in Utah before the Manifesto, but after passage of the Morrill Act. The final marriage of 1897 was entered into 35 years after passage of the Morrill Act and seven [ten] years after the Manifesto. That marriage was solemnized in Mexico. Beyond the reach of American law officers the Mexican colony also regarded itself as beyond the reach of the Manifesto that, they believed, applied only to those Mormons living within the U.S. (an interpretation subject to much debate). Polygamy was also illegal under Mexican law, but the Mexican authorities made no enforcement efforts. In all, Miles Romney would father 31 children by his five wives. His first wife, Hannah Hill, would bear 11 of those, the last [Leo Romney b. 1887] born in Mexico where she lived with Romney and his three other wives.
Hannah Hill’s son Gaskell Romney, born at St. George, Washington County, Utah on 22 September 1871 would grow up in Mexico and marry Anna Amelia Pratt (on 20 February 1895) the daughter of , another Mexican pioneer, and Anna Johanna Dora Wilcken, the second of Pratt’s three plural wives. Gaskell Romney and wife Anna Pratt would also live their lives in Mexico and among their children was born at Colonia Dublán, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico on 08 July 1907. Polygamy in the Romney family ended with [Miles Park Romney]. Gaskell married [Anna Amelia Pratt 1876-4 Feb 1926; after Anna died Gaskel married her single sister, Amy Wilcken Pratt on March 20, 1927].
Driven out of Mexico by the 1910 revolution, Gaskell and Anna Romney and family moved to the U.S. Their son George, who married Lenore LeFount, would become President and Chairman of American Motors, Governor of Michigan and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He died on 26 July 1995.
Among the children of George and Lenore Romney was born 12 March 1947 at Detroit Michigan … graduate of Brigham Young and Harvard Universities, CEO of management consulting firm Bain & Company, founder of private equity firm Bain Capital, President and CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, 70th Governor of Massachusetts, and unsuccessful candidate for the Republican Party nomination as U.S. Presidential candidate in 2008. He married the former Ann Davies (m.1968) and fathered of five sons.
Hannah Hill-Romney, daughter of Lanark Society Settlers Archibald Newell Hill and Elizabeth Hood, and granddaughter of Lanark Society Settlers Alexander and Elizabeth Hill and James and Margaret Hood, died at Colonia Juárez, Mexico on 29 December 1928. Her husband Miles Park Romney died at Colonia Dublán, Mexico on 26 February 1904.
(Ron W. Shaw is writing a book on Lanark Society Settler families who had members convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and immigrate to Utah; Borrowman, Brooks, Bulloch, Bryce, Caldwell, Climie, Donald, Duncan, Findley, Forsythe, Gardner, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Leckie, McIntosh, Park. Anyone with an interest in or relevant information on these families may contact Ron at email@example.com or Tel: 613-267-9617)
Samuel Hood Hill
Born: December 23, 1840 at Simcoe, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada
Married: Audrey Elizabeth Bensley Payne on May 1867
Died: 10 Feb 1903 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Born: 9 July 1842 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: 29 Dec 1929 Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Rebecca Hood Hill
Born: 2 Apr 1845 Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois
Married: Edwin Alfed Pettit 29 Oct 1864 at Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Died: 16 Sep 1922 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Early Lanark, Ontario, Canada Settlers -- Road Crew
PAF - Archer files = Captain James Brown + (7) Phebe Abbott > Orson Pratt Brown + Martha "Mattie" Diana Romney < Miles Park Romney + Caroline "Carrie" Lambourne ; Miles Park Romney also married Hannah Hood Hill < Archibald Newell Hill + Isabella Hood.
Photos and information from :
Ron W. Shaw of Canada
The Lanark Society Settlers: Ships' lists of the Glasgow Emigration Society, 1821 (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa publication) (Unknown Binding). by Gerald J Neville
Lanark Society Settlers http://www.rootsweb.com/~onlanark/Land_Property/settlers.htm
Picture of Archibald N. Hill courtesy of Ron W. Shaw by way of http://books.google.com/books?id=cf5M26lShqEC&pg=PA1110&lpg=PA1110&dq=conquerors+of+the+west+
Additions, bold, [bracketed], some photos, etc., added by Lucy Brown Archer
Copyright 2001 www.OrsonPrattBrown.org