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Hill-Hudelson Family Papers

Identifier: FMS-64

Scope and Contents

The Hill-Hudelson Family Papers consists of correspondence, legal and business records, photographs, and newspaper clippings of two families in Rush and Henry Counties, Indiana. The first part of the collection relates to the family of Henry Branson Hill (1807-1874) of Carthage, Indiana, and his son William Penn Hill(1832-1896) of Knightstown, Indiana. The second part of the collection relates to the family of William Penn Hill's wife, Ann Maria (Hudelson) Hill (1830-1919), especially her sister Jane Montgomery Hill (1837-1904). The Hill portion of the collection is about equally divided between papers of Henry B. and William P.Hill. Correspondence, 1831-1880, consists largely of letters from acquaintances serving in the Union army, and from Dr. Nathan Branson Hill (1817-1875), brother of Henry B. Hill, who moved to Minneapolis from North Carolina in 1861. Also included are Henry B. Hills's Union army commissions. Much of this portion of the collection relates to Henry B. Hill's engagement to construct portions of the Cincinnati and Chicago Railroad through parts of Indiana in 1854. Included are contracts and deeds for lands given to Hill by the Company in lieu of payment for his work. The Hudelson portion of the collection consists of correspondence and business papers of siblings of Ann Mariah (Hudelson) Hill. Most of the correspondence is letters to and from Jane M. (Jennie) Hudelson while she worked as a missionary in Tennessee and Mississippi. There is also an autobiographical account of her experiences. The rest of the Hudelson material consists of deeds, receipts, clippings, and genealogical material.


  • 1831-1932
  • Other: Date acquired: 06/06/1994

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Some materials may be protected by copyright. Permission to reproduce and to publish for commercial purposes must be requested from the Archivist.

Biographical or Historical Information

Henry Branson Hill was a Quaker merchant and farmer, born in Randolph County, North Carolina, the eldest of the fourteen children of Samuel and Mary (Branson) Hill. In 1830 he was married at Back Creek Friends Meeting in Randolph County to Lucretia Henley (1808-1885), the daughter of Joseph and Penninah (Morgan) Henley. That same year they moved to Ripley Township, Rush County, Indiana, settling in a community populated largely by Quakers emigrating from North Carolina. There Henry B. Hill opened a dry goods store in the town of Carthage. In 1849 he was elected to the Indiana General Assembly, and in the same year became president of the Knightstown and Shelbyville Railroad. Although a Quaker, in 1862 he enlisted as an officer in the 16th Indiana Volunteers, serving in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas until 1863. He then served as Provost Marshall for the Fourth District of Indiana until 1865. William Penn Hill was born near Carthage in 1832. He was a student in Friends Boarding School, now Earlham College, in Richmond, Indiana, from 1849 to 1851. In 1853 he married Ann Mariah Hudeson, whose family lived both in Rush and Henry counties. Since Ann was a Presbyterian he lost his membership in the Society of Friends and later joined the Presbyterian church, in which he became an elder. He was a succesful dry goods merchant, first in Carthage and later in Knightstown, Indiana, where he lived until his death in 1896. In Knightstown, he served as a school trustee, and was for sixteen years a trustee of Hanover College. In 1865 he was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Knightstown, of which he served as an officer until his death. Ann Mariah Hudelson was the daughter of William Henry Hudelson (1802-1886) and his wife Margaret Bradley (1800-1890), natives of Kentucky who settled in Rush County, Indiana, in 1828, later moving to Henry County. Among their children was a daughter, Jane Montgomery Hudelson, who in 1863 was sent by the Presbyterian church as a missionary to the freed people in Mississippi. After living four years in Tennessee and Mississippi, she returned to Indiana and spent the rest of her life in her home area and in Indianapolis.

Note written by


3.00 Boxes

Language of Materials


Method of Acquisition

Donation, Henry O. Sitler of Knightstown, Indiana, a great-grandson of William P. Hill, in June 1994.

Accruals and Additions

Spring 1996 and September 1998, Kay Eason of Spring Valley, California donated additional Hill-Hudelson letters, the diary of Margaret Lucretia Hill, and the diaries of Jane M."Jennie" Hudelson for 1865-1866. Other material may be forthcoming from other family members.

Related Materials

Possibly in the Hanover College Archives and DePauw University Archives.

Separated Materials

At Henry Sitler's request, a photograph album of Herbert B. Hill (1869-1941), collected while a student at Hanover College, was transferred to the Hanover College Archives. An authograph book of Lillian Hill, kept while a student at Indiana Asbury (now DePauw) University in the 1870s, was transferred to the DePauw Archives.

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Repository Details

Part of the Friends Collection and Earlham College Archives Repository