Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
HIRAM G. BILLS, postmaster and
general merchant of Monitor, Chelan county, is a Virginian, born in Wheeling,
February 25, 1859. His father, Boaz Bills, was a native of Virginia,
and served honorably in the Eighty-first Illinois Infantry, during the
Civil War. While in the service he met with a peculiar adventure
which came perilously near having a tragic conclusion. While on a
march, being quite exhausted, he stopped at a store to procure a glass
of milk. A woman who was present told him that he had the "yellow
jaundice," and offered him some medicine, which he accepted. He soon
fell in the road, poisoned by sufficient arsenic to kill ten men.
Prompt medical attendance saved his life, but, owing to the fact that his
attempted murder was the work of a woman he would never divulge her name.
He died at Pendleton, Oregon, in 1881. The mother, Mary A. (Campbell)
Bills, was also a native of Virginia, dying in 1878, at the age of fifty-two
years. Her family once owned a large tract of valuable oil land,
now in the possession of the Standard Oil Company. The paternal grandfather
of our subject was a surgeon in the federal army during the War of 1812.
He came to Virginia with Lord Fairfax, to whose family he was related.
He died at the age of ninety-two years.
Perry county, Illinois, was the scene of our
subject's earliest exploits. Until the age of fourteen he attended
the public schools, and then learned the blacksmith's trade, at which he
has worked at various periods ever since. In 1880 he went to Oregon
and purchased a farm in Umatilla county, near Pendleton. Following
several other land speculations he came to the Mission valley, locating
at Mission, where he was the pioneer merchant, and third postmaster of
the place. In the fall of 1901 he purchased two hundred acres, lying
in Fairview canyon. Water is furnished from three generous springs,
and it is one of the finest properties in the valley. He has three
brothers, John A., Robert C. and Alexander T.
Our subject was married April 23, 1884, at
Pendleton, Oregon, to Minnie A. Coats, a native of Missouri. Her
father, John, was born in England, and her mother, Rachel (Creason) Coats,
was a native of Missouri. Mrs. Bills has one brother, John, now living
in Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Bills have eight children, Charles, Frank
G., Fred, Chester, Arthur, Clarence, Ethel and Jessie. Fraternally,
he is a member of the M. W. of A., and the A. 0. U. W., while in politics
the Republican principles appeal most strongly to him.