NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people and the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
This family first settled in upper New York during the Revolution, when the first of the name located in the Mohawk valley. They have since scattered, and descendants of the emigrant are found in many upper New York counties.
(I) John G. Hilts, born in Germany, came to America with other members of his family while the war for Independence was in progress. He got into the midst of it in Herkimer county, and joined the militia in defense of their homes against red and white foes. His sister married Christopher Schell, who with his two son made the heroic defense of the blockhouse at Snell's Bush against sixteen Tories and forty-nine Indians. (She was a second wife).
He devoted his life to agriculture, and lived to be over ninety. He reared a family of seven sons and five daughters.
(II) Jacob I., son of John G. Hilts, was born in Herkimer county, New York, 1903, died in Oneida county, 1865. He was reared on the homestead farm, and when at an age to choose his own path in life, learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he followed all the active years of his life. He became a captain of New York State militia. He removed to Oneida county, N.Y., and settled at Boonville, where he erected a great many of the best buildings in the village and township. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and politically a Democrat until 1860, when he left his party and was afterward a Republican.
He married Sarah Hayes, born in Fulton county, N.Y., in 1815, died 1879, daughter of Joseph Hayes, born in Germany, came to the United States in early life, settling in Boonville, Oneida county, N.Y.
Nancy, Katherine, Mary Ellen, Jerome F., Ezra J., Bertha E., Frank and William H., Bertha and Frank died in infancy.
(III) William H., youngest chld of Jacob J. and Sarah (Hayes) Hilts, was born at Boonville, Oneida county, N.Y., July 26, 1854. He was educated in the public schools and so well did he improve his opportunities that at the age of sixteen he began teaching in the country schools, continuing as an instructor for several years. He had decided upon another profession as his life work, and began the study of law in the offices of Bently & Hayes, at Boonville. In 1881 he passed the required examinations and was admitted to the bar. He began his legal practice at Port Leyden, Lewis county, where he remained until 1890, when he removed to Lowville. He has secured a lucrative practice in that town and gained a well-earned reputation as a capable lawyer and a safe counsellor. He received an appointment as justice of the peace to fill out an unexpired term, was elected at the ensuing election for a full term, re-elected in 1905, and again in 1909.
In 1909 he was a candidate for county attorney, but failed of an election by one vote. He is a Republican in party preference. His fraternal relations are Masonic.
He married, Jan. 1, 1880, Bessie, born in Boonville, daughter of Dennis Buckley, of Ireland, who settled in the U.S. in 1850, and his wife Elizabeth Mountain, who was born in the U.S.
Child of Willian H. Hilts: Karl Hilts, born Nov. 3, 1883.
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