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PATRON – Alabama young man sets a world record, but his name is forgotten and almost unknown [see photographs]

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20 comments

  1. Thanks, Donna,
    I always find your articles so interesting and enjoyable. Your account of the young champion corn grower, Junius Hill, (orig. June 2014) especially captured my attention. Here’s a little bit more about him courtesy of an hour or so at Ancestry.com.
    Junius R. Hill was the son of Jesse Bennett Hill and Trisse B. McLendon. He was born in the northern section of Etowah County in the community of Duck Springs along Sand Valley Creek September 13, 1896. His parents and three siblings were living on a family farm with Trisse’s widowed mother, Tracey McLendon and he apparently lived out his life there, dying April 16, 1959 and being buried nearby in the cemetery of the family’s church, Kyuka Baptist Church on Sand Valley Road where his parents and later two siblings and his wife were buried.
    Following his grand visit to Washington in 1916, he registered for the WW1 Draft on June 5, 1918 living at home (Rt. 1, Attalla) reportedly single and farming with his father. At the time of the 1920 census, he was age 22, single, living at home on the family farm and was teaching in the public school. His father, Jesse, born Nov. 14, 1874, died in September 1927, and by 1930, Junius, age 33, was still living at the Sand Valley Road farm, primarily farming the family farm, had married in 1927 to Carrie M., age 20, (Sept 9, 1909-April 8, 1976) and they had a six month old daughter, Hortense Hill, apparently their only child. Nothing more recent was found of Junius until his death in 1959. Carrie died April 8, 1978 and was buried beside him. Daughter Hortense (Nov 2, 1929-July 17, 2007) married Ronald Ray Bates (Mar 28, 1929-Feb 24, 1998) was buried at Cox Chapel Cemetery in upper Etowah County, 5620, Sand Valley Rd, Attalla.
    I’m certain that there’s much more to his story that we may never know. Undoubtedly he was a successful farmer and probably a leader in his little community.
    Thanks again for passing along his celebrity story and the many other interesting ones you uncover.

    1. Thank you for researching and adding the biography on his life. I agree, there is probably a lot more to the story, but now we know much more about him.

    2. My dad, J.B. Hill, is the younger brother of Hortense. He will be 82 years old June 19, 2015. There was also a baby named Wanda, who died very young. The picture of Junius looks just like my brother, Kenneth Hill! Thank you for the information.

    3. Thank you for sharing additional information! Donna

  2. Loved the news story and the biography.
    Every person has a story. My brother died November 12,2014. Shy,he enlisted family members to go with him to cemetaries, court houses, and church records to trace the Graham/Barton/Cork/ Robinson/ movement into America, South Carolina and on further west. He invitied me to go with hime to Woodward, South Carolina for a 200th Aniversary of t church one of our ancestors helped build and whose cemetary holds family graves. John Graham did not trust earlier research, He liked
    to go to original sources. I have much of his work in my records.Now I am working with his children to help them learn about family.
    I have added your second and third books to my indle collection. Keep up the good work. I bought R. J.”s Chinaberries..book as well. We appreciate the help and encouragement you give writers.

  3. Carter, did u know this man?

  4. Junius Hill was my grandfather. We still own the land that was used to grow the corn. It was not red clay as detailed in the article. It is rich sandy soil. Today it grows pasture fescue and a few tomato plants.

  5. Your article was missing one very important detail in this day of heirlooms, seed saving, and bio-diversity. What corn variety did he grow?

  6. Raymond Bates if you will reread the above article, it does not say the soil was “red clay” it states it was “red, sandy loam”.

    1. Sammy you are correct. I guess I was thinking a more generic definition of loam is clay, but actually it is a sand/clay mixture. The “red” is what got my attention. The soil is very dark, almost black. Maybe there is some red tint but I cannot see it. Thanks.

  7. I would like to know more about the man. He is my great great great grandfather I think. My father is Jimmie Hill. Son of Vann Hill. Would just be interested in learning more if anyone could help.

  8. Wow some history we didn’t know about thank you

    1. (Article with more info on his life plus a few more photos.)

  9. Love this story.wish you would send more pictures of Alabama.

  10. According to an article published in The Gadsden Times, he went on to college, became a school teacher, lived on the same farm in Sand Valley, where he grew the prize winning corn, and continued to grow corn until he passed away in 1958.

  11. It’s amazing where one little picture can take you.

  12. Old corn crib; I used to shuck and twist of kernels for our hogs(2)