Lafe Hill

LAFE HILL, Iowa newspaper man for over thirty years, member of the Legislature, has since 1916 been editor and publisher of the Nora Springs Advertiser in Floyd County.

Mr. Hill's activities and experiences make up an interesting record. He has been fighting his own way since he was a boy of fourteen. He was born at Diagonal in Ringgold County, Iowa, his birthplace being a farm where his father had settled in 1856, after having lived one year in Monroe County.

His parents, Samuel and Winifred (Bennett) Hill, came to Iowa from Shelby County, Indiana. Samuel Hill was an Iowa soldier in the Union army, serving in the Ninth Iowa Cavalry. In politics he was successively a Douglas Democrat and a Lincoln Republican, and was a devout Methodist and all his sons went regularly to Sunday School. Samuel Hill had qualifications that brought him a number of relationships with the pioneer communities where he lived. He was a farmer, a country school teacher, one of the old fashioned type who ruled with the rod, served as justice of the peace, was township trustee and county coroner. After the war he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was born in 1832 and lived to be eighty-two years of age. His wife, who died when fifty-five years of age, by a previous marriage had a son, David Brant, who became widely known in Iowa journalism. David Brant was born in 1850 and died at the age of sixty-nine. He was editor of the Iowa City Republican and was a contemporary of the young and Clarksons and served in the Legislature. Of the children of Samuel and Winifred (Bennett) Hill the oldest, William F., also was a representative of journalism. He was an editor at Westmoreland, Kansas, for forty-two years and served in the Legislature of that state. The other children were: Albert R., a farmer in California; Charles, a resident of Ringgold County, Iowa; Elizabeth, wife of William Durland, of Carter, Oklahoma; Alice, widow of A. J. Wray, of El Reno, Oklahoma; Sarah, wife of W. F. Hunter, of Irving, Kansas; Winifred, wife of Charles H. Mills, of Decatur County, Iowa; Clinton, who was in the railroad contracting business and died at Colorado in 1890. Three of the family were teachers, William, Winifred and Lafe.

Lafe Hill was endowed with a sound mind in a sound body, but has had to struggle for his opportunities and his attainments. It was his earnest ambition and effort that enabled him to get something better than a common school education. He attended the Tilford Academy, and while attending school at Waterloo also taught. He taught at Troy Mills, at the Walker Agency, was superintendent of schools at Williamsburg and Seymour. During vacations he was fitting himself for newspaper work in his brother David's office. Before coming to Nora Springs he established and conducted the North English Record, published the Colfax Tribune, the New Market Herald and the Manley Chief.

Mr. Hill represented Floyd County in the Iowa Legislature from 1924 to 1930. He was chairman of the committee on suppression of crime and served on such important committees as roads and highways, baking, ways and means, printing, insurance, mines and mining, schools, cities and towns, public health, and was the ranking member of the committee appointed to investigate the banking situation in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.

Mr. Hill married Miss Florence Fay, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Fay, were early settlers in Linn County, Iowa. They had three children. The only child living is Fausta, wife of R. F. Tyler, who is in the creamery and ice cream business at Villisca, Iowa. Both sons are deceased. Brant was twenty-one when he died at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. Lyle also served in the Navy and was on the Japanese cargo ship, being the only white man on board. He died in 1926, being at the time connected with the Algonia Republican. He is survived by his widow, Cora Damman, and three children. Thera, Flavia and Lyla. Both sons learned the newspaper business with their father in the office of the Advertiser. When the sons went to war Mrs. Hill took their place in the office, operating the linotype and otherwise helping the publication. Mr. Hill is a prominent member of the Knights of Pythias organization, with which he has been identified for forty-one years. He is past chancellor commander of his lodge, deputy grand chancellor and grand prelate. He is a Master Mason and was chairman of the joint board of Masons and Odd Fellows when they built their lodge hall at Nora Springs. Mr. Hill is a member of the State Press Association, and during the World war was president of the Red Cross Chapter and chairman of the four-minute men. He is a leading Methodist layman, serving as a member of the board of trustees of the church at Nora Springs, was a lay delegate to the Upper Iowa Conference and has made his newspaper an important medium for the upholding of religious and moral influences. In 1928 he was a delegate to the Mississippi Flood Control Convention in Chicago.