Henry Tanner Hill Dairyman- San Jose, California
Surnames:Tanner, Murphy, Hoen, Miller, Lawson, Isham


Henry Tanner Hill-A thoroughly wide-awake and successful rancher who is not only deeply interested in developing his ranch, but is also ready to support any movement of common interest to other ranchers as well, is Henry Tanner Hill, who lives on North first and Gish streets, San Jose. He was born in County Cork, Ireland, on August 16, 1861, the son of Henry M. and Jane (Tanner) Hill-the former, who was a farmer, a native of Scotland and the latter a native of England. As a boy, Henry lived four miles from the nearest school; and as he was compelled to hop, skip and jump across the bed of a river on thirty-two
stepping stones in order to reach the school at all, it may be surmised that he did not have the best opportunity for acquiring a very extended education.

On July 1, 1880, Henry Hill reached Santa Clara County, and although he had a sister living in Alameda County, he preferred to settle here. For three years he worked on a threshing machine, and for the next two years, he undertook whatever seemed most lucrative. Next he worked for four years for Mr. Colombet as caretaker of his place and then five years for the San Jose Gas Co., and a short time for the city water works, then worked eight years for the Griffin Skelley Packing Co., after that two years for the Santa Clara County Fruit Exchange.

Next he put in three months for the city of San Jose at Alum Rock Park, and so he progressed until 1901 when he bought a ranch of twelve unimproved acres at the corner of Gish Road and First Street in San Jose. There he erected a dwelling and suitable farm buildings, and set about developing the tract; and when he had brought it to a high state of improvement, he sold the property and bought the ranch on Gish Road, just across from his former ranch. This new farm tract comprised
eighteen acres, and was also unimproved land when he entered into possession; but there also he was not long in putting up a farm dwelling and other desirable buildings, and then he planed the acreage in alfalfa.

Mr. Hill has been twice married. On March 1, 1890, he was joined in matrimony with Miss Anna Murphy, a native of County Cork, Ireland, and the daughter of substantial Irish folk who never left their native country. She died in San Jose six years after marriage. On the occasion of his second marriage, at San Jose, on Christmas Day, 1897, Mr. Hill took for his wife Mrs. Lenora (Hoehn) Miller, the widow of O. U. Miller, who passed away in Illinois before she came to California, and by whom she had had one son, Fred Miller, with the Associated Oil Company in Fresno. She was the daughter of Fred and Amelia Gottschall
Hoehn, and was born in Illinois, but her father was born in Adlesburg, Saxony, December 4, 1832, while the mother was born in Reimsfeldt, Germany, in 1845, and died at Carlinville, Ill., September 18, 1892. Her great-great-grandfather, Christofal Hoehn, was born in Switzerland, 1695. He was of large stature, 7 ft. 8 in. tall. He was a night watchman in Nearohta, Germany, and died at 105 years of age from a broken limb sustained while skating on ice in the performance of his duty. His son, also named Christofal, was born in Switzerland in 1720 and died on the march to Moscow in Russia while serving as a volunteer
soldier in Napoleon's army. He left three sons: George H., Carl and Fred. George Henry, who was the grandfather of Mrs. Hill, was born at Nearohta, in 1794. He entered service under Napoleon when sixteen years of age and afterwards served in the Prussian army against Napoleon. He brought his family to America in 1846 and died at Alton, Ill., in 1851 of cholera. He married Elizabeth Dora Erhardt of Reimsfeldt, Germany, who also died at Alton in 1867, seventy-two of age. Mrs. Hill's
father's full name was Frederick John Christofal Hoehn, and he came to America in 1846 with his parents, four brothers and a sister. The trip on the sailing vessel to New Orleans took seven months and four days, after which they steamed up the Mississippi to St. Louis. When twenty years of age, under Jerry Job of Alton, he helped to bring a drove of
500 cattle across the plains, there being twenty-two persons in the company. They started March 28, 1853, and arrived in California October 1, that year. In 1860 he returned to Macoupin County, Ill., by the way of Panama. He lived on a farm in Illinois for thirty-four years; then he returned to California with his family of seven boys and three girls, his wife having died in Illinois. In 1917, after an absence of twenty-four years he returned again to Illinois for a visit and although eighty-five years of age had an enjoyable trip. He died in San Jose in 1909, aged eighty-seven years. His children were: George H.; Frank L.;
Lenora, now Mrs. Henry Tanner Hill; Theodore H.; Mrs. Julia Lawson; Albert A.; David A.; Walter F.; Mrs. Ida Isham, and Harry Hoen.

For twenty years Mr. and Mrs. Hill engaged in dairying and from their herd of about thirty Jersey cows, sold and distributed milk twice a day to their family trade in San Jose. In 1921 they discontinued the dairy and are now planting their acreage to pears. Their union has been blessed with two children: Harry, who is attending the University of Santa Clara, class of '23, and Russell, who is in San Jose high school. Patriotic and public-spirited, Mr. Hill served as a special policeman under Chief DeLacy, and proving to be a fearless and efficient officer he was given the opportunity to join the police force
permanently and work in politics. He had little taste, however, for the latter, and so he abandoned for agricultural pursuits what would have appealed to many as a promising career.

Transcribed by Linda Gretty, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 960