SURNAMES: LOOOMIS, BUSHNELL, WYTHE,
Miles Hills, who has a beautiful home and an orchard of ten acres on the corner of Lincoln and Minnesota Avenues, has been a prominent resident of Santa Clara County for the past twenty years. His home place is planted in three acres of cherries, three acres of apricots, and the balance in a variety of fruits, only partly in bearing, as some of the fruit originally planted has been replaced with others. He also owns a place of 100 acres at Los Gatos, of which thirty-five acres are in prunes, thirty-five acres in almonds, and the remainder will be planted in fruit. He had about ten tons of almonds from the Los Gatos place, but has since grafted prunes on many of the almonds. This year (1888) will be the first in which he will probably have a full crop of both prunes and almonds.
Born in Goshen, Litchfield County, Connecticut, in 1819, he lived there until five years of age. His parents were Levi and Huldah (Loomis) Hills, natives of Connecticut. His mother died in Savannah, Georgia, in 1820, when he was about one year old. His father removed in 1824 with his family to Oneida County, New York. There his father carried on a general merchandise business for about ten years. The family again removed, in 1833, locating in La Salle County, Illinois, between Joliet and Ottawa, and there he again engaged in the general merchandise business, in which he continued for about twenty-five years, at Morris, Illinois, where he died in 1865. When the subject of this sketch accompanied his father to Illinois in 1833, the Indians were about selling out and moving West. They passed through Chicago, which was at that time merely a trading station, there being at the mouth of the Chicago River Fort Dearborn, with a few troops, and a few small stores, but no regular streets. The town had just been platted that fall. These stores were supported by the Indians and a few straggling settlers who came in to do their trading and sell their peltry and products. During the years Mr. Hills lived in that section it filled up with settlers and became wealthy. For twenty-five years the people of his neighborhood, and for much greater distances, hauled their grain and products by wagon to Chicago. He engaged in farming and buying and selling grain during that period, doing business in Morris, Illinois, for about seven years of that time.
He married, in
1847, Miss Charlotte Bushnell, in the town of Lisbon, Kendall County (formerly
La Salle County), Illinois. There were born to them six children, four of whom
died in infancy. Harriet, born in Lisbon, Illinois, in 1848, is now the wife of
Rev. J. H. Wythe, residing in Oakland, California. Edwin M., born in Morris,
Illinois, in 1858, is now engaged in managing a stock ranch in Monterey County.
Mr. Hills originally came to California by the Panama route in 1855, locating in
Santa Clara County. He engaged in buying and selling land in various parts of
the State. He returned to Illinois in 1857, and after a residence of ten years
in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he returned with his family to California and located
in San Jose, where he has since resided. Mr. Hills is a Republican in politics
and a supporter of tariff for protection.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy
ANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT