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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 700


This is the grave of Ebenezer Hill.

Born in 1845 in Redding, Connecticut, Hill grew up in a reformist household. His father was a minister and part of the growing middle class dedicated to reforming the rough and tumble conditions of the early republic. Hill joined the U.S. Army when he turned 18 in 1863 and served until the end of the war in the Quartermaster Department. Not glorious, but important. He then went to Yale. After graduating, he went into banking in Norwalk and slowly rose in local Republican politics. By 1884, he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention. He then went to the state senate for a term and filled other local Republican offices.

In 1894, Hill won election to Congress. He would go on to serve eight terms. His main interest was financial policy and he eventually became chairman of the Banking and Currency Committee. He became the House’s resident hard money expert and shepherded through the Subsidiary Silver Coinage Bill in 1902…about which I have trouble finding anything useful information. But I guess one can say that for a lot of bills over the years. His other major position was defending House prerogatives from Senate interference, especially on funding issues. In 1912, Hill lost his reelection bid. But then he returned after the 1914 election and won reelection in 1916. But he did not finish that final term, dying in 1917 at the age of 72.

If Hill should be known for anything today, it’s as the father of the three Hill suffragist sisters that my wife profiled recently in this series. Normally, a rather obscure congressman wouldn’t get my attention, but since I was there anyway, figured I’d might as well write up the post.

Ebenezer Hill is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Norwalk, Connecticut.

If you would like this series to visit other chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee (and why wouldn’t you with this high quality and informative post), you can donate to cover the required expenses here. This committee was abolished in 1968 and so even finding out who the chairmen were is a chore, but I did hunt down a couple. Henry Steagall (think Glass-Steagall) is in Ozark, Alabama and Brent Spence is in Southgate, Kentucky. Previous posts in this series are archived here.

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