Patrick Hill

phill.jpg Born: March 17, 1844, in County Cavan, Ireland

Died: August 23, 1933, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania

Rode: Where I'm having trouble is the time period. Patrick Hill's work was done between 1871 and 1874 in the Dakota Territory during C. & N. Pacific R.R. building. In fact railroad tycoon James Jerome Hill may have been related to my great grandfather in some way. He served in the Indian Wars and then as a government Scout before taking up the job of mail and express carrier. His work was not private because I have the Forts listed on the letters.

In January of 1872 while attempting a mail run from Crystal Springs to Jamestown, North Dakota (or vice/versa) Hill was frozen to the saddle and found by Indian friends who brought him back to the nearest Fort. Surgeon Dr. B. Frank Slaughter amputated the top digit of his thumb, two toes and a portion of his finger. This incident would have later consequences when in 1900 he was denied a government pension because after writing to all the post surgeons, no one could remember his name. Dr. Slaughter was a surgeon who was contracted by the government.

In 1987 while in Bismarck, North Dakota, I found a journal that substantiated his claim of 1872. He was on goverment business at that time. Pat did deliver mail to George A. Custer at Ft. Abraham Lincoln and the family has always said he was friends with Buffalo Bill Cody, who used to visit him when the Wild West show was performing in Philadelphia.

I need help in finding a monument to mail riders that two generations of mine claim his name appears on. In 1980 I was told it was the 4 Corners Monument, but a Colorado Professor told me he could not find it. Then I was told it was in Butte Montana. I emailed the Chamber of Commerce but no one seems to know. I would either like to find such a monument or put this myth to rest.

Patrick had a few government contracts that another outfit named Brown & Curley or (Currey) took advantage of. He was cheated out of money that was due him and in 1876 assisted the aid of Sammuel P. Warren, Grandfather of Chief Justice, Earl Warren of Warren Commission fame. I have researched my family tree but could not find out if he was ever compensated.

He was married in December 1875 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a girl back home in Cavan and spent the rest of his life in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Later occupations were livery and a gardener. He died at age 89 years. He is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham Pennsylvania, with a government marking.

Information provided by Will Hill, Patrick Hill's Great Grand Son, June 2001. Evidence: original letters, government/fort muster sheets, 1 book account, Tribute at Ft.Seward Interpretive Center in Jamestown ND.