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Hill family papers

Call Number: RH MS 1461


Alfred "Scoop" Hill was an American newspaper man in the mid-20th century. With his wife Julia, he owned and operated several newspapers across the United States. In addition to his correspondence and documents dealing with his newspaper businesses, the Hill family papers include family letters dating back to Joseph Hill in the late 19th century to those of Tom Hill and his family in the early 21st century. Also in the collection are personal correspondence and documents relating to Alfred (often labeled AGH), Julia, Tom, Ormond, Joseph, Frances, Tom, and other family members. Many documents relating to universities and colleges, predominately in Kansas, may also be found in the collection.


  • Creation: 1900 - 2005


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Hill family

Alfred G. Hill, also known as "Scoop," was born in Emporia Kansas in 1893 and died in Pennsylvania in 1971. The son of minister and teacher Joseph Hill and his wife Sarah Frances Meldrum Hill, Alfred attended Emporia Normal school as well as the University of Kansas, where he played football.

By the time Alfred Hill was at KU, he was already acquainted with noted newspaper editor William Allen White, as he grew up in Emporia. After graduation, Alfred started working at White's newspaper, the Emporia Gazette.

With his wife Julia Gontrum Hill, born in 1895 and died in 1980, Alfred bought and made financially stable several newspapers across the country, including the Chester Times, the Oak Ridger, the Kearney Hub, and the Fremont. In addition to his newspaper work, Hill also acted as Secretary for the KU Alumni Association, and correspondence with KU Chancellors is included within his files on universities.

Alfred died in 1971. He suffered from two heart attacks prior to his death in 1971. His brother Ormond also suffered from heart attacks. The newspaper business that Alfred ran was deeply rooted in his family, as Julia and their son Tom, Alfred's brother Ormond and his son Joe, and Alfred's uncle Walter were all involved in the owning and operation of these papers.

Joseph Hill was born in 1858 and died in 1927. He was married to Frances Meldrum Hill, with whom he had 5 children: Alfred in 1893, Ormond in 1895, Muriel in 1896, Ruth in 1903, and Joe in 1904. Joe died at the age of 12 in 1917 after being hit by a truck and sustaining internal injuries in 1913. Both Alfred and Ormond served in World War I.

Extensive genealogical information on the Hill family may be found in box 7 of the collection.


10.5 Linear Feet (14 boxes + 3 oversize boxes, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



Original order within files was maintained unless no order was observed; like materials have been grouped together (i.e, all materials related to a specific newspaper filed together, etc.). Letters to non-family members have been alphabetized. Series have been created based on content and include

  1. Newspaper operations
  2. Kansas and universities documents
  3. Alfred G. Hill correspondence
  4. Hill family letters
  5. Hill family papers
  6. Oversize newspapers and clippings
  7. Photographs

Physical Location

RH MS 1461

Physical Location

RH MS Q443

Physical Location

RH MS R438

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1461

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1461(f)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Jennifer Hill, 2016.

Separated Materials

Markowitz, Fred A. Football--For the Sport of It: A History of Football from 1893 to 1962 at the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia. [Emporia, KS]: Kansas State Teachers College, [1962]. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C12315.



Guide to the Hill Family Collection
Hill family papers
Finding aid prepared by haz. Finding aid encoded by haz.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for the processing of this collection was provided by the G. Baley Price Spencer Research Library Fellowship Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Hill family papers, RH MS 1461, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States