Amie Dickinson, Annie Morris, Appalachia, Barboursville, Charles Morris, Charley Stone, Dyke Garrett, fiddler, fiddling, Guyandotte, Hiram Hill, history, Huntington, Jim Dingess, Kitchen, Lorenzo Dow Hill, Martha, Mary Hill, music, Ohio, Peter Hill, preacher, Scott Hill, slavery, slaves, Springfield, West Virginia
The following article, written by Frank Ball, is taken from a Huntington-area newspaper clipping. This is Part 2 of the story.
A year after the trip back from Virginia, the slaves of Lorenzo Hill were surprised and not a little dazed when he tried to convey to them the fact that they were free. They didn’t want to leave Ole Boss. They had no place to go. So they lived on with him and worked for him as usual. Uncle Scott stayed with his former owner until he was 21. And the slaves who were sold en route to Virginia returned often to visit the Hill farm.
At the age of 21, Scott Hill left the valley and went to Springfield, O. There he met and married Annie Morris, who was born the slave property of Charles Morris of Martha, near Barboursville, May 5, 1862. She remembers nothing of slave days, but remembers that she, too, lived on at the home of her former owner with her father and mother until she was 18. She often went back to visit the Morris home after she left it. In case of sickness there her services were always desired. She and her husband are the parents of 13 children, seven of whom are dead. The Hill family moved to Barboursville in 1891.
The father and mother of Scott Hill were the parents of 14 children, nine boys and five girls. All the children lived to be grown. Three are yet living. In addition to Uncle Scott there is a son, Peter Hill, and a daughter, Mrs. Amie Dickinson, of Huntington.
Mr. Hill’s father died in Huntington in 1913, and his mother in Guyandotte in 1909. Uncle Scott has long since passed his days of usefulness as a workman. He sits patiently by the bedside of his invalid wife daily, musing on the past. Friends have lately installed a radio for the aged couple by which they may hear directly from the outside world.
In his younger days, Mr. Hill pushed a cart about town selling fish to the citizens. For many years he was a familiar figure as he wheeled about the village, and his “feesh, fresh feesh” became a by-word among the youngsters. In addition he was a great hog raiser, and he made arrangements for swill from many of his neighbors who were glad to accommodate him.
He remembers well the old days and the old citizens of the valley. He likes to recall the mountain dances at Old Boss’, or across the river at Charley Stone’s or Jim Dingess’. The fiddler who sawed incessantly in the corner while others tripped the light fantastic was a stripling named Dyke Garrett. And in those early days, “Uncle Dyke” was not exactly adverse to sampling Old Boss’ brandies.
“I remember, though, when he made th’ change,” recalled Uncle Scott, “an’ I’ve follered him through a long an’ useful life. Fine feller, Uncle Dyke.”