Nina and Maclovia Hill Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
Nina and Maclovia Hill were born to John William Hill and Grace Pearsall Hill in Fayetteville, Texas. Maclovia was born in April 1872 and Nina in April 1874. They were two of seven children. Nina and Maclovia moved to Austin to attend school and stayed with their grandparents, James and Jane Hill.
Maclovia, called by her family Coco or Clovie, graduated from Austin High School in 1888. She was among the first women graduates of the University of Texas, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1892. She taught in the elementary schools from 1894 to 1902, and began teaching history at Austin High School in 1903. She was involved in the Honor Society and many other student activities, school projects, and organizations. She taught there until she retired in 1941. She died on July 29, 1957.
Nina Hill was a member of the fourth graduating class at the University of Texas receiving her bachelor’s degree in literature. She taught for three years in Paris, Texas, before coming to Palm School in Austin in 1899. After teaching there for a year, she transferred to Austin High School where she taught English for 48 years. She was head of the English department for many years and also the sponsor of the senior class. She retired in 1944, and died July 5, 1966.
Their grandfather, James Monroe Hill, was a soldier at the Battle of San Jacinto. In 1835, his family was one of seventeen families to charter a schooner to take them to Stephen F. Austin’s colony. They established a farm in Washington County. James M. Hill served in Company H of Col. Edward Burleson’s First Regiment, Texas Volunteers. He was one of the few men present at the first interview between Houston and Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
He married Jane Hallowell Kerr in Washington County on September 14, 1843. They lived in Fayette County for 41 years then moved to Austin in 1884. A brother, Homer B. Hill, was a physician and also lived in Austin. In 1894, James M. Hill was appointed chairman of a committee to locate the battlefield of San Jacinto and later to purchase that land. He died on February 14, 1904, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery. The James Monroe Hill Papers are located at the Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Two of their sons, John William and Frank Webb, opened a groceries and provisions store (Hill & Hill) at 1010 Congress Avenue around 1889. John W. Hill had three other daughters, beside Nina and Maclovia, and two sons: Catharine who married Thomas Oliver, Beth (Elizabeth) who married Lou Slothower, Grace who married Lynn Milam, Ben who married Norma Burbridge, and Harry who married Nena Richardson. John William Hill died in 1927.
The collection is arranged into personal and professional materials. Though the majority of the materials are personal in nature, they do give insight into the Hill sisters' lives as teachers in Austin.
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence (2.4 linear feet) and covers a time span from 1863 to 1955 with a gap in the 1940s. The major part of this correspondence consists of letters to and from Maclovia and Nina Hill. Their siblings Harry, Beth, Grace, Cath and Ben are their chief correspondents. Their sisters would also pass along letters sent to them from friends and relatives increasing the scope of the correspondence. Drawings and papers by Nina and Maclovia’s nieces and nephews also came to them from their sisters. There are cards received for Christmas and other occasions. Their brother Harry lived with them part of the time after his wife Nena died in 1937, so some of the correspondence that he received is included. Additionally, there are two letters sent by James L. Hill to his parents and brother, John W. Hill. The 1863 letter to his parents, James Monroe and Jane Hill, provides a fairly detailed account of the Holly Springs, Mississippi, raid of 1862. There are also some letters to Nina and Maclovia’s father, John W. Hill, and a letter from their grandmother, Jane Hill, to her daughter Lucy.
Maclovia Hill sent letters to her siblings that are informative about family, school, and cultural events. There are also lists for letters sent and received for the years that there were no letters saved. Letters from a friend and fellow teacher, Bertha Casey, in the 1950s relate school events, Austin flora and fauna, and family activities. She taught at Austin High School and then transferred to the new McCallum High School. One letter describes her tour through the completed but not yet opened school. There are a few photographs, most of them unidentified. Most of the photographs were included in letters from Beth Hill Slothower.
One linear foot of material contains financial, genealogical and biographical material from around 1920 to 1950. The financial material contains property records and tax receipts. Literary works include drafts for a poem “Some Memories of a Grandfather” by Maclovia Hill that was published by the Battle of Flowers Association. A copy of the completed poem is in the James Monroe Hill Papers at the Center for American History.
The professional series contains a variety of school materials relating to Austin High School, Austin Public Schools and the Honor Society.
Open to all users
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Nina and Maclovia Hill Papers (AR.S.007). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: Unknown
Donation Date: Unknown
Initial inventory by Ruth Baker in July 1999. Final processing and encoded finding aid by Kelly Hanus in June 2018.
Detailed Description of the Collection