Hill, William Green (1801–1860)

By: Helen B. Green

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 30, 2019

William Green Hill, early Texas patriot, the son of Jordan and Mary (Green) Hill, was born in Franklin County, North Carolina, in 1801. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and in 1830, after the death of his young wife in childbirth, he went to Texas and settled in what is now Brazoria County. In 1835 he entered the Texas army as a private in Fannin's Brazos Guards, although he was already known as "Colonel" Hill. He was a member of Capt. John York's company. He fought at the battle of Concepción on October 28, the Grass Fight on November 26, and the siege of Bexar on December 5–10, 1835. He was elected a first lieutenant of cavalry in December 1835 and a captain of cavalry on January 1, 1836. He was the first signer of the Goliad Declaration of Independence on December 20, 1835, and was one of the six signers appointed as a delegation to present the declaration to the General Council at San Felipe. In January 1836 he was ordered by Travis to contract for uniforms and equipment and to collect recruits for the defense of San Antonio. From June to October 1836 he served in Capt. Washington H. Secrest's company of Columbia (Washington) Cavalry.

In December 1836 Hill was elected a senator of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas from the Brazoria District to fill the vacancy of James Collinsworth, who had been elected to the Supreme Court. He was a member of St. John's Masonic Lodge No. 5, Brazoria and Columbia. Hill received 960 acres of land for services in various campaigns in 1835–36 and one league and one labor of land in 1838. He lived in Bernard in a residence known as Waverly and later put together a large plantation between East Columbia and Orozimbo Plantation that he called Osceola. In the census of 1860, the year he died, he was listed as a wealthy Texan with property real and personal valued at $186,862.

Hill married Mary Catherine Hall in Madison County, Alabama, in February 1825, and they had two children, one of whom, Thomas Elihu Hill, served in the state legislature in 1862–63. On February 25, 1836, Hill married Elizabeth (Eliza) Martha Westall, the daughter of Thomas Westall. Eliza Westall was already twice widowed; her first husband was James Elijah Brown Austin, the brother of Stephen F. Austin. William and Eliza Hill had six children. Hill died in Brazoria County on June 30, 1860. In his nuncupative will he asked to be buried beside his wife Eliza, who had died in 1847.

Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Andrew Phelps McCormick, Scotch-Irish in Ireland and America (1897). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Helen B. Green, “Hill, William Green,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hill-william-green.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 30, 2019