Biography of Charles E. Hill

Charles E. Hill, editor and proprietor of the Vidette, is a native of Greene County, Ohio. With a strong inclination towards the printer’s trade from a young age, he served his apprenticeship at the Cleveland Daily Herald, where he connected with influential Republican politicians. Hill’s ambition led him to work in various cities across the United States and Canada before settling in Valley Springs, South Dakota. There, he acquired the Vidette, transforming it into a highly regarded publication and a leading Republican voice in eastern Dakota. Hill’s dedication to his town’s growth, involvement in politics, and esteemed presence in social circles have earned him great prestige and influence.

CHARLES E. HILL, editor and proprietor of the Vidette, one of the leading local journals of eastern Dakota, is a native of Greene County, Ohio, and dates his birth from December 8, 1857, being the son of Samuel J. and Sarah J. Hill. These parents moved to Cleveland when Charles E. was quite young, and he spent his childhood and youth in that city, receiving, in the meantime, a fair education in the public schools. From his boyhood, he manifested a decided taste for the printer’s trade, and when old enough, he yielded to this long-standing desire by entering the office of the Cleveland Daily Herald, where he served an apprenticeship, during which he became personally acquainted with a number of the leading Republican politicians and prominent men of Ohio, among whom were E. V. Smalley, Marcus A. Hanna, and others equally distinguished in public affairs. After serving his time and becoming a skillful typesetter, young Hill became animated by a laudable ambition to see something of the world. Accordingly, in the winter of 1876, he severed his connection with the Herald and went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked for a while at the old Times-Journal. Later, he held a position in the office of the Globe-Democrat, and in the spring of 1876, he left that city for New York. From there, in May of the same year, he crossed the ocean to England. After working at his trade for several months in that country, he went to Ireland and Wales, where he found employment in various newspapers. Satisfied with his experience in the old country, Mr. Hill returned to his native land in 1876 and worked at his trade in nearly all the large cities in the United States and Canada for several years. Finally, in 1891, he made his way to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and accepted a position in the office of the Daily Press of that city. Resigning his position the following year, he came to Valley Springs and took charge of the leading hotel in the town. However, after a brief experience as “mine host,” he gave up the hotel and resumed the vocation for which he was better suited and to which he had devoted so much of his life.

Sometime after coming to Valley Springs, a stock company composed of several prominent businessmen of the town established the Vidette, a weekly newspaper, which Mr. Hill purchased shortly after the enterprise went into effect. He has since been the sole owner of the publication, which has grown into a valuable property. Under his business and editorial management, the Vidette has become one of the most influential local papers, not only in Minnehaha County but in the eastern part of the state. The paper is ably edited, has a large circulation, a liberal advertising patronage, and in every department is a creditable publication. It is highly regarded as a family paper and recognized as one of the leading Republican organs in eastern Dakota.

Mr. Hill has always been a staunch supporter of Republican principles, and since becoming a citizen of Dakota, his efforts and influence on behalf of the party have greatly contributed to its success in numerous local and state campaigns. He has attended every county and state convention since settling in Valley Springs and has been universally chosen as a delegate to these gatherings. His presence has been felt not only in their deliberations but also in formulating platforms, directing party policies, and planning for the active work of the campaign. He has also been quite prominent in municipal affairs, having served on the town board for several years. In this and other capacities, he has worked earnestly to promote the growth and development of Valley Springs, as well as to advance its various industrial and business interests. Fraternally, he belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In all of these organizations, he is a leading figure and an active participant, as well as an honored official. Mr. Hill’s influence has been instrumental in building up his town, and few individuals enjoy as much prestige as he does in public, political, and social circles. He married Mrs. Emma A. Pixley of Valley Springs on March 14, 1892, and his home circle consists of himself and his wife only.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top