Henry Gladstone Hill was born March 14, 1877, to William James and Annie Glover Hill in London where his father and uncle owned and operated Hill Brothers Construction. In 1893, Henry, his parents and his brother, William Glover Hill, came to Shasta County. They purchased forty acres in Churn Creek Bottom where they planted an orchard and built a house, hauling lumber from Shingletown. The 160 acres they homesteaded on Battle Creek near Viola was their summer home. In the early 1900's, they sold this property and bought a place at Sweetbriar, south of Castella.

Henry "Harry" worked in the saw mills around Shingletown and Viola. In 1901, on his day off, Harry walked to Redding to buy life insurance for his mother. John William Hare who owned the agency and sold him the insurance was astounded at Harry's round trip on foot. He offered Harry a job and in July 1902, the firm became Hare and Hill Insurance.

Edith Ida Ashcraft was born in Galva. Kansas, January 1, 1881. to Aldis Isaac and Clara Ashcraft. In 1885, Edith, her parents and sister, Pearl went to the Spokane area of Washington. In 1895, the family, with baby sister Faye, left Washington by wagon. Edith rode horseback over the still snowy Siskiyou Mountains to arrive in Redding on the Fourth of July.

Aldis opened a blacksmith shop in Redding and later (1909) in French Gulch. He had the first electrified shop north of Sacramento.

Edith was in the first four year class at Shasta High School, then newly located at the corner of West and Placer. She gave the valedictory speech at the first graduation ceremony in 1903. Although offered a Regent Scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley. Edith chose to teach stenography and typing at Shasta County High School from 1903 to1906.

On August 1, 1906, Edith and Harry were married. They had three sons:

Eric b. 1907 A retired Electrical Engineer in Bass Harbor, ME
Clair b. 1909 Co-founder of CH2MHill
Rolf b. 1912 d. March 1920 in an accident.

Harry was killed in a one-car accident driving from Sweetbriar to Redding, August 11, 1920, just five months after Rolf's death.

Edith took over the Hare and Hill Insurance Agency and helped Eric and Clair through Stanford University. In 1945. she sold the business to Clark R. Nye; the firm is now known as Insurance Associates.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

Biography Index