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April 25, 2013

'The Hillers of Athens' Event Set for Saturday, May 4th

Col. Hiram M. Hiller, who distinguished himself during the duration of the Civil War, will be featured at the "Hillers of Athens" event Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Battle of Athens State Historic Site. Hiller and other members of his family figured prominently in the history of Clark County following the War.

Many historic Clark County families lived at Athens at the time of the Civil War. Among them were the many siblings of the Hiller family. On Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Hiller family will be featured in a day-long event, "The Hillers of Athens". The event is free to the public.

In the morning visitors can view displays of Hiller furniture in the permanent collection at the site. Hiller items are on loan from Hiram T. and Karen Hiller, which will all be displayed at the Benning (Cannonball) House, along with an interpretive panel of photographs, letters, and military records.

In the afternoon session at the shelter house, Hiram Thompson Hiller, great-great grandson of Col. Hiram M. and Sarah Hiller will speak and answer questions about members of his family, many of whom fought during the entire duration of the Civil War, including the Battle of Athens. Interpreter Jo Bryant will also speak about the Battle of Athens and the Hillers' military record.

The Hiller migration to Athens began in 1855 when Hiram M. Hiller received an urgent plea from his uncle, Hiram Milliken, who was ill, struggling to stay in a failing dry goods business, and caring for his orphaned niece and nephew (Hiller's brother and sister) Amelia, 13 and Royal, age 10. Their parents had both died back in Pennsylvania in 1851, leaving nine living children.

Hiller, then 21, came immediately from Pennsylvania to assist his uncle, and was soon followed by his other brothers and sister: Harriet, John, William, and George, and James.

He returned briefly to Pennsylvania two years later to marry Sarah Fulton Bell and brought her back to Athens. From then on the Hillers were to play an important role in the Civil War and in the development of Clark County.

For further information please contact Friends of Athens president, Bonnie Ensminger at 660-877-3802.

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