(1834 NY-1902 CO)
Original Member of the Missouri Commandery of MOLLUS
Photo: Songs Sung by the "Singing School" of the MO Commandery of MOLLUS, c1905
Original Photo from the MO Commandery of MOLLUS Photograph collection
Located at the Missouri State Historical Society Library and Archives, St. Louis, MO
Visit the MO Commandery of MOLLUS HomepageColonel Charles S. Hills was born at Conewaugo, NY, April 16, 1834. His early life was that of the average country boy, with no resources save a sturdy body, a clear head and a will to do. In 1861 he was living at Cottonwood, KS and on June 11, he was mustered into the service as First Lieut. Of the 2nd KS Infy, and was mustered out with his regiment in the following October, and on the same day re-enlisted as private in the 2nd KS Cav., and was subsequently made Sgt. Major. On May 14, 1862, he was mustered as Captain in the 10th KS Infy, and served in that grade, a large portion of the time in command of his regiment, until March 1865, when he was mustered as Lt. Colonel. He was mustered out of the service October, 1865, having been breveted Colonel by the President to date from March 26, 1865. He participated in the Battle of Wilsonís Creek, where he was wounded, also Newtonia, Cane Hill, Prarie Grove, Pilot Knob, and the assault and capture of Fort Blakely. After the war he located in ST. Louis and engaged in the wholesale grocery business, from which he retired to become connected with the Catlin Tobacco Company of which he became a director and secretary and treasurer. In 1899 he retired from active business. He became a Companion of the Loyal Legion through the MO Commandery early in 1886. Two years later he conceived the idea of founding a permanent home and memorial building for the Commandery and made a large subscription for the purpose, and stood ready to donate the land for the structure as soon as an amount sufficient for its completion and maintenance was secured. About $35,000 was subscribed within the Commandery for the building, but as a large endowment was necessary to ensure its maintenance the project was finally abandoned. Although he had been physically unable to attend meetings of the Commandery for about ten years, he was nominated for the officer of Sr. Vice Commander, and would have been unanimously elected but for his firm refusal to accept the office the duties of which he was unable to perform. He died at Glenwood Springs, CO, June 19, 1902. I was a near neighbor of Colonel Hills for many years and I learned the details of his life in such confidences as men having a common experience reveal to one another. Perhaps I was more closely drawn to him because of his physical disability and because my children loved him. For years we spent one evening each week together, and how thoroughly I enjoyed that rare companionship until I came to feel the need of contact with a mind so broad, sure and kindly. Fortunately he was a lover of books and art, as it gave him resources for pleasure which is denied to many. Among his business associates he was recognized as a leader, and his kindliness was so all pervading that his employees confided to him the things which most employers disdain to know. Most men suffering physically as he suffered would become ill tempered and disagreeable, but he was one of the most perennially cheerful and companionable men I have ever known. He was a brave, knightly soldier, a useful public spirited citizen, a good helpful friend, and the world is better for his having lived.