Cage 118

Homer M. Hill

Papers, 1877-1934

Caricature of Homer M. Hill published in The Argus, a Seattle newspaper.

Acquisition And Processing Information

Mrs. Libby Hoag donated the papers of Homer M. Hill to the Washington State University Libraries in the 1940s (MS 70-1395). The collection was processed by Terry Abraham in 1973, and additional processing was done by Cheryl Gunselman in 2010.

Extent/Quantity Information

Number of Containers: 3

Linear Feet of Shelf Space: 1.5


Homer M. Hill was born in Senecaville, Ohio, November 28, 1855. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1882 and became a teacher in the Minneapolis Academy. The following year he entered the newspaper business as Mandan correspondent of the Bismarck Tribune and subsequently business manager of the Brainerd (MN) Tribune. In April of 1884 he purchased an interest in the Helena (MT) Independent. In May of that year he married Carrie M. Lovell of Nevada, Iowa. The following year he sold out his Helena interests and moved to Seattle where be began publishing the True Tone and subsequently the Daily Press (combining the Evening Call and the Evening Chronicle which he had purchased). He maintained the Press until August, 1889 when he sold it to Hunt and Bailey.

In 1892 he, with two partners, purchased the Morning Telegraph. It was the Telegraph which installed the first Mergenthaler typesetting machines west of the Rockies in 1893. In addition, Hill was President of the Washington State Press Association, 1893-1894.

His political and civic activities were numerous and varied. He was a Seattle city councilman, 1898-1900, a deputy county commissioner, executive secretary of the Rainier Heights Improvement Club and the Federated Improvement Clubs of Seattle, and in 1910 he helped organize the Taxpayers' League of Seattle and served as its executive secretary. Hill died in January of 1935; his obituary appeared in the Seattle Times (a successor to the Daily Press) January 23, 1935; 13:3.

Collection Description

This collection consists of papers and photographs related to Homer Hill's business, civic, and political activities. Sone notable items are a telegram from C. S. Voorhees announcing passage of statehood for Washington, a map of "proposed saloon limits" for the City of Seattle; correspondence and ephemera related to the Mergenthaler typesetting machine Hill acquired, membership and mailing lists for civic clubs and other organizations in Washington, and photographs of Helena, MT and Seattle, WA from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged in three series:

Related Materials

Selected images and documents from this collection have been digitized and can be found online in the  Homer M. Hill Digital Image Collection.


Federated Improvement Clubs of Seattle (Wash.)
Newspaper publishing -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- History -- Sources
Seattle (Wash.) -- Politics and government
Seattle (Wash.) -- History -- Sources
Taxpayers' League of Seattle


This collection is open and available for research use. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Preferred Citation

The suggested citation for the collection is:

[Item Description]
Homer M. Hill papers, 1877-1934
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Washington State University Libraries
Pullman, WA

Location Note (MASC Staff Use)

The oversize item (folder 37) is in boxed oversize.


Materials are in English.

Container List:

Box Folder Description
    Series 1. Scrapbooks and commonplace book, 1898-1900 and undated
1 1 [not used]
  2-3 Scrapbooks: Seattle politics, 1898
  4-8 Scrapbooks: Seattle politics, 1899
  9-10 Scrapbook: Seattle politics, 1900
  11 Scrapbook: Republican Party politics and the Civil War
  12 Commonplace book
    Series 2. Papers, 1877-1934 and undated
    Personal papers
2 13 Undated
  14 1877-1879
  15 1880-1889
  16 1890-1910
  17 1911-1933
    Newspaper records
  18 Undated
  19 1884-1889
  20 1890-1895
  21 1896-1930
  22 Ledger, 1893-1896
    Improvement association papers
  23 Minute and clipping books, 1901-1916
  24 Undated
  25 1901-1903
  26 1904-1906
  27 1907-1915
    Taxpayers' League of Seattle
3 28 Undated
  29 1910-1915
  30 1916-1934
    Series 3. Photographs, circa 1880-1910
  31 Photograph album. Photographs taken by Wilse Photo. Most images depict the installation of a water supply system for Seattle (25 prints); also ships carrying returning Volunteers in 1899, and the unveiling of the Pioneer Square totem pole, 1899-1900
  32 Composite panorama view of Seattle, circa 1880
    "City of Seattle," circa 1890
    "Olympian," undated
    News photographs of men injured in Seattle during anti-Chinese riots (3 items), circa 1890
  33 Steamships
    Woodland Park gate, undated
  34 Unidentified group photograph. Includes a list of the individuals pictured, all from Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, and Silver Beach, WA, circa 1900-1910
    Seattle fire (3 items). One image shows a view of the city on fire; the other two show the Seattle Daily Press, Hill's paper, temporarily operating from a tent; 1899 July
  35 Composite of views of Seattle buildings, circa 1900-1910
    Interior view of unidentified store, undated
  36 Helena, MT (9 items), circa 1883
    Unidentified Montana railroad trestle, circa 1880s
O/S 37 "Map of Seattle showing proposed saloon limits in Charter Amendment no. 11," circa 1902-1914 (note: separated from Improvement association papers, folder 24)