Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HILL, John, congressman, born in Catskill, New York, 10 June, 1821; died in Boonton, New Jersey, 24 July, 1884. He was educated at private schools, and at an early age was clerk in the bank of which his father was cashier. In 1845 he became paymaster of the New Jersey iron company at Boonton, New Jersey, and afterward engaged in business there. He was postmaster of the town in 1849-'53, justice of the peace in 1856-'61, and was elected to the New Jersey assembly in 1861, 1862, and 1866, serving as speaker during his last term. He was active in raising troops during the civil war, and at its close was elected to congress as a Republican, serving from 1867 till 1873, and again from 1881 till 1883. Mr. Hill was an active member of the house committee on post offices and post-roads, and was earnest in promoting postal reform. When he first entered congress he introduced a bill to abolish the franking privilege, and he was also the author of the bill providing for the issue of postal-cards. In December, 1881, he introduced a bill reducing letter postage to two cents a half an ounce, which was finally passed on 2 March, 1883, owing largely to his persistent efforts. Mr. Hill received many resolutions of thanks from various public bodies for his interest in the matter. He was an elder of the Presbyterian church at Boonton, and was active in religious affairs.
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