Dr. William E. Hill, 1919-2003

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Dr. William E. Hill, 1919-2003




Dr. William E. Hill, bottom right, who practiced medicine for 54 years in Pickens County, Alabama died in 2003. Dr. Hill had retired the previous year at 82 years of age.

The fourth generation of Hill family physicians, Hill made house calls up until his last day on the job. He continued visiting his office every day after retirement to retrieve the mail and in case any of his many patients visited.

Hill was born Nov. 1, 1919, in Carrollton, the son of Dr. Hugh Wilson Hill and Eva Claire Neyman. He graduated from the University of Alabama and University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1943. He served four years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II. He returned to Carrollton after the war and joined his father, Dr. Hugh Wilson Hill, in medical practice.

Dr. William E. Hill’s father, Dr. Hugh Wilson Hill (1882-1962), bottom left) was born in Carrollton and at the age of 13, he entered college at the Old Southern University in Greensboro, Alabama. He graduated of the University of Alabama Medical School at Mobile and began practicing medicine with his father, Dr. Samuel Howard Hill, in Carrollton in 1904.

Dr. William E. Hill’s grandfather, Dr. Samuel Howard Hill (1847-1922), top right, was born in Ashcraft Corner in Pickens County. While attending the University of Alabama during the Civil War, Dr. Samuel Hill acted as one of the cadet defenders until forced to retire or be captured. He completed his medical training at the University of Louisville in 1870 and joined his father, Dr. Samuel Felto Hill, in practicing medicine in Carrollton for 52 years. In 1881, he was Pickens County’s first Public Health Office with an annual salary of $100.

Dr. William E. Hill’s great-grandfather, Dr. Samuel Felto Hill (1813-1895), top left, was born in North Carolina and came to Ashcraft Corner in the early 1840s with his wife, Sarah Jane Boggs, who was born in Boundbrook, New Jersey. He practiced medicine and was a Methodist minister. The family moved to Carrollton in 1849, where Dr. Hill continued his medical practice and founded Hill Drug Store. He was a founder of the Carrollton Methodist Church and practiced medicine until 1894.

In 1994, the National Rural Health Association named Dr. William E. Hill National Rural Health Practitioner of the Year. In 1995 he was named the U.S. Country Doctor of the Year. The street that leads to the Pickens County Medical Center is named for Dr. Hill.

Hill also served as the team physician for the Alabama Special Olympics and the Carrollton High School football team. He was pulled out of the stands if a player was injured.

After his father died in 1962, Hill would sometimes go weeks without seeing another doctor, a difficult life of professional isolation. He took medical journals home every night to read after completing his day’s work.


Personal Collection of Annette Lang


Betty Slowe (Description)






Pickens County (AL)

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

16 inches by 20 inches