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University Archives & Manuscripts - Collection Guides
Hill Family Papers


The Hill family papers were donated to the University Archives in 1999 by Joleen J. Hill who acquired the collection from the home of Opal Hill after her death in 1997. They include family papers of Randall C. Hill, Maurice L. Hill, and Opal B. Hill, along with a collection of documents and printed material related to the establishment of an art museum at Kansas State University. All three members of the Hill family were educated at Kansas State and remained involved with KSU after graduating.

The papers are contained in two boxes spanning the years 1929 to the early 1980's. The Randall C. Hill and the Maurice L. Hill series are arranged chronologically while the Opal B. Hill and the museum series are arranged by subject and format.

The Randall Hill series concerns his association with Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, while the Maurice Hill series is related to his activities with Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. The Opal Hill series is a collection of personal files that belonged to her while she was an art instructor at Kansas State. The museum collection concerns attempts to establish an art museum at Kansas State University and includes printed material on museums collected by Patricia O'Brien, professor of Sociology Anthropology and Social Work.

The collection includes photographs associated with Maurice L. Hill, and a couple related to Opal B. Hill. The Maurice L. Hill photos are members of Phi Sigma Kappa. Opal B. Hill's photos are of tapestry material.

Also, there are six artifacts in the collection related to Phi Delta Tau and Phi Sigma Kappa fraternities.

The papers were processed in the fall of 2000 by David Arends, Kansas State University Historical Society volunteer. The accession number is U1995.15.

Biographical Sketch

Randall C. Hill was born Sept. 30, 1901. He lived in Manhattan from 1917 to 1979, and attended Kansas State from 1919 to 1924, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. He later became the financial advisor of the fraternity. After completion of his bachelors degree in social sciences in 1924, and his masters degree in sociology in 1927, he was hired to teach at Manhattan High School. Hill decided to further his education by attending the University of Missouri where he completed his doctorate in sociology and rural sociology in 1929. After returning to Manhattan, he became an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Sociology at Kansas State, and began service as the Kansas Supervisor of Rural Research for the Federal Emergency Relief Association in October of 1934. He was promoted to a full professor at K-State in 1935. Hill was elected secretary-treasurer of the National Rural Sociological Society in 1949. In July of 1956 he became a Rural Sociologist on the International Cooperation Administration-India-Kansas State College Team to Poona, India. Hill had a special interest in India thus he spent much of his time and research there. He retired from Kansas State in 1969, and died February 9, 1995.

Maurice Hill, the younger brother of Randall Hill, was born on November 7, 1904. He also was a Manhattan resident and attended Kansas State from 1923 to 1925. While at the college, Hill was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa, and he later served as a financial advisor for the fraternity. After his time at Kansas State, Hill worked as a banker at Union National Bank of Manhattan for 22 years. In 1947 he took a position at Home Building & Loan Association, where he worked for 35 years. Hill was very active in the financial affairs of the Manhattan community. He met Opal and the two were married on December 22, 1928. Maurice Hill died on March 18, 1982.

Opal Brown Hill, wife of Maurice Hill, was born September 23, 1903. She attended Kansas State and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics in 1944. She was employed as a clerk in the business office at Kansas State for seven years when she resigned to pursue a masters degree in art, which she received from Kansas State in 1950. Mrs. Hill taught interior decorating, along with other subjects, in the art department as an associate professor. At that time, subjects such as interior decorating and architecture, were part of the art department. Hill retired from the university in 1969, and in 1983 she received the Art Department Recognition Award. She died August 14, 1997.

Scope and Contents Note

The collection was created by three members of the Hill family --Randall C. Hill, Maurice L. Hill, and Opal B. Hill. The earliest document in the collection is a contract from 1929, and the manuscripts continue into the 1980's.

The collection is arranged chronologically whenever possible. However, the bulk of Opal B. Hill's collection is her personal files that pertain to fabric and fabric history, and they are divided by subject. Also, the museum material is divided by subject for convenience and accessability.

The first series in the collection pertains to Randall Hill and concerns his involvement with Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity at Kansas State. The first five folders deal with the early years, starting with the house contract in 1929. The theme of his collection centers around financial responsibilities and dues that former members owed to the house. The correspondence from 1932 to 1942 is mainly letters to former members reminding them of their obligations and dues.

The next series, that of Maurice Hill, is very similar to Randall Hill's papers. Maurice Hill was also involved with a fraternity, Phi Sigma Kappa, although his collection is smaller. In this series, however, there are a variety of formats; photos of former members, a newsletter, two fraternity songbooks, letterheads and envelopes, a gavel, and a large metal ring. There is a folder with a few letters from Hill to former members pertaining to dues owed to the fraternity.

The third series, and the largest of the Hill Family Papers, is that of Opal Hill. The first folder pertains to a dinner recognition for Hill and her involvement with the establishment of a museum at Kansas State University, and her contributions to Kansas State. Since she was an art instructor, the rest of her collection relates to fabrics and tapestries, including Peruvian, Irish, Persian, and Japanese. The collection contains mostly printed material on various subjects in the form of news articles, essays, pamphlets, and booklets.

The fourth series, part of Opal Hill's papers, deals extensively with the proposal of a museum at Kansas State University. There are six folders, 1) letters, 2) proposals, 3) information about a curator, 4) grant information, 5) printed material about other university museums, and 6) articles about the museum. Another person who was heavily involved with the museum and is frequently mentioned throughout all six folders is Patricia O'Brian, who was a friend and fellow professor at Kansas State University.

The donation includes a collection of photographs associated with Maurice Hill and members of Phi Sigma Kappa. They are of members who were involved with K-State athletics including football, baseball, and track. Also, there are some photos of the Phi Sigma Kappa members who participated in the military training program, and a few group photographs of the fraternity members. The photographs have been removed and filed in the Photograph Collection, Vertical File-People, and in flat storage boxes. An inventory can be found following the container list in this register.

Also, there are six artifacts associated with the Hills that have been stored with the artifacts collection in the University Archives. These artifacts include 1) Phi Sigma Kappa metal name plate, 2) Phi Delta Tau metal name plate, 3) metal ring, 4) Gavel and base with Phi Delta Tau insignia, 5) Metals and ribbons with Phi Delta Tau insignia, and 6) Lighted sign with Phi Delta Tau in Greek letters.

Container List

Box  Folder

          Randall C.  Hill (1929-1942; n.d.)

               Phi Kappa Tau
01     01           Contract, 1929
       02           Financial Notes, 1931-1934
       03           Information, 1931
       04           Correspondence, 1932
       05           Financial Information, 1932
       06           Correspondence, 1933
       07                1934
       08                1935
       09                1936
       10                1937
       11                1938
       12                1939
       13                1940
       14                1941
       15                1942
       16           Letter, n.d.
       17           Letter, n.d.
       18           Miscellaneous, n.d.

          Maurice Hill   (1930-1940; n.d.)

               Phi Sigma Kappa
       19           Newsletter, 1930
       20           Correspondence, 1931
       21           Alumni Association Letterheads and Envelopes, n.d.
       22           Membership Certificate, 1933
       23           Songbook, 1940
       24           Songbook, n.d.

          Opal Brown Hill (1936-1983; n.d.)

               Personal Files
       25           Letters - Recognition Award Dinners, 1983
       26           Notes- Fabric and Silk, n.d.
       27           Notes - French Material, n.d.
       28           French Topic Essays, n.d. (historic decorative styles)
       29           Chinese Symbols Essay, n.d. (historic textile design)
       30           Itinerary for trip, n.d.
       31           Architecture Book Reviews by students, n.d.
               Printed Material
       32           China, 1945, 1958
       33           China, 1944
       34           Tapestry, 1948,1963, n.d.

02     01           American Colonial Textiles Essay, 1937, 1946, 1949, n.d.
       02           Silk Article, 1968, n.d.
       03           Motif, n.d.
       04           Fabric, 1964
       05           Scalamandr‚ Fabric, 1936, 1944,1958, 1963, n.d.
       06           Irish Linen, 1945
       07           Article - Symbols Interior, 1951, n.d.
       08           Article, 1951
       09           Article - Peruvian Fabric Material,1963, 1964, 1966
       10           Article - Persian Fabric Material, 1944, 1964, 1966, 1967
       11           Map - Southwest United States, 1955               

          Art Museum Collection (1979-1987; n.d.)

       12           Letters, 1984-1987            
       13           Proposals, 1992, n.d.
       14           Information Regarding hiring the Curator, 1983
       15           Grant Information, n.d.
       16           Printed Material, 1980, 1982, 1988
       17           Articles, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987


          Maurice Hill
The following have been filed alphabetically in University Archives Photograph Collection:
Vertical File-People

     Auker, Elden
     Barrece, Henry J
     Black, Elmer
     Brokway, Stanley
     Buchman, C. W. 
     Champagne, E. 
     Dimitt, Herbert
     Dring, Arthur
     Gilbert, ("Pinky")
     Gump, R. 
     Haraba, Adolph
     Holmberg, Stanley
     Jones, ?
     Meyers, Alfred
     Myers, Robert
     Parrish, Monte
     Pearson, (Bert)
     Rutherford, W.
     Weller, Herold
     Whiteford, R.
     Wiggins, George
     Wilson, Jerry
     Wood, H. 
     Phi Sigma Kappa group photo-National Confrence

Flat box   Folder

 01       01        Phi Sigma Kappa group photo
          02        PSK group photo
          03        Group photo
          04-05     Unidentified
          06-08     Unidentified group photo
          09        Unidentified group photo, 1926
          10        Phi Sigma Kappa group photo
          11        Unidentified group photo, 1927

          Opal Brown Hill

          12        Fabrics


          Randall Hill

 01       01        Phi Delta Tau metal name plate
          02        Metals and ribbons of Phi Delta Tau
          03        Large Metal Ring 

          Maurice Hill

          04        Phi Sigma Kappa metal name plate
          05        Gravel and base with the insignia of Phi Sigma Kappa
          06        Lighted sign with Phi Sigma Kappa in Greek letters

          Opal Hill

          07        Japanese Fabrics

Randall C. Hill Papers (1923-1970): Addition to Hill Family Papers

The following files were donated to the University Archives of Kansas State University by Joleen Hill in August, 2008. They are an addition to the Hill Family Papers that she donated in 1999 (U1995.15).

1.   Correspondence, 1923-1939

2.   Correspondence, 1930-1946

3.   Correspondence and biographical information, 1950; 1955; 1964-1970

4.   Council of Deans.  Minutes, 1927-1935 

5.   School of Community Leadership, 1931 

6.   Department of Economics and Sociology: Twenty Year Plan.  1934

7.   Upper Division-Lower Division Plan of Organization Committee: Twenty Year Program, 1934 

8.   Babcock, Rodney: Dean, General Science Division.  Appointment of Randall Hill as acting chair of Department of Economics 
        and Sociology, 1936

9.   Post-War Planning Committee, 1944

10.  Project 195: Factors Affecting the Social Well-Being of Rural People in Kansas, 1951-1954