Death of Rev. Joseph Bienaime Hillhouse
The Courant American Newspaper
June 23, 1887 Page 3
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Death of Rev. J. B. Hillhouse
A Glowing Tribute From the Pen of Senator W. R. Rankin of Gordon County
Rev. Joseph Bienaime Hillhouse died at his residence near Calhoun last Sunday afternoon the 12th inst. [Born] January 5th, 1820, a descendant of the French Hugenot and Scotch –Irish settlers of S. C. He was a son of Rev. Joseph Hillhouse one of the pioneer preachers of upper South Carolina, himself a man of learning and profound piety. Mr. Hillhouse in early youth united with the church of his fathers and soon afterwards commenced to prepare for the work of the ministry. He graduated from the Theological Seminary at Columbia, S. C. in 1845 and was licensed to preach the same year. Much of his life was devoted to teaching but he never neglected his pastoral duties, almost always being in charge of one or more churches. He was a diligent student and a profound scholar, was especially fond of the classics and was one of the most learned Hebrew scholars in the country for many years his Hebrew Bible was his daily companion.
On the 18th of December 1849 he married Miss Esther L. Steele the eldest daughter of Mr. James Steele late of Cherokee county, Ga., then a resident of Anderson, S. C. From this union there were born three daughters and six sons, the two eldest preceded him to the other world, his wife, one daughter and six sons survive. The eldest son is pastor of the Presbyterian church at Cartersville.
Mr. Hillhouse moved from Newberry, S. C. to Calhoun in 1873, and though a stranger he soon won the confidence and love of the people of his new home amongst whom he found several pupils of former years. For five years he conducted the Calhoun Academy to the entire satisfaction of his patrons and solid benefit to his pupils. He found here a few Presbyterian families whom he organized into a church and to whom he preached faithfully for thirteen years. He was rewarded for his labors by seeing the little flock increase in strength and members to such an extent that though now their shepherd has been taken away, they will be able to carry on the work which he commenced and which he loved so well.
He was devoted to the Presbyterian church and loved its doctrines and its polity, but there never lived a man more generous towards those who differed from him, and during his long ministry of forty-two years he never uttered a word which could give offense to any one, and one of his very last discourses was upon Christian union. He was truly a good man and it is safe to say that no citizen of Calhoun was ever carried to the grave more sincerely beloved and respected than the subject of this sketch.
As a husband and father he was kind and thoughtful, as a citizen he was courteous, charitable and popular, as a friend true and faithful, as a Christian gentle, pious and pure, as a preacher learned and logical. As an officer in the church of Christ he was diligent and faithful. He spoke little in public assemblies but was always heard with profound attention. In 1860 he represented his presbytery in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church which met in Rochester N. Y. – the last meeting of that body before the division of the church North and South, the last words of his, heard in presbytery were in favor of reunion.
Truth, courage, honor, integrity and purity were his, and long will his kind words and deeds be fresh in the hearts of his fellow citizens. A pupil of former years pays this slight tribute to the memory of a beloved teacher. “He as a man take him all in all, we shall not look upon his like again.” W. R. R.
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