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Susan (Benedict) Fairfield Hill

November 15, 1836 – September 25, 1898

Exeter News-letter, Friday, September 30, 1898

To a large circle of friends in many Rockingham towns has been brought poignant grief by the dead of Susan B., wife of F. Alden Hill, which occurred Sunday morning at Hotel Whittier, at the age of 62 years, 9 months, 10 days. The death was startlingly sudden. Mrs. Hill came down to breakfast as usual Wednesday, but during the morning complained of a cold. Dr. Smith was called in the afternoon, and found her suffering from cold and influenza. Pneumonia set in Friday morning, but by Saturday morning found the patient more comfortable. At noon, however, she lapsed into a coma, from which she did not rally. Her sisters-in-law, Nellie Grayson Hill and M. O. Hill of Brookline, Mass., arrived at the bedside late Saturday night, and at 1:30 Sunday morning Mrs. Hill breathed her last. On Saturday afternoon Dr. Sawyer, of Exeter, had been in consultation with Dr. Smith, and a trained nurse had been in attendance after the case became critical.

Mrs. Hill came of the best old Connecticut families, in which state she was born November 15, 1835, at Bethel, though the neighboring Danbury became her home. Her maiden name was Benedict. She was twice married, first to a Mr. Fairfield, a man of wealth and resident, we believe, in Hudson, N.Y. At all events, there much of Mrs. Fairfield’s life was spent. By this marriage was born a son, whose sudden death in early manhood at New Orleans, where he had entered upon a business career full of promise, was a crushing blow to the widowed mother.

She finally married the late F. Alden Hill, a cultured gentleman, who after extended travels around the world was attracted by the restful charms of Hampton’s north beach, where in 1887 he made a large purchases of real estate and established his home. He died in Hampton very suddenly on August 8, 1892. Mrs. Hill had since made her home here, though her winters had generally been spent in Danbury, Hudson or Brooklyn. Since early June she had been a guest at the Whittier, but was about to return to her pleasant home. Since the death of Mr. Hill business cares and efforts to put in execution plans he had formulated for the development of the north beach had severely taxed her strength, and she had been called to bear a succession of trials in the deaths of relatives and old and dear friends. Three half brothers survive her.

Until quiet recently Mrs. Hill had in her own right possessed of ample means, much of which had been swept away in unfortunate investments. She had traveled widely in this country, the Canadas and abroad, and on one trip her steamer was wrecked on the Irish coast. She was an accomplished genealogist, and as such had made extended researches here and in England. Her tastes and abilities also inclined her to historical studies, and her best monument is the exhaustive and admirable History of Danbury, which in part she recently edited from manuscripts of her friend, the late Editor Bailey, of the Danbury News, but which is also in large measure her own work. She wielded a ready, versatile and graceful pen, and had been a frequent contributor of prose and verse to the Boston Transcript and other journals. She had written much of the News-Letter, many of whose readers will recall with pleasure the interesting series of articles on round the world travels she prepared form her husband’s papers in 1892-3.

Than Mrs. Hill there could not be a finer type of the well0bred, accomplished, gentlewoman. Her bearing was easy, unaffected, and gracious, her disposition singularly sunny and attractive. Her wide reading and extended travels had made her a remarkably cultured and well informed woman, and her conversation charmed all listeners. Her marked characteristics was, however, a kindliness of heart, which manifested itself in many generous and helpful acts and especially in love for dumb animals. Their abuse aroused her to righteous indignation, and by voice and pen she had continuously pleased in their behalf. A lovable woman and most loyal friend, she will by many long held in pleasant recollection.

A service pf prayer, conducted by Rev. J.A. Ross and attended by many Hampton neighbors and friends, was held in the Whittier parlors at half past ten Monday morning. The remains were then taken to Hudson, where the funeral took place on Tuesday.

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