Skip to main content

The Hill and Steckman Family Collection

The Hill and Steckman Family Collection

1 of 2
Open Finding Aid
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
Extra Large
large ( > 500x500)
Full Resolution

The Hill and Steckman Family Collection 1900-2013

Douglas County History Research Center
Douglas County Libraries
100 S. Wilcox Street
Castle Rock, Colorado 80104
Phone: 303-688-7730

© 2017

Profile Description

Creation: Encoded by Sarah Stevens 2017-11-06
Language: Finding aid is in English

Collection Summary

RepositoryDouglas County Libraries / 100 S. Wilcox St. / Castle Rock, CO 80104 / Phone: 303-688-7730
Creator Susie Steckman Hill; Arlow Hill
Title The Hill and Steckman Family Collection
Dates: 1900-2013
Dates: 1960-1980
Size 4 Hollinger boxes; 3 flat oversized boxes; 3 legal sized document boxes; 1 flat document box
Abstract: The Hill and Steckman Family Collection contains genealogical materials, tax and estate documents, manuscripts, correspondence, and photographs from the Hill and Steckman families.
Collection Number 2009.084
Language: English French German

Arrangement of the Collection

Collection is arranged into the following series and subseries: Series I. Family Papers Subseries i. Genealogical materials Subseries ii. Military service papers Subseries iii. Wills and bereavement papers Subseries iv. Ephemeral and collected materials Series II. Estate and business documents Subseries i. Inheritance and tax documents Subseries ii. The Devil's Head Inn materials Subseries iii. Land and property documents Series III. Community and social materials Subseries i. School and education Subseries ii. Music, performance, and entertainment Subseries iii. The Sunflower Grange Subseries iv. Local and national circulating materials Subseries v. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints materials Series IV. Journals, manuscripts, and monographs Series V. Correspondence Series VI. Visual materials Subseries i. Scrapbooks Subseries ii. Photographs Subseries iii. Postcards Subseries iv. Aerials

Scope and Content

The Hill and Steckman family collection is an accumulation of materials that document family and community life in Douglas County over the course of nearly a century. The materials in the collection include letters, manuscripts, genealogical materials, inheritance documents, land appraisals, and photographs.

The family papers series within the collection consists of genealogical narratives, notes, and charts on the Hill and Steckman families; marriage and baptism certificates; funeral and bereavement papers; and the military service and employment papers for Forrest Hill. The series contains a subseries of ephemeral materials collected by various family members and assembled by Susie Steckman Hill. Within the ephemeral materials subseries are newspaper clippings on a variety of topics of interest to Susie Steckman Hill, including health and wellness, social issues, domestic life, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most are undated, but may be of interest to researchers for their demonstration of her interests.

Personal tax returns and documents related to the value and sale of the Hill family land comprise the majority of the estate and business series. According to correspondence between the family members and the documents themselves, the Hill family property was of interest to developers in the early beginnings of what is now Castle Pines. Several materials document the appraisal and assessment of this land, a few miles south of Sedalia. Materials related to the operation of the Devil’s Head Inn, and other business enterprises of Howard Hill, can be found within the estate and business series. Such materials include ledgers, checkbooks, and renter's contracts.

The journals, manuscripts, and monographs series contains the personal journals of Arlow and Forrest Hill, including Arlow’s travel journal from his time in Europe as a Fulbright Scholar 1954-1955. Manuscripts from what appears to be Arlow’s dissertation on the heroic poem, other scholarly work, and an unpublished fiction manuscript entitled “Daybreak” are included in the series. Monographs, publications, and books residing in the collection include a copy of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, the religious doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Issues of the “Liahona” elders journal from 1927-1945.

The correspondence series includes letters to and from members of the Hill and Steckman families. The letters are primarily written to Susie Steckman Hill and span from 1909 to 1989. Arlow Hill penned the overwhelming majority of the letters to his mother. The letters reflect on his daily life in academia, as he studied at the doctoral level at Columbia University and taught English at Rutgers University near Newark, New Jersey. The letters contain his remarks on various family events, situations, and controversies, particularly around the sale of the family land, the health conditions of various family members, and other aspects of family life. They also contain literary criticism and political commentary on national events and social movements, such as the Columbia University protests of 1968, the gasoline shortages of 1974, the Watergate trial, and others. Postcards to and from members of the Hill and Steckman families are also included in the correspondence series.

Twelve hundred loose photographs, two photographic scrapbooks, and an assortment of negatives reside in the visual materials series. The photographs are mostly snapshots of members from the Hill and Steckman families at various stages of life, including Susie Steckman Hill, Howard Hill, Harold Hill, Forrest Hill, Arlow Hill, Caroline (Lyda) Steckman Carroll, Lucy Steckman Thompson, Fred Steckman Jr., Congressman William S. Hill, and others. A photograph of the Steckman’s family band, the Cider Press Band, is contained within the collection. Local and national sites from family’s various travels are depicted in the photos, including the Devil’s Head Inn and Service Station outside Sedalia, Castle Rock and Sedalia Schools, the Sunflower Grange, the Hill family home and land, the Green Hotel and Cottage Hotel in Sedalia. Photographs of Arlow Hill and his partner, Louis Guariglia on various travels across the United States and abroad, and parties at their apartments in Manhattan and Long Island are also included in the collection. Social and community activities depicted in the photographs include the Dupont Company baseball team and Sedalia baseball team, minstrel shows at the Sunflower and Pikes Peak Granges, musical performances, wedding anniversaries and other family celebrations.

Biography / History

Susie Steckman Hill (1895-1987) moved with her family from Akron, Ohio, to Sedalia, Colorado, in 1905. The family purchased 80 acres of land 2.5 miles southeast of Sedalia, where farm work and masonry became family trades. Fred Steckman Jr., Susie Steckman Hill’s brother, worked in masonry and created some of the notable, enduring structures in the county, including the red sandsto ne pillars at the entrance of Bear Canyon Cemetery, the chimney and rock-work at Cherokee Ranch, and the rock-work on the homes of both Dr. W. A. Palmer and Frederick Doepke in Castle Rock, Colorado. The Steckman family joined the Sunflower Grange in 1907, and Susie would eventually become a 50-year member in this organization.

William S. Hill (1886-1972), also known as "Bill Hill," brother of Howard Harold Hill, was born in Kelly, Kansas, and homesteaded in eastern Colorado in 1907. William married Rachel Trower the same year, and together they raised two children. William, after becoming a teacher and superintendent, worked in the Farm Bureau where he served as treasurer and secretary. In 1940, William was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Congressman, serving a total of nine terms.

Howard Harold Hill (1887-1967), husband to Susie Steckman Hill and brother to William S. Hill, was born in Kelly, Kansas. In 1905, Howard's family moved to Cheyenne County, Colorado. Shortly thereafter, Howard moved to Cripple Creek for mining work for several years, but relocated again to work with his brother, Harry, on Bryant Ranch near Sedalia in 1910. In 1914, Howard married Susie Steckman, and together they had three sons: Harold, Forrest, and Arlow. Howard and Susie were known for playing "fiddler music" in the area, and became quickly settled in with the community. Howard had several health issues throughout his lifetime including diphtheria and diabetes. Harold Hill (1916-1969), Howard and Susie’s first son, worked as a machinist for Denver and Rio Grande Railroad between the years 1936-1948. Forrest Hill (b. 1917) served in the military, during WWII, in the Army Band (U. S. Army Signal Corps), and later helped run the family bar and service station - Devil's Head Inn in Sedalia, Colorado. Arlow Hill (1929-1988), the youngest child, whose letters to his mother comprise the majority of Hill family correspondence, was a Fulbright Scholar and an English Professor at Rutgers University.

1905 Steckman family moves to Sedalia, Colorado.

1905 Hill family moves to Cheyenne County, Colorado.

1910 Howard Harold Hill moves to Sedalia to work at Bryant Ranch.

1912 Howard Harold Hill opens the Sedalia Tavern.

1914 Howard Harold Hill and Susie Steckman get married.

1928 Hill family travels to Ohio for a one-month vacation to visit relatives.

1936 Arlow Fielding Hill graduates from Douglas County High School.

1941-45 Forrest Herbert Hill’s military service in the Army.

1947 The Hill family travels to Utah to visit the Great Salt Lake.

1947-54 Arlow Fielding Hill moves to Washington D. C. to work for his uncle, William S. Hill, at one of the House of Representatives offices.

1951 Arlow Fielding Hill earns his Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington College.

1955 Arlow Fielding Hill travels to Holstein, Germany.

1957 Susie Steckman Hill receives award for 50 years of membership with Sunflower Grange.

1962-70 Arlow Fielding Hill begins and completes his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

1972 A fire destroys the Devils Head Inn in Sedalia, Colorado.

Access Terms

Bands (Music)
Bars (Drinking establishments)
Business enterprises
Carroll, Caroline Gertrude Steckman
Castle Rock (Colo.)
Devil's Head Inn (Sedalia, Colo.)
Gay men
Hill, Arlow Fielding, 1929-1988
Hill, Forrest Herbert, 1917-
Hill, Harold Weimer, 1916-1969
Hill, Howard Harold, 1887-1967
Hill, Susie S. (Susie Steckman), 1895-1987
Hill, William S. (William Silas), 1886-1972
Inheritance and transfer tax
New York (N.Y.)
Sedalia (Colo.)
Service stations
Steckman, Caroline M. Weimer, 1848-1926
Steckman, Fred Jr., 1881-1959
Sunflower Grange (Sedalia, Colo.)
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Access Restrictions

Douglas County History Research Center material is non-circulating, requires staff retrieval and is available by appointment during normal library hours.

Copy Restrictions

The collection is used in the presence of the Douglas County History Research Center staff. Some items may be fragile and may only be duplicated with permission of the Douglas County History Research Center staff.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

The Hill and Steckman Family Papers, 1900-2013 Douglas County History Research Center. Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Sandy Marsh to the Douglas County History Research Center in 2006 and 2009.

Processing Information

Processed by Blake Graham in 2014. Collection was reassessed and reprocessed by Sarah Stevens 2017.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

2003.059.1000 Jennie Lee Gasperetti oral history interview

2014.035.0004.1000 Steckman family oral history interview

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search