Monday, February 6, 2017

Gammey Mitchell Hill (1895-1974)

Portrait from the South Carolina Legislative Manual, 1945-46.

   Hailing from Spartanburg, South Carolina, Gammey Mitchell Hill was a restaurateur and one-term member of that state's house of representatives. The first restaurant owner to warrant a profile here on the site, quite a bit of digging had to be done to find out Hill's first name, as nearly every available source mentioning him records him under the name "G. Mitchell Hill". Thankfully, a 1945 edition of the South Carolina Legislative Manual was located that solved that mystery, and one can only wonder the origins of the name "Gammey", the first such instance of the name I've discovered. 
   The son of Thomas and Mary Blackwell Hill, Gammey Mitchell Hill was born in Clifton, South Carolina on March 5, 1895. Little is known of his early life, excepting notice of his move from Clifton to Spartanburg in 1909. A veteran of World War I, Hill served with the 156th Depot Brigade and entered into service at Camp Jackson in  Columbia, South Carolina. 
   Following his military service, G. Mitchell Hill was the owner and operator of Hill's Cafe in Spartanburg. He married in August 1937 to Ruth King (1907-2003), with whom he had one daughter, Ann. In 1944 he was elected to represent Spartanburg County in the South Carolina House of Representatives and during the 1945-46 session served on the committees on Accounts, Labor, Merchants and Mercantile Affairs, Railroads and Veterans Affairs.
   In addition to his business interests and political service, Hill was a past commander of the local American Legion post and a past Noble Grand of the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 19.  Hill died shortly before his 79th birthday on February 25, 1974. He was survived by his wife Ruth, who, following her death in 2003, was interred alongside her husband at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg.

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