Hill moved to New Salem, Illinois, from Ohio. In 1829, he and John McNamar opened a store in New Salem. Hill became the town's most prominent businessman after McNamar left the partnership in 1832. In 1835, he married Parthena Nance and also began processing wool. Hill was one of the last residents to leave New Salem, departing for Petersburg in 1837. In Petersburg, he became a very successful merchant and manufacturer.
The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1879), 209, 288; Benjamin P. Thomas, Lincoln's New Salem (Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1934), 5-6, 13-14, 37-38, 64.