Judge Hiram Rountree


The man who had more to do with the establishment and early history of Hillsboro and Montgomery County was probably Judge Hiram Rountree. Because, of the important part he played from the time he settled here in 1820 until his death in 1873, at the age of 80, he was often referred to as "The Father of Montgomery County."


Mr. Rountree was a self-taught lawyer, a surveyor and a teacher of Latin and Greek.


He was a native of North Carolina and had been educated in Bowling Green, Ky, where he served as clerk of the court and a member of the village board before settling near Hillsboro.


He helped John Tillson, Jr. and others bring about the establishment of Montgomery County in 1821 and Hillsboro as the county seat in 1823. He served as the first county clerk, the first circuit clerk, as a justice of the peace before holding the office of county or probate judge for 16 years.


He was responsible for building the first log schoolhouse and community meeting place here in 1825 and was one of the founders of the Methodist Church.


Mr. Rountree taught classes in Latin and Greek at different times and in 1830 and 1831 was one of a three-man team which surveyed and established the boundary line between Illinois and Wisconsin.


He was active in the founding of the Hillsboro Academy and was the second largest original stockholder. He served as an Academy trustee from the time it was established until 1865 when his son, Aaron H. Rountree, succeeded him on the board.

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Jeff Dunn

Vice President

Historical Society of

Montgomery County

Advisory Board

Illinois State

Historical Society