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Edwin B. Hill

Edwin B. Hill

The first Texas printer of the twentieth century to achieve typographical distinction lived amid the adobe-textured squalor and irrigated cotton fields at Ysleta, a few miles downstream from El Paso.  A quiet, studious, enlightened individual, Edwin B. Hill was known to his friends and neighbors as a hardworking tax assessor-collector.  Only a few people outside his family knew that Hill was also a passionate master of the hand-press, producing over two hundred items.  After living in Michigan and Arizona, he moved to Texas, and in 1939 observed the fifty-fifth anniversary of his private press, the oldest in the country.  He made notable contributions to literary history, especially our knowledge of Poe, Lamb, and Thoreau.  While his extremely small editions had no discernable effect on the typography of the Southwest and went unheralded during his lifetime, his output and achievements deserve far greater appreciation.

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