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Hills honored with Clark County farm family titleOriginally Published July 21, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated July 19, 2013 at 3:08 p.m.
The Glen Hill family of the Manchester community has been named the 2013 Clark County Farm Family of the Year. Jacque and Glen, seated, center, hold their youngest grandsons, Rhys Wheaton, 4 months, and Thomas Hill, 7 weeks. Also pictured are their grandsons Zane Hill, 7, and Ben Hill, 4. Other family members include, back row, from the left, Carol Morgan, Cary and Kristyn Wheaton, Barbara and Virles Wasson and Kurt and Elizabeth Hill. See related story on Page 3T.
MANCHESTER — Glen Hill didn’t know much about raising cows back in 1984 when he and his wife, Jacque, moved to the rural community of Manchester from Germany, where they were stationed with the Army.
“My wife’s grandfather [Harry Hunter] and father [Virles Wasson] had cattle, and I helped work them while learning about cows,” Glen said.
Now, 29 years later, Glen and his family have been named the 2013 Clark County Farm Family of the Year.
“I am overwhelmed,” Glen said of the recent designation. “It is quite an honor. I’m just a small cattle farmer but I’m pretty big into timber.”
At the present time, the Hills have 20 mama cows, 10 heifers, 18 calves and one bull that graze on 200 acres of land. They also raise enough hay to feed their cattle. Additionally, they have more than 3,000 acres of timber. Glen also is a timber broker, a real estate broker and co-owns a real estate-management company.
Glen and Jacque have two grown children who both helped on the farm as they were growing up. Jacque was raised in the Manchester community.
Their son, Kurt Hill, 33, and his wife, Elizabeth, live in the Manchester community with their three sons, Zane, 7, Ben, 4, and Thomas, 7 weeks old. Kurt is a partner with his dad in the cattle farm and is a forester for Hunter-Wasson Inc., a timber broker/dealership co-owned by his father and his grandfather, Virles Wasson.
Their daughter, Kristyn Wheaton, 29, and her husband, Cary Wheaton, live in North Little Rock with their 4-month-old son, Rhys. Kristyn is the senior accountant at Dassault Falcon Jet in Little Rock.
“Our cow/calf operation is a total family operation that is a large part of our lives in that it is a family affair working cows, calves and hay fields,” Glen said. “It requires work from all members and keeps us grounded in family values.”
Reflecting on how he got started in the cattle business, Glen said he had learned to shoe horses at Oklahoma Farriers College. “That’s how I put myself through the last two years of college at Henderson State University,” he said. “I knew a little about horses but nothing about cows. Eventually, I bought two cows and started my herd, partnering with my father-in-law, who retired and sold out in 2002.
“My goal was to build my herd and grow enough hay to winter them. I had built it to over 40 mama cows, mostly raised on the farm, when the droughts hit and forced me to sell down to 20 cows. I kept 10 replacement calves and sold the registered Angus bull. My goal is to rebuild the herd and improve the grazing pasture, which has suffered the last three summers due to drought and armyworms.”
When the Hills moved to the Manchester community, Glen said their goal was “to raise the kids in one place, with family, to develop roots.”
Jacque’s parents, Virles and Barbara Wasson, also live in the Manchester community, as do Jacque’s sisters, Carol Morgan and Nancy Wayland. The entire family meets as often as possible at a lake house they have built on the Hills’ farm. “I named it Wahimoway,” Jacque said, noting the unusual name denotes the first two or three letters of each branch of the family – “Wa” for Wasson, “hi” for Hill, “mo” for Morgan and “way” for Wayland.
Along with the move came ownership of a new house — new to them, at least. In 1981, they purchased a house that was built in 1837 and owned by Jacque’s family since 1909. “It was in need of a great deal of work,” Glen said, noting they actually moved to Clark County in 1984. “It still is. Our goal was to preserve it as best we could.”
The Greek revival plantation home is known as the Hunter-Jones House and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
After his tour of duty with the Army ended in 1984, Glen remained in the Army Reserves, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 2000. He began selling real estate in 1985. He is the principal broker and co-owner with his brother and sister-in-law, Allen and Carol Morgan, of Century 21, Manchester Real Estate, and is the co-owner of Morgan Hill Inc., a land holding company.
Once she returned to Arkansas, Jacque went back to college and graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. She has been a schoolteacher for 27 years and has been at Goza Middle School for 11 years, currently teaching sixth-grade literacy. She was named Teacher of the Year by the Arkadelphia School District for 2010-2011.
Glen and Jacque attend First United Methodist Church of Arkadelphia. They are both active in the Manchester Rural Community Improvement program.