A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC. by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. Chicago and New York 1931
JOHN S. HILLIARD, superintendent of schools at Estherville, has the reputation of a scholar, a hard working executive and a school man whose work has been attended with successful results in all the communities with which he has been identified.
Mr. Hilliard was born in Joe Davies County, Illinois, April 10, 1884, son of Smith and Jennie R. (Strickle) Hilliard. His parents were also natives of Illinois, and his father spent his active career as a farmer.
John S. Hilliard spent his boyhood on a farm in Benton County, adjoining a place on which the famous "Bing" Miller, of the world's champion athletics, was reared. After the country schools he attended high school at Vinton, Iowa, graduating there, and in 1906 received his diploma from the State Teachers College at Cedar Falls. He never stopped studying, and all through his teaching career has embraced opportunities to take summer courses and in that way he graduated from the University of Iowa in 1913 and has also done post-graduate work in the University of Chicago, accumulating credits towards higher degrees. The important positions he has filled in teaching and administration of schools were: A year and a half as principal of a grade school at Cedar Falls; three and a half years as superintendent of schools at Lansing; three years as superintendent at Postville; and in 1922 he came to Estherville, a community whose schools have been maintained at a very high standard during the eight years of Mr. Hilliard's superintendency. He is a member of the Iowa State Teachers Association and a life member of the National Education Association.
He married Miss Florence Thompson, who was born at Vinton, Iowa. Their daughter, Virginia, completed three years at the Iowa State College at Ames and in September, 1930, married Don King editor of Civil Engineer, published by the Society of Civil Engineers of America at New York City. Their son, Vance, is in the class of 1931 at Estherville High School, where he is active in forensics and business manager of the school paper, published every two weeks.
Mr. Hilliard votes as a Republican, is a Methodist, a Knight Templar Mason, member of the Knights of Pythias and B. P. O. Elks. He finds diversion from his school duties in the game of golf.