The son of the Rev. George and Elizabeth (McClelland) Hill, the Hon. John Hill was born in Fayette County on March 20, 1790. Educated through home-schooling and the church, John became a successful miller, merchant, and public servant, residing in Fairfield, Westmoreland County. During the War of 1812, he served as a company commander under Gen. William Henry Harrison, rising to the rank of major. He served several county government posts after the war; was elected to the state House of Representatives, 1834-1838; and the state senate for a term, 1843-1845. His wife was Jane (Moorhead) Hill of Westmoreland County. The Hon. John Hill died on August 22, 1856, in Fairfield, buried in the Fairfield Cemetery.
He was likely related to his successor in the Senate, Samuel Hill, but at present there is no firm evidence in support.