Malvern Hill (1864–1913)

Seventh Ward Councilman: 1901, 1902

The only son of Erastus P. and Frances (Gordon) Hill, Malvern was born in Newnan, Georgia in 1864. At a young age, he removed with his family to DeSoto Parish, Louisiana, where the 1870 U.S. federal census found him living with his father—a merchant—and mother near Pleasant Hill. He graduated the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn University), and removed to Atlanta by 1884 where he worked for merchants Regenstein & Kutz.

“Men of Affairs in Atlanta: Malvern Hill.” The Constitution, Oct. 10, 1908.

Malvern left Atlanta for Fayetteville, Georgia by 1886 and married Nancy Caroline “Nannie” McCollum there at the Burks House in January 1889. Called “Colonel Malvern” by the Fayetteville News, he practiced law as a solo practitioner in Fayetteville until October 1891 when he returned to Atlanta with his wife and young son. They soon located in West End where they were active members of the West End Baptist Church (now the West Hunter Street Baptist Church). Malvern associated with the law firm of Dorsey, Brewster, & Howell—run by prominent Atlantans Judge Rufus Dorsey, Col. P. H. Brewster, and Albert Howell, Jr.—and practiced there with Hugh Dorsey, future governor of Georgia and prosecutor in the Leo Frank case.

He left the firm in 1896 to join Thomas L. Bishop and Walter Pemberton Andrews and form Bishop, Andrews, & Hill. Malvern began his political career in 1897 with a lost race for Seventh Ward Councilman to Captain J. S. Dozier. The 1900 U.S. federal census located him with his wife, two sons, and mother living at 268 Ashby Street (now here) in the Seventh Ward. He ran for Seventh Ward Councilman again in 1900 and won, serving in 1901 and 1902. He did not run for reelection. His political career ended in 1910 with a lost race for city recorder.

Attack ad. The Constitution, Oct. 4, 1900.

From 1901 until 1910, Malvern was with the firm Anderson, Felder, Rountree, & Wilson, and he kept his office in the Kiser Law Building (now a parking deck for Underground Atlanta). The 1910 U.S. federal census enumerated him at 239 Lee Street with his wife, sons, and mother (located in H5 on this map; now across from MARTA’s West End Station). He held leadership roles in the Masonic Temple, the Knights Templar, and the Shriners’ Yaarab Temple. “[O]ne of the most widely known members of the Atlanta Bar,” Malvern moved his family out of the Seventh Ward to Inman Park by October 1913 when he suffered “a sudden attack of acute nephritis” and was rushed to Grady Hospital where he died.

His family left Atlanta and his wife, Nannie, died in Queens, New York in 1961. Buried in Westview Cemetery, they were the parents of two sons: Malvern Hill, Jr. (1889–1981), an attorney and investment banker; and Gordon Mandel Hill (1893–1992), an accountant with Haskins & Sells.

Select Bibliography

Atlanta City Directory: 1901. Atlanta, GA: Foote & Davies Co., 1901.

Atlanta Constitution. “Prominent Atlantians.” September 15, 1895.

———. “Official Count Will Be Needed.” October 9, 1897.

———. Advertisement. October 4, 1900.

———. “Malvern Hill Dies After Sudden Attack.” November 25, 1913.

———. “Funeral Notices.” November 3, 1961.

Cooper, Walter G. Official History of Fulton County. Atlanta, GA: Walter W. Brown Pub. Co., 1934.

Fayetteville (GA) News. “Hill—McCollum.” January 11, 1889.

———. “Col. Malvern Hill.” October 30, 1891.

Garrett, Franklin M. Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events, 1880s–1930s. Vol. 2 of Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events. Athens, GA: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1969.

Weatherbe’s Atlanta, Ga. Duplex City Directory: 1884. Atlanta, GA: Dunlap & Cohen, 1884.

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