The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

Two Veterans - Telephone Reader Interviews

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1984-2012

Issue: January, 1984

George T. Hill, Woodlawn, Virginia

I have never met Mr. Hill but when I called him, I was surprised to find that he is the father of Carl Hill of Vesta, Virginia and grandfather of Rick Hill who runs the Mountain House Restaurant here at Meadows of Dan.

George Hill is 88. He is a World War I vet who was sent to France. There he saw heavy action. Once a shell killed three corporals, wounded eight others and knocked him unconscious. He says, “I didn’t get wounded, just got scared.” He said he doesn’t remember falling or getting up. The men who survived were close to a captured enemy front and got behind it and waited for their troops to come for the injured. Before World War I, he was engaged to marry Ella Faddis. She taught school at Mt. Lebanon in Gladesville, Virginia. After he returned from the war, they were married on Christmas Day, 64 years ago. They set up housekeeping in a log house with straw tick mattresses, goose down and chicken feather cover ticks and pillows and started raising a family.

George said as a child, all that was bought was sugar and coffee and most everything else was home grown. He said that people used to enjoy themselves more then, they visited more. His father, William Hill enjoyed visitors more than anything. They lived near the Mt. Lebanon Church and it was called Cap, Virginia in those days. There was a post office by that name there once, but not anymore.

World War II came and took Mr. Hill’s five sons into it. One son lost a leg in that war but all five sons returned home. Mr. Hill said he, “Don’t think nothing about wars. If people did what the Bible says there wouldn’t be wars.”

Wallace Kallam, Mt. Airy, North Carolina

Mr. Kallam is a native of White Plains, North Carolina. He is retired with 21 years in the Air Force and the Army. He and his brother, Kenneth Kallam, work together to write books about Surry County, North Carolina. He has four books on Surry County cemeteries. They give directions to old cemeteries, have old obituary notices in them, church photographs, listings of old Primitive Baptist Ministers and more. His book on “Surry County Military” has 320 pages covering copies of old military records, pension lists, pictures and newspaper clippings going back to the Civil War and beyond. He says, “Satisfaction is guaranteed on this book.” He also has compiled family tree books on the Nichols and Simpson families and is working on, “A History of White Plains, North Carolina” and The Kallams of Surry County.

All of Mr. Kallam’s books may be ordered from him at this address:

Lemuel W. Kallam
Route 8, Box 660-B
Mount Airy, NC 27030

If you would like more information you can call him at (919) 374-5249.

While he was in service, his main job was as Chief Data Processor Technician but he also served in the Presidential Honor Guard. He guarded President Kennedy at Albuquerque, New Mexico and President Nixon at the Squaw Valley Olympics.

Mr. Kallam has always been interested in history and is a founding member of the Surry County Genealogical Association.