GEoRGE T. HILEMAN. In these modern days of large combines, the fruit growers have found mutual protection and benefits in organization, and all over the country these associations have been formed, many of the dealers finding that by electing men of wide and varied experience to represent them in official positions they can get better results than if they depended upon their own individual efforts. The Anna Fruit Growers' Association, of Union county, Illinois, one of the strongest of these organizations in Southern Illinois. has been in existence for about twenty years, and its growth and development has been largely due to the strenuous and efficient labors of its able secretary and manager,
George T. Hileman. Mr. Hileman was born in Union county, Illinois, in 1861, a member of one of the oldest families of this section, his grandparents, Christian and Nancy (Davis) Hileman, having come to Illinois from North Carolina as early as the year 1818. His father, Jacob Hileman, was born in Union county in 1825, followed farming all of his life and died in June, 1909, and his mother, who bore the maiden name of Tina Sifford, was born here in 1827 and died in 1892.
The early education of George T. Hileman was secured in the district schools in the vicinity of his father's farm, and he later spent two years in the Anna public schools. When still a youth he secured a teacher's license, and for seven years he was engaged in school teaching in the country schools, and while thus engaged received instruction at the Southern Illinois Normal University, at Carbondale, during the summer term of 1882. After he had given up teaching, Mr. Hileman accepted a position with a Chicago commission house to solicit fruit throughout this section, and continued to be associated with that concern from 1882 until 1892, in April of which latter year he became manager and treasurer of the Anna Fruit Growers' Association. This organization now has a membership of sixty, and Mr. Hileman has shipped as many as thirteen cars of berries in one day, and twenty-six cars of garden truck for the association, the average number of cars yearly being around the 500 mark. He has given of his best efforts in behalf of the interests of the society's members, and from a struggling, poorly-organized bunch of farmers it has grown to be a force to be recognized in its field. Mr. Hileman is possessed of much executive ability, and this added to his wide experience has made him one of the most able men in this line of endeavor. He is the owner of a tract of thirty-two acres, situated near the city of Anna, two acres being devoted to pie plant, eight acres to asparagus, eight acres to apples and the remainder to truck. He has been successful in his farming operations, having made a deep study into soil conditions and scientific methods.
In 1888 Mr. Hileman was united in marriage with Miss Hattie Bynum, of Saline county, and they are well and favorably known in the work of the Presbyterian church. He is a Democrat in his political views, and has served Anna as city clerk for one term, but he has been too busily engaged in business activities to give much of his time to political work. He formerly was a member of the Odd Fellows, but has severed his connections with that society in recent years.