very early history of Center Hill begins back in 1842. Elethorn Mobley
was issued 160.24 acres, dated the 4th day of March, 1842. The
families of Elethorn, John Mobley, and John Walter were some of the
pioneers of Center Hill and Sumter County. They first called this area
"Abram Town" or "Mobley Town". The Indians called
Center Hill "Pochechey". This area extended from north of
the present Highway 50 to near Beville's Corner. In 1881, Captain
Major Lovell moved into this area from what is now Lake County. Mrs.
Carrie Lovell named this little town "Center Hill" as it was in
the center of the county and on top of a hill.
Spicer joined with Major Lovell in buying much of this land in 1881; he was
the first to put in a drug store, and the second grocery store; he was also
the first postmaster. Dr. J. J. Outlaw, from Nortonville, Kentucky,
practiced dentistry in Center Hill for many of the early years. Cash
was very rare; pay came in the form of barter. He would travel from
house to house to see his patients.
old pool near the Antiock church
was a favorite place for swimming, picnics and Baptisms. Public
schools have been operating in Center Hill before the high school was built
in 1922. However, the building was soon outgrown and another high
school was built and it is still standing down by the railroad tracks east
of town. This building served the Center Hill community until around
1928-29. When the students were enrolled in the Bushnell High School
and were transported by bus to Bushnell. The population of the town
decreased and it was no longer advisable to maintain a high school in Center
freeze of 1894-95 slowed activity in the town. The early part of 1900
Center Hill became a "boom" town. It became the leading
string bean capital of the world, shipping nearly 400 railroad cars of
string beans that year.
Hill was the only town in Sumter County that could boast both Western Union
and Postal Telegraph offices in the early days.