Pleasant Hill is a village of 1134 people(1), the only town in Newton Township in Miami County, Ohio. Its 1990 population was 1066. It straddles the intersection of State Route 48 and State Route 718. It was surveyed in 1843 and incorporated in 1866.(1) The amount of land area in Pleasant Hill is 1.202 sq. kilometers.(5)
Memorable Facts and Recollections
As in, the first things that come to mind when I think of my hometown.
* Pleasant Hill is the home of the Beery School of Horsemanship, a correspondence school founded in 1908 by Jesse Beery(1). The school's building still had a mural advertisement when I was growing up - I believe it read "The Beery School of Horsemanship - The Only School of its Kind in the World." The school is no longer running, though the building still exists.
* The Civil War Memorial statue at the intersection of 718 and 48 was, when I was growing up, known by the locals for two things: (1) frequent drunken driving accidents where cars ploughed right into it, since it's smack dab in the center of the intersection, and (2) frequent pranks that involved painting or dressing up the statue (from the obvious - paint jobs that really evoked a civil war soldier's garb - to the garish). Legend has it that the statue faces south because it is probably on the watch to make sure war doesn't break out again.(1)
* I swear that there is some connection between Pleasant Hill and Roy Plunkett, the inventer of Teflon(c), but I can't find any links on the Web to prove it. (There is plenty of evidence that Plunkett was born in New Carlisle, Ohio, however, not far from Pleasant Hill.) But my Grandma was always so proud of that!
* Pleasant Hill is quite religious, in its own non-threatening way. When I was growing up, "P. Hill" had five churches and about 1300 people, i.e. a church for every 260 persons (although actually, many people from outside of town came into town to go to church). On the one hand, starting from the late eighties at the latest, there were scary billboards on the western arm of 718 advertising church attendance. On the other hand, the churches there range from mainstream United Church of Christ to downright liberal Church of the Brethren.
* Memorably enough, Pleasant Hill is not named after its being pleasant (which it is) or being on a slope (which it is, starting downwards a few dozen yards east by southeast of where I grew up), but after the Pleasant and Hill families.
* Newton High School is home to a band that, throughout the period when I lived nearby and that I can recall clearly (1979-1988), rated extremely well in competitions, leading to headlines in nearby papers like this one from Troy Daily News: "Newton wins again". I had no part in this success - I was a bad tenor saxophone player and a worse marcher.
* Pleasant Hill is surrounded by German Baptist farmers - many of whom were still "plain people" in my father's time. The local culture was so German-influenced they'd say "Gesundheit" if you sneezed. At least my Grandma always did. Grandma also said that the German Baptist ladies who couldn't wear any bright or colorful clothing often made up for it in their buttons, which were extravaganzas of color and pattern.
* Pleasant Hill was always a very peaceful place, but on August 28th, 1990, shortly after I moved out of the area to go to college, it was home to a terrible robbery/murder by a boy from West Milton, the town where I'd been living after I left P. Hill. Two people were killed and a third left paralyzed.(6). One was the mother of the kid I went sledding with once and who had KISS posters in his room and who made disgusting racist jokes about blacks when I was in elementary school, but whom I remember kind of fondly anyway.