KOFO Local News

Long-time banker Bob Hill dies

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 28, 2015

OTTAWA — Long-time banker and community activist Robert Hill died Saturday at the age of 95.  Hill, who was owner, president and chairman of Kansas State Bank for more than 60 years, pushed several projects that benefitted the community.  One of the biggest was Pomona Lake and the Marais des Cygnes River levee system in Ottawa.  That was personal for Hill. During the catastrophic flood of 1951, the river nearly killed him and his father.  He recalled the time he and other employees frantically moved important bank papers to an upper floor as flood waters began rising in the lobby.  “I looked out the window and here was this Reliable Transfer truck and it began to float,” he recalled in a oral history of the flood by the Franklin County Historical Society.  “I said we need to get out of here.”  He, his father and three other employees got into a boat moored beside the bank and churned through the flood waters.  However, he said when the boat hit the fast-moving current of the river, the boat capsized, dumping them all into the river.  They grabbed for a cable.  “My father missed the cable and he floated down the river,” Hill said.  “I thought I had lost  him.”  Fortunately, his father grabbed an iron railing by the river and was fished out by two boys.  Dengel and Son Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

Monday, Dec. 28, 3 p.m.

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