Historical Marker: Grove Hill
The earliest settler in this area was George W. Smith, a native of Georgia, who moved here in 1844. By the early 1850s, a community had developed and a post office was established under the name Oak Hill. The first church, a Baptist congregation, was organized in 1855 at the home of pioneer settler Joseph Ring. During the Civil War several residents formed a Confederate militia unit known as the Oak Hill Home Guard.
The first church building, completed in 1869, was also used for Masonic Lodge meetings and school classes. In 1878 William Thomas Clark, F. K. Taylor, and T. C. Cobb, trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, purchased four acres at this site for a community schoolhouse, sanctuary, and cemetery.
The earliest marked grave in the community burial ground is that of William B. A. Thomas (d. 1862). Other graves include those of pioneer settlers and at least one former slave, Jack Sudderth (1799-1898).
The settlement of Grove Hill began to decline in the early 1880s after the nearby railroad town of Leonard (3.5 mi. SW) was established. The Masonic Lodge moved there soon after and the school merged with the Leonard District in 1942.