Dr. George P. Hilton, Glendale's Medicine Man

Story furnished by Clarence Crocker

Dr. George Perry Hilton was the son of English immigrants who settled in New Jersey where he was born. Coming to Glendale in the 1870s or early 80s, he made his home at his brother’s house at Glendale for the last thirty odd years of his life. His Doctorate was perhaps in Chemistry since he formulated medicines. I have found no records indicating that he ever treated patients as a Medical Doctor.

Dr. Hilton was a very influential and highly respected man in the community. His brother’s beautiful home, in which he lived, was located on the hillside just across the river behind the mill on the Glendale/Bethesda road now called “The Emma Cudd Road”. One of the ladies of the neighborhood named her son “Hilton” in honor of the Doctor. 

Mrs. Myrtle Walden Poteat, who moved into the Hilton house as a small child after her father bought the house, told this writer the legend regarding the Hiltons as I have reported in the story of Joshua Hilton. (Click on  Joshua Hilton for more information.) 

I also spoke to Mr. Ray Price whose mother was born in 1911 on Hilton Hill road and has lived in the community all her life, regarding the Hiltons. In our conversation Ray related how his mother had told him about moving the house and how Dr. Hilton made the medicine in his laboratory located in the basement of his home, put it in small square glass bottles to be stored in cabinets and the attic of the house until sold. His desire was to make the medicine available to all who had need of the formulas by keeping the price low.

Dr. Hilton died at his home in Glendale, South Carolina on Saturday December 5, 1908 at 10 AM. He was seventy five years of age. His obituary published in the Spartanburg Herald Sunday December 6, 1908 stated that his funeral was to be held that afternoon in the home with the Reverends Henry W. Polk and J. W. Shell Officiating. These were Pastors of the Glendale Methodist Church. Burial was to take place in the Clifton Cemetery alongside of his brother, Joshua Hilton, Superintendent of Clifton Mills who had preceded him in death. 

His obituary read, “Dr. Hilton was a quiet gentleman of a rather unique character. He lived almost wholly to himself. He was the manufacturer of several patent medicines which have a wide spread sale all over the country. Time and again he was offered prices for the formula and right to manufacture the medicine but be always refused continuing to make the formulas in the home of his sister in-law where he continued to live following the death of his brother. Dr. Hilton was very reserved. He was a scholarly man and after being drawn out into conversation, was very entertaining and informing. Dr. Hilton was a musician and was master at the organ. It was said that he had been the organist of a large and wealthy northern Church. It was on only very rare occasions that he could be persuaded to play the organ in his later years. He was a gentleman from the old school. Evidently some great sorrow had shadowed his life. If this was so, he kept the secret and it rests with him in voiceless silence.”

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