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About McNeill Elementary

Hillman Forest McNeill
1908-1980

History

Hillman Forest McNeill was born the fourth child of Daniel Linn McNeill and Victoria Till on October 8th, 1908 in the rural countryside of San Saba, Texas. He grew into a staunch 5 foot - 8 inch stance which framed his blue eyes, brown hair, and ruddy complexion. He enjoyed reading and loved adventure. Often as a young man, McNeill rode the rails along the United States coastlines.

Education

Upon completion of his primary education, McNeill continued his studies and received his Associate of Science Degree from John Tarleton Agriculture College on May 26th, 1930. He continued his studies at Southwest Texas State Teacher's College in San Marcos and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree on May 28th, 1935. The University of Houston awarded him a Master of Education Degree on August 26th, 1951.

Military

After completing training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Sam Houston, Texas, McNeill served as a captain in the First Filipino Infantry Regiment of the United States Army during World War II. The decorated soldier was awarded the Victory Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, the American Theater Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Service Star.

McNeill served as an Infantry Unit Commander in the United States, New Guinea, Samar, and Leyte from October 16th, 1942 to April 19th, 1946. He was responsible for administration training and tactical employment of his unit. He directed the supply, transportation, and security activities at the company and supervised and led about 200 American Filipino troops in combat on Samar and Leyte. He also served as a Battalion commander for three months for the Second Battalion First Filipino Regiment of the United States Army.

On November 30, 1945, McNeill received medals and awards for heroic achievement at Samar, Philippines, when in connection with military operations against the enemy. While landing a twenty-two man combat patrol, Captain McNeill detected a force of five to six hundred Japanese and attacked them. He led his patrol through the middle of the entire Japanese force, inflicted casualties on the enemy, and put them in such a state of confusion that he was able to lead his Battalion back to attack them on the following day. His great tactical skill, courageous leadership, and outstanding initiative aided materially in the successful completion of his Battalion's mission. Upon his return to Fort Bend County, McNeill served as Captain in the National Guard of the United States until October 27th, 1949.

Marriage

After returning from war to Fort Bend County, McNeill married Addie Sue Keller. The couple had three children.

Employment

During the 1936-1937 school year McNeill was hired to teach the fourth and fifth graders at Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Rosenberg, Texas. His contract was for $80 a month salary or $960 a year with a classroom of 47 school desks and a classroom library of 75 books. That same year he became a member of the Texas State Teacher's Association. He taught until the United States entered World War II.

When he was discharged from service, McNeill returned to Fort Bend County. In 1948 and during the consolidation of the district, McNeill was asked to serve as principal at the Rosenberg Intermediate School. For many years McNeill served as principal at Robert E. Lee and Bowie Elementary Schools. After 41 years of service, McNeill retired on Monday, May 6th, 1974.

Upon retirement, McNeill and his wife, Sue, continued to live and be active in the Rosenberg-Richmond Community. He died on January 9th, 1980 and is buried in Greenlawn Memorial Park in Rosenberg.

Hillman Forest McNeill Elementary School was constructed during the 100th anniversary of his birth date.