From “Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Essex Ontario" 1906(1996)
Esau Hillman was only a year old when brought by his parents to Canada, and he passed his boyhood in Zone township, County of Kent. His opportunities for obtaining an education were very limited, as the schools in those early days were “few and far between”, in fact, all the helps which the boy of to-day meets at every turn were totally lacking. It was hard to obtain even the barest necessities of life. Things that the pioneers could not provide with the meager resources at their command were conveyed by water from Detroit or Windsor to Stoney Point, and thence carried on horseback or on the men’s shoulders through the woods. Deer, wolves, wild turkeys, and other game abounded. Civilization made slow progress at first, for the settlers during the first few years.
He remained at home until twenty-three years old, when he bought 100 acres in Mersea township, County of Essex, erected a log house thereon, and commenced farming on his own account. In 1860 he sold out and removed to his present home in the township of Tilbury West, where he purchased another 100-acre tract on Lot 8, Concession 8, and began all over again, erecting a log house and taking up the work of clearing.
Mr. Hillman was married in Mosa township, Dec. 4, 1853, to Nancy Bright, who was born in Hamilton, Ont., and who has roved a most devoted and efficient helpmate. They became parents of thirteen children, George Allen died when fifteen years old, Laura Ann married Conrad Simons, of Rochester township, County of Essex. Hannah Jane is the widow of Jesse Ford , of Comber. Nancy married John Coatby, of Comber. Fannie is the wife of Henry Jury, of Detroit. Phebe married Edward Jury, and resides in Michigan. Esau, a farmer, married Almina Thorne. Edward, who cultivates the homestead place, married Sophia May, daughter of John May, and they have one child, Maude Pearl. Bertha is the widow of Ransom Thorne. William is a farmer in the township of Tilbury West. Three died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Hillman are members of the Methodist Church. In political faith he is a Conservative, but has never cared for public position.