April 27, 2024

Pioneering Vision

From an early Hillsboro Community Foundation promotional brochure:

Pioneering a Vision

The year is 1879.  Quiet but enterprising Scottish immigrant John G. Hill purchases 80 acres of land in Marion County and launches a flourishing trade center he names Hillsboro.

The year is 1887.  William F. and Ida Schaeffler invest their financial future to build a large, two-story building along Hillsboro’s fledgling Main Street.  Schaeffler Mercantile Co. eventually prospers into the largest department store in the county and enables the family to contribute widely to the musical and religious life of the community.

The year is 1907.  Two young dreamers, McPherson College senior Henry W. Lohrentz and farmer J.K. Hiebert, plant a seed of starting a Mennonite Brethren college in Hillsboro.  A year later, Tabor College is born.

The year is 1918.  Thanks in part to the effort of Russian-born physician and druggist Jacob J. Entz, a fledgling Salem Home and Hospital moves from its rural origin into a new three-story facility along Main Street, where it faithfully serves the health care needs of the community for almost 40 years.

The year is 1968.  Nine local businessmen form the Hillsboro Development Corporation board and purchase 160 acres of land east of Hillsboro.  The land is used to create an industrial park that will draw significant new businesses to the community.

These “pioneers” are just a few of the men and women of Hillsboro who envisioned possibilities for their community.  Their passion was imperative.  Their vision was vital.  Their contributions were crucial.

Creating a Community

Today, Hillsboro enjoys a statewide reputation as a progressive community rising above the rolling prairie – a tribute to the labor and vision of its pioneers through the decades.

For current residents, it’s a community with so much to offer:

  • a strategic location as an agricultural center;
  • an array of businesses and industries;
  • cutting-edge health care, senior living, police, fire, and emergency services;
  • vibrant church ministries and civic organizations;
  • schools of all levels dedicated to developing the whole individual;
  • recreational settings including parks, sports facilities, aquatic center, and the nearby Marion Reservoir.

As impressive as this list is, it is far from finished.  In any community, needs must be recognized, good programs and services must be pursued and possibilities for growth must be explored.  And everyone plays a part in envisioning the future.

Is there something you want to see happen to ensure Hillsboro grows and flourishes for years to come?

We can help.