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Hill, Henry Aaron (30 May 1915–17 March 1979), chemist and businessman, was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of William Anthony Hill II, the head waiter at a local hotel, and Kate Anna Evans. Hill attended public elementary and secondary schools in St. Joseph and graduated from Bartlett High School in 1931. After completing his first year of college at Lewis Institute in Chicago (later a part of the Illinois Institute of Technology), he attended Johnson C. Smith University, an all-black institution in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated in 1936 with a B.S. cum laude in mathematics and chemistry....

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Kelly, Mervin Joseph (14 February 1894–18 March 1971), engineer and research director, was born in Princeton, Missouri, the son of Joseph Fenimore Kelly, a high school principal, and Mary Etta Evans. As a young child Kelly moved with his family to Gallatin, Missouri, where his father bought a hardware and farm implement store. In 1910 Kelly matriculated at the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy with the intention of becoming a mining engineer. He supported himself by working the first two years for the Missouri State Geological Survey as a mineral specimen cataloger and, during the summer after his sophomore year, in a Utah copper mine. This latter experience soured him on a career in mining, and he changed his field of study to general science. For the next two years he worked as an assistant in the chemistry department, and by the time he received his B.S. in 1914, he had decided on a career in research. He spent the next year teaching physics and studying mathematics at the University of Kentucky, where he received an M.S. in 1915, the same year he married Katharine Milsted; they had two children. He then enrolled in the University of Chicago and studied physics under ...