Hometown: Winslow, Ark.
Family: Wife Melanie; children Hayden Hill, Callie Skembo, Coleman Skembo, Halle Hill and Cara Skembo
In Town: Russell Hill is in his fourth term as the Washington County Assessor. Russell said becoming the assessor was his way of serving his community.
“I grew up serving,” he said. “I started in the Navy, and when I got out, I got into the church; I was a minister for 14 years. Then I went into the family business. I still own the business, but I missed serving my community and being able to help people each day.”
Serving as assessor, Russell said he can help those who come to his office to understand the processes of the office.
“My official job is to discover, list and value all of the property in Washington County. We keep the cadastral map, which has all of the boundaries, who owns it and the value,” he explained. “We are looking out for property owners, whom I consider my neighbors in Washington County.”
In the Country: Russell and his family have 20 acres in the Winslow area, but they are not alone.
Lola and Mo, also known as the Baby-Backs, also reside there.
“Lola was born Jan. 4, 2018, and got her in February 2018,” Russell said of his potbelly and Juliana crossed pig. “She’s sassy, loud and proud. We had her for about a year, and we found a Kansas City pig rescue, and there were three that came up for adoption— Mo, Curly and Larry. We ended up with Mo because he looked more like Lola. We believe he’s full Juliana; he looks like a Razorback. He’s got tusks, is big and strong, has almond-shaped eyes and a longer snout.
When not grazing outside or lounging in the house, the pigs have gone tailgating at Arkansas Razorback games and hit the campaign trail with Russell.
“When you go out in public, people usually run from people running for office; when they saw Lola, they would come running to me,” he said. “I would hand them baby carrots to feed Lola, and they would take pictures with her.”
The family had a small group of chicks as well for a time to produce eggs, but predators, namely a fox, took a toll on the flock, so the family is currently poultry-less.
Russell considers his property an oasis with a nearly 1-acre pond stocked with largemouth bass, crappie and perch.
He plans to create a living legacy honoring his family by holding weddings or other ceremonies for his children there, then planting a tree for every grandchild born.