HILDER, John RBorn: ?
'A devout Church architect ... whom pulmonary weakness had driven from England' (Schoeman 1982:80). Hilder, evidently born and trained in England, came to work in the Orange Free State some time in the middle of the nineteenth century. He settled in Bloemfontein not long after its establishment in 1846 where he must have been among the first architects. He was appointed diocesan architect to the Anglican Church in Bloemfontein in which position he was responsible for the design of several churches in the Free State. He died in Grahamstown on his way back to Bloemfontein after a visit to England. Before his death he had suggested a more permanent building for the Anglican Cathedral in Bloemfontein (see D MALE and R WOCKE) by making extensive enlargements to the existing building. A result of this suggestion was that in 1881 AH BYRD was brought out to South Africa to carry out this work after Hilder's death. Few buildings by Hilder have been identified but in his obituary it was noted that the church at Smithfield was his masterpiece, 'certainly one of the prettiest of our churches' (in: Schoeman 1982:80). JS DONALDSON appears to have trained in Hilder's office, according to an article by J. DONALDSON (Building Mar 1922:18) where he says he trained under F Hillner about whom no detail has emerged thus probably a misspelling of Hilder. (De Express 16.1.1879 obit; Greig 1971; Picton-Seymour 1977; Schoeman 1980, 1982, 1985 Schoeman (1982:137) refers to Hilder's deceased estate papers (Boedel no 6265, Cape Archives aa well as De Express obituary)
All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.