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James J. Hill Biography

Full nameJim Hill

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Jim Hill Biography:

Produced on September 16, 1838, in Ontario, Canada, James J. Hill came from an impoverished youth to found his own firm in 1866. He’d eventually helm the Great Northern Railway Company, that was responsible for enormous railway growths in the U.S. Northwest. Hill would get other businesses, though he faced legal action as the effect of breaking antitrust laws. He expired on May 29, 1916, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The quintessential rags-to-riches American narrative is embodied by Canadian James Hill, born on September 16, 1838, near what’s now Guelph, Ontario. His dad was sporadically used as a hired hand on farms, but James could get good education in his youth at Rockwood Academy, where the headmaster waived the tuition. The passing of his dad when he was 14 meant James had to leave school to work while his mom ran an inn. He procured work using a grocer while studying using the Rev. William Wetherald, who instructed Hill math and English. Discovered to be an animal trapper and fur trader, Hill moved to America when he was 17.

This, coupled with bookkeeping and managing cargo for his various companies, such as the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, gave him expertise selling, trading and transportation. Hill knew how take advantage of chances and use the knowledge he had gleaned from his various companies. When fuel was in short supply throughout the war, he offered coal rather than wood. When the Mississippi River froze, he could procure contracts with grocers to send by train as an alternative to steamship.

Following the war, Hill recognized the Northwest was ready for growth by train, and he was ready to provide its needs for the economical benefit of the entire community and surrounding regions. He was elevated to business president several years after, and his farsighted management abilities earned him a strong standing.

However, when he made a decision to enlarge the railway all of the method to the Pacific, the strategy was deemed “Hill’s Folly.” But with an eye firmly focused on cost effectiveness, Hill’s land surveys found the Marias Pass, the bottom crossing of the Rockies in the region, as well as the railway was built without constructing a tunnel. He managed the same effort when enlarging upward through Washington, with the recently called Great Northern Railway Company. The competition finally caused a stock exchange panic in 1901, as well as the two joined forces, but the coalition was broken up a couple of years after, prompted by President Theodore Roosevelt as well as the Sherman Antitrust Act. Hill passed the company to his son in 1907, but reported to work daily until a week before he expired.

James J. Hill died at his residence in St. Paul, Minnesota, on May 29, 1916. He’d married Mary Theresa Mehegan in 1867 and they’d had 10 kids. He’d also populated the region of the Pacific Northwest with flourishing communities, many Scandinavian immigrants who had availed themselves of Hill’s $10 transport policy, to help settle the area and enlarge the region’s economic development. Hill’s discerning taste in artwork may be tried in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

James J. Hill Biography