James J. Hill

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Business Executive
Date of Birth September 16, 1838
Place of Birth Canada
Date of Death May 29, 1916 (77)
Horoscope Virgo

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James J. Hill

James Jerome Hill, was a Canadian-American railroad executive. He was the chief executive officer of a family of lines headed by the Great Northern Railway, which served a substantial area of the Upper Midwest, the northern Great Plains, and Pacific Northwest. Because of the size of this region and the economic dominance exerted by the Hill lines, Hill became known during his lifetime as "The Empire Builder".

Born: James Jerome Hill, September 16, 1838, Eramosa Township, Ontario, Upper Canada
Died: May 29, 1916, St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Nationality: Canadian-American
Occupation: Railroad tycoon
Spouse(s): Mary Theresa Mehegan
Children: 10

About James J. Hill

Railroad tycoon who was an active chief executive officer of a number of lines for the Great Northern Railway. He was nicknamed The Empire Builder.

Before Fame

He was blinded in one eye as a child following an incident with a bow and arrow. He built his way up to the railroad empire by first learning about the freight and transportation business and then the coal and steamboat business.


He was helped by J.P. Morgan to gain control of the Northern Pacific Railway.

Family Life

He had ten children with Mary Theresa Mehegan who he married in 1867.


He is mentioned in the song "Hallelujah! I'm a Bum" by Harry Mcclintock.

Information related to James J. Hill

  • Charles T. Hinde railroad executive, founder of the Hotel del Coronado , and long time friend of James J. Hill.
  • Pierce Butler (justice) - Pierce Butler was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1923 until his death in 1939. He is notable for being the first Justice from Minnesota, and for being a Democrat appointed by a Republican president, Warren G. Harding.
  • James J. Hill Sapphire
  • Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway
  • Northern Pacific Railway people
  • Businesspeople from Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad people
  • Great Northern Railway (U.S.)
  • American railroad executives of the 20th century
  • Pre-Confederation Canadian businesspeople
  • 19th-century American railroad executives
  • Minnesota Democrats
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Latest information about James J. Hill updated on July 06, 2020.

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