Jackson County

Biography - WILLIAM H. HILL

The Murphysboro Paving Brick Company, a large industry situated at Murphysboro, Illinois, is one of the concerns which have in late years made the industrial interests of Jackson county become a potent factor in the business world, and have assisted in building up and developing this part of the country in a manner that could have been accomplished, perhaps, in no other way. The agitation for good streets, probably fostered by the advent of the automobile, has caused even the smallest and poorest of towns and villages to make improvements in the way of street paving, and as the center of a community that is the home of progressive, wide-awake citizens, Murphysboro offers all the advantages that could be found for a business carrying on operations in Southern Illinois.

This company was organized March 31, 1909, with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, which has been increased to one hundred and thirty thousand dollars, and the present officers are William H. Hill, of East St. Louis, president; H. D. Sexton, of East St. Louis, vice-president; and H. H. Jenkins, of Murphysboro, secretary and treasurer. Owning a fifty-acre tract of land, the company uses about twenty-five acres, giving employment to one hundred and twenty-five persons. In 1911 the output, which had formerly been but six millions yearly-, had increased to eleven millions, this enormous increase being due to the fact that an innovation was made in the manner of manufacture, which not only has been a success financially, but produces a better grade of brick. Both large and small brick are manufactured, and the output of 1911 would pave twenty miles of street. In addition to furnishing nearly all the paving brick for the southern Illinois towns, the company ships to Memphis, St. Louis and Chicago and to other points in the country.

William H. Hill, the president of this thriving industry, and one of East St. Louis, representative business men, is a native Illinoisan, having been born in the village of Summerfield, June 4, 1867. He received his education in the public schools, Poster Academy at St. Louis, and in a business college at Poughkeepsie, New York, and after some business training succeeded his father, who was a building supply dealer. Mr. Hill continued in that enterprise until 1909, and also carried on general contracting at East St. Louis. In addition to being president of the paving brick company, he acts in the same capacity for the Queen City Quarry Company, of East St. Louis, which is located at Alton, Illinois, and a director of the Southern Illinois National Bank and the Southern Illinois Trust Company, both of East St. Louis.

On November 5, 1890, Mr. Hill was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Thomas, of East St. Louis, and two children have been born to this union, namely: Gertrude E. and Ruth Jeanette. Mr. Hill is a consistent member of the Methodist church, while fraternally he is connected with the Masons, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree and belongs to the Shrine, Knights Templar and Commandery, and with the Elks and the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Hill is an excellent organizer, and his talents in this line have not been confined to his own interests, as he has always been a leader in movements for the betterment of civic conditions. Although he has been in business in Murphysboro for only two years, he has attained a secure position in the esteem of the citizens of that community, and the character of the enterprises with which his name has been connected has shown that this confidence is well merited.

Extracted 11 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 3, pages 1425-1426.

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