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James J Hill was born on September 16th 1838 in a Rockwood Ontario When he was 18 he came to St Paul by a steamboat The reason for his visit was to join a group of trappers unfortunately he missed that group by about two days which caused him to left in St Paul for about a year awaiting their return In the meanwhile he began to love the city of St Paul and thought that it would make a good place to start a business He got a job as a forwarding agent for the Mississippi River Steamboat Company At the age of 28 Hill became an agent for the First Division of the St Paul Pacific Railroad While working for the railroad he developed a great sense of business strategy He decided to purchase the St Paul and Pacific company with three other men The plan was to make the company profitable for once The four of them purchased the St Paul and Pacific for 280000 which Hill estimated at 20 of the railroads value To make the railroad profitable Hill changed the way of operation He made sure that all of the tracks were smooth as could be by making personal examinations and working with his engineers to improve them He laid the tracks on land that people considered would never be developed He used the best materials available and made his railroad to beat other railroad competitors He planned for the future and accommodated for the changing demands of people The plan had worked When times got tough for other companies Hill stayed on top Over time many of the competitor businesses failed making Hills growth continue His operations in the stock market mining and banking led him to become known as the Empire Builder In the end his personal fortune estimated at 63 million making him one of the most powerful figures of Americas Gilded Age His
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