Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
September 2007

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Charles P. Hill

Capitalist and Director in many Corporations. Montreal, Que.

CHARLES PLUMMER HILL, director in numerous corporations and organizer of many important Canadian companies now in successful operation, including large collieries in Alberta and Western Canada, is a notable figure in the industrial development in this great country. Mr. Hill was born October 26th, 1862, at Seaford, Sussex County, Delaware, his ancestors being of revolutionary times and among the earliest settlers in America. His father, the late William Thomas Hill, was a planter and merchant, and soldier, occupying the old homestead in Delaware, where he passed away in 1907. His mother, Mary Rounds Laws Hill, was of Scotch descent.

Charles P. Hill was educated in the Delaware public schools later taking a course at Annapolis Academy. His first employment was in the shops of Jackson & Sharp Manufacturing Co., at Wilmington, Delaware, where he mastered the car building business, subsequently connecting himself with the Pullman Palace Car Company of New York City, where he remained for two years. He then entered the service of the Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railways at St. Paul, for a period of three years. His next move was to Montana where he took up the study of mining engineering, prospecting, and developing into a practical miner at the same time and thus obtaining a practical knowledge of mining in every detail. He then began leasing properties and met with much success owing to his knowledge of good prospects and lands. In 1888 he prospected in Eastern British Columbia, Northern Montana and Idaho and at that time he discovered and located the Kitchener Iron range, now partly owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and partly by Mr. Hill. In 1892, during President Cleveland's administration, Mr. Hill was appointed Deputy Collector of Customs and Inspector of 800 miles of boundary line between British Columbia, Alberta, Montana and Idaho, being ex-officio, or government agent covering that territory. During that period his headquarters were at Port Hill (now a successful town in Idaho on the Kootenai River, and on the International boundary line between the United States and British Columbia, named after Mr. Hill.) He remained there until 1900 serving through the McKinley administration. In 1900 he went to the Klondyke, but like many others, returned with nothing but the experience. In 1901, he developed the Iron range at Kitchener for the Canadian Pacific Railway and commenced development of his discoveries of coal in the Crow's Nest Pass in Alberta and British Columbia, which are now being successfully operated. He remained there until 1910, the result of his principal development being the famous Hillcrest Collieries, Ltd., and the Hillcrest Coal and Coke Co., Ltd., located at Hillcrest, Alta, and in which he is heavily interested. Mr. Hill is a director in the above named collieries, is vice-president .of the Pacific Coast Coal Mines, Ltd., of Victoria, B. C. which was merged into the Pacific Coast Collieries, Ltd., of which he is managing director-treasurer. He is also a director in the Canada Securities Corporation and is president of the Rea Consolidated Mines and a director in other Canadian corporations. He is a member of the Canadian Mining Institute and other mining bodies. Also of the Rocky Mountain Club of New York and the Montreal Club of Montreal, Constitutional Club, London, England. He is a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner. Mr. Hill was married April 20th,1904, at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to Miss Enid Mary MacLean, daughter . of the late T. A. MacLean. Mr. and Mrs. Hill reside at No. 1 MacGregor Street, Montreal.

Source: Canadian History Makers. A Volume Containing Accurate and Concise Sketches of Men who have Done Things in The Dominion of Canada Past and Present Together with Photogravures Made from their Latest Photographs, Montreal, Canadian Publication Society, 1913, 159p., p. 97.

© 2007 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College