In 1864, young shipping clerk James J. Hill met a waitress working at the Merchants Hotel in St. Paul, where he often took his meals. Mary Theresa Mehegan (1846-1921), born in New York City, was the child of Irish immigrants who settled in the frontier town of St. Paul in 1850. Mary attended finishing school in Milwaukee before she married Hill in 1867.
Over the next 18 years they had 10 children:
Four daughters were married in the mansion and five children later had homes on Summit Avenue. Louis Hill succeeded his father as president of the Great Northern Railway and lived with his family next door at 260 Summit Avenue.
Hill family on back terrace at 240 Summit,
following the wedding of Charlotte Hill and George Slade, 1901.
Watch a clip from the video, "James J. Hill: Empire Builder"