From the Jackson Daily News, Jackson, Miss., June 12, 1903, p. 8:
Jim Hill, leader of the colored republican party in Mississippi, republican national committeeman from Mississippi, and editor of the Register, the republican organ of the state, died this morning a little after 8 o’clock at his home on West Capitol street from heart failure.
His death was a surprise to the many citizens of Jackson who knew him, and especially to the colored population of Jackson, and to all the republicans of the state, whose leader in party affairs he undisputedly was.
For the past year Hill has been suffering from kidney trouble, and though he has taken an active part in all matters relating to politics, he has been failing in health and has not held office.
Last night he was not feeling well and retired early. This morning the little house boy heard a racket in his room and, rushing in to see what was the matter, found Hill laying on the floor, he having rolled off the bed, and apparently in an unconscious condition. . . . . Hill lived on West Capitol street, alone with his mother and a little boy, he having never married. His mother, though a very old woman and very feeble, survives him.
Jim Hill was about sixty-seven years of age. He was born into slavery and was owned by a white man at Holly Springs by the name of Hill. Here he resided until the war set him free. He then entered the repair shops of the Illinois Central road at Holly Springs. He thoroughly mastered the machinists’ trade, and was said to be a good mechanic.
In Marshall county, during the reconstruction days, when the republicans and the negroes were in the majority, he first entered politics, and was elected to the legislature from that county, in which body he served several terms.
Shortly after the close of the war he was elected secretary of state, and served in this capacity until 1872, when he was appointed deputy revenue collector, a position which he held for a number of years.
He was appointed by President Grant postmaster at Vicksburg, a position which he held for four years. He has the distinction of being one nomination was never confirmed by of the few men who held office, whose nomination was never confirmed by the senate. When he was appointed the senate refused to affirm the appointment, and when that body adjourned he was re-appointed and served out his term.
He ran for congress in what was known as the shoe-string district, but was defeated by Hon. T. C. Catchings. The election was contested by Hill, but the contest was lost by the republicans.
By President McKinley he was appointed registrar of Land Office and held through his first term. When President Roosevelt assumed the reign of government he was dropped entirely from the list, receiving no appointment whatever. For the past year he has been editing the Register, a republican paper.
Besides these state and federal offices, Hill has been chairman of the Republican State Central Committee for the past number of years, was always a delegate to the National Republican Conventions and a prominent and influential figure in their deliberations and was republican national committeeman from Mississippi; up to several years ago. He has held several important posts in colored fraternal organizations and was at the time of his death deputy grand master of the colored Masons.
The arrangements for the funeral have not been made and will not be completed until his brother, who resides in New York can be heard from, and it is not known what disposition is to be made of the body.
From the Jackson Daily News, June 15, 1903, p. 8:
The funeral of Jim Hill, the colored leader, who died Friday, took place yesterday from Foley Chapel, the services being conducted at the church by Rev. Carter and at the grave in Mt. Olive cemetery by the colored Masonic fraternity. There were a great many colored people from all over the south present, and the funeral cortege was one of the largest ever seen in Jackson.
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