Horace G. Hill, grocery man, real estate entrepreneur, banker, and philanthropist, was born in Hickory Valley in White County in 1873. He opened the first H. G. Hill Grocery Store at age twenty-three and became a pioneer in such grocery retailing innovations as self-service, cash-and-carry, and newspaper price advertising. Hill quickly built a large Middle Tennessee chain of stores and expanded into other states. At one time, he operated more than five hundred grocery stores in the South, including stores in Birmingham, Alabama, and Louisiana.
Hill preferred to own the properties in which his stores operated, and he enjoyed investing and dealing in real property. By the time the H. G. Hill Realty Company incorporated in 1926, Hill held one of the major real estate portfolios in Tennessee.
In 1933 Hill agreed to use his financial resources, reputation, and management skills to rescue the Nashville Trust Company, one of the oldest banking institutions in the South. He served as its chairman until his death in 1942.
Hill was privately known for his many acts of unrecognized generosity and kindness. His public philanthropy included providing leadership and significant financial assistance to George Peabody College for Teachers, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Presbyterian Church. Highly respected and active in business and community affairs, Hill served as president of the Commercial Club of Nashville from 1919 to 1920.
Hill died in October 1942 and was survived by his widow, Mamie Wilson Hill.