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Our Board | Arthur B. Hill

HSF Board Trustee FounderFounder of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation

Arthur Bullock Hill was born to homesteaders in Oklahoma City on October 20, 1892. As one of many children, money was very tight in the Hill household. He left school at the age of twelve to go to work at a drugstore, which he purchased within a few years. In his early twenties he sold the drugstore and took a job in pharmaceutical sales. On a sales trip to Dallas, he met Marguerite Stewart. They married in 1914 and settled in Dallas. Lillian Lee, their only daughter, was born in 1919 and married Edward Snowdon in 1941.

On another sales trip, Arthur met a senior manager of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), which was fast becoming the nation’s largest medical product company. When Arthur was offered a job with the firm he moved the family to Chicago in the early thirties to head the Midwest sales division. In the late thirties, the Hills moved to New Jersey to be near J&J’s New Brunswick headquarters, settling first in Bound Brook and later in Plainfield.

Despite his lack of formal education, Arthur worked his way up in the company. When he retired in 1948, he was the Vice President of Sales and on the Board of Directors. Arthur retired relatively early for health reasons but remained on the Board for several years after his retirement. The company went public in 1943, and like many senior executives, Arthur took stock options in lieu of pay during the war. This would prove to be a fortuitous move, as stock prices steadily climbed over the following decades while the company expanded and diversified.

After his retirement, Arthur became more involved in social and civic life in Plainfield. He was active in a number of social organizations and local charities. He founded the local Community Chest, which later became the United Way of New Jersey. He also supported a home for wayward boys in Nebraska and funded a settlement house in the Black neighborhood of Plainfield. As a result of his humble beginnings, Arthur felt it was his responsibility to help those less fortunate. But he also believed that individuals are responsible for helping themselves, as he had done. He had a deep understanding of the medical system and worried that the unequal access to decent healthcare would lead to serious social unrest.

In 1959, Arthur founded the Hill-Snowdon Foundation in New Jersey with several thousand dollars in assets, primarily J&J stock. He served as a trustee until his death in 1983.

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