50 years quality work and treating people right
The J. D. Hill family has a lot to celebrate — 66 years of marriage and 50 years in business as J. D. Hill Electric, Inc. Three generations of family work together under one roof at the showroom located at 1534 National Hwy. in Thomasville.
J. D. Hill's career in electrical contracting began at Sink Electric in 1948.
"In 1964, I got my license and went in business for myself," he said. "I wired a lot of houses, then switched to commercial and industrial wiring."
Hill worked out of a shed in his backyard for several years. His wife, Ina Mae, answered the telephone and kept the books. They celebrated their 66th anniversary Aug. 28.
Their son, Donnie Hill, started helping out when he was 14. He's now 65 and still helping out.
A CPA with a background in bookkeeping, their daughter, Pam Hill Blair, joined the staff in 1984 when they opened a building on Hinkle Street in Thomasville.
They had a showroom with light fixtures and electrical supplies, but the main portion of business was in electrical contracting.
"In 2002, they bought a lighting store on National Highway," said Blair. "A year later, we moved everything here."
That's when her husband Scott Blair, who works in the showroom, joined the staff.
Both Hill's son and daughter have a son and daughter of their own, which means the family has expanded to four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
The oldest grandson Matt Hill entered the Navy as soon as he graduated from high school. After serving four years in the Navy, two of them in Japan, he returned to Thomasville to take part in the family business.
“I once wired a playhouse,” said Matt.
Commercial and industrial contract wiring remains the company’s bread and butter. They keep the lights on for many large businesses in the area.
"We do a lot of work for Shuler Meats," said J. D. Hill.
Lee McPhatter and Justin Hulin stay busy doing wiring on big trucks.
An employee for the past 25 years, McPhatter isn't related to the Hills, but he might as well be.
Blair said everyone enjoys working with family because they know they can depend on each other.
"We're a very family-oriented business," said Blair. "We work together and we play together."
Even after working together all week, the family often gathers on weekends to cook out and play backyard cornhole.
“I’m just proud to have that last name,” said granddaughter Emily Hill.
Now 84, Hill has slowed down a little but remains thankful for 50 years in business.
"I tried to give good prices, treat people right and do good quality work," he said. "That's how we've stayed in business.”
J. D. Hill Electric, Inc.
1534 National Hwy.
Thomasville, NC 27360
Staff writer Debbie Hightower may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org