(Oct. 27, 1854-Feb. 20, 1928). James T. V. Hill was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he attended local schools. He arrived in Indianapolis in 1874, finding employment as a barber and later as a railway postal clerk. Hill attended Central Law School, the first African American to enroll, and graduated in 1882.

He promptly opened a legal practice, establishing himself as the first African American attorney in Marion County. In 1890, he was the first African American to serve on a grand jury in the state. He served as a deputy prosecutor for four years, 1911-1915, and also acted as special judge in local courts.

An active Democrat and civic leader, he practiced law until his death. He was one of the first directors of the board of the Senate Avenue Ymca and a charter member and trustee of Simpson M. E. Church. The J. T. V. Hill Recreation Center and Park located in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood at 1806 North Columbia Avenue is named in his honor.

Revised February 2021

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