Known as the “Ice King” in the early 20th century, James Williams Hines was a self made businessman. Hines was born in Edgecombe County. When the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad set up shops in Rocky Mount, Hines began an ice business, Rocky Mount Fuel and Ice Company, to supply ice for trains to carry fresh produce from Florida to New York. Hines set up contracts with railway companies to provide ice for refrigerated cars. Since Rocky Mount was mid-way between New York and Miami, his ice service was ideally located to help save produce. Other businesses soon clustered around the railroad depot in Rocky Mount, including the Ricks Hotel. He eventually opened ice shops all across North Carolina. He was also involved with the tobacco warehouses in the area. He served the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce, and on the Board of Trustees of East Carolina Training School (now East Carolina University) and Atlantic Christian College (now Barton). In the early 1900’s he established a special endowment at Atlantic Christian College of over one hundred thousand dollars – an amount equal to well over a million dollars today. Hines married Mary Matilda MacEntyre and they built the stately neo-classical home on Grace Street known as MacHaven which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They had two sons and a daughter. Hines died in 1928.
Inducted into Hall of Fame 2010