James J. Hill, known as the Empire Builder, was president of the Great Northern Railway. He often personally supervised the construction of tracks. In 1908, Hill (with straw hat and beard) posed on the engine of the train that he rode to oversee construction of tracks in Montana in 1887. The engine was known by the name William Crooks. The William Crooks was the first steam locomotive to operate in the state of Minnesota. It was named for the chief engineer of the St. Paul and Pacific railway. It was constructed in 1861 and began passenger service in 1862. James J. Hill also used the William Crooks to pull his personal trains. The William Crooks is now on display at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.