State Treasurer Edwin Gill, “Mr. Integrity”

Gill at his desk at an unknown date. Image from the State Archives.
Gill at his desk at an unknown date. Image from the State Archives.

On July 16, 1978, long-time state treasurer Edwin Gill died in Raleigh. Gill was known as “Mr. Integrity” during his more than 30 years of service as a public finance official.

Born in Laurinburg in July 1899, Gill opened a law practice there in 1924 after attending what’s now Duke University in the early part of the decade. He represented Scotland County in the legislature for one term before working as Governor O. Max Gardner’s private secretary.

Gill became the first head of the North Carolina Paroles Commission in 1933 before serving as the state Commissioner of Revenue, his first financial post, for much of the 1940s. He was a federal internal revenue collector for the state from 1950 until 1953 when he was appointed state treasurer.

After that initial appointment, Gill was consistently re-elected and remained the state treasurer for five consecutive terms until he retired in 1977. Under his direction, the state attained the highest possible credit rating, reflecting his saying, “In North Carolina, we have made a habit of good government.”

An avocational painter, he served on the boards of the North Carolina Arts Council, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the State Art Society. He was considered a “respectable” pianist and organist. An avid reader, he collected books and donated them to libraries.

He is buried in Laurinburg.

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