Mildred Hill, a daytime receptionist at the Delaware North-owned-and-operated Southland Park Gaming & Racing, on April 5 celebrated her 63rd year of working at the property in West Memphis, Ark.
Originally hired as a housekeeping supervisor, Hill has worked at the venue since before the doors even opened in 1955. One of the first six employees hired — an equal mix of men and women — she is the last original employee still employed at Southland Park.
Throughout her 63-year tenure, she has worked as a housekeeping supervisor, mail clerk and switchboard operator, and she also conducted hiring for human resources in the early years. She is proud to have worked for Southland Park all these years, during which time she raised her five children. In fact, her whole family has worked at Southland Park.
“My mother, my father, my husband and all my children have worked here,” Hill said. “Southland has been good to the region by giving people good jobs and donating to the community with programs such as toys for kids at Christmas and coats for kids. That’s a blessing.”
Needless to say, she has certainly seen the full evolution of the venue.
“Back in the early days, it was open on both floors with no glass windows and packed with 10,000 people — with no air conditioning,” she said. “That was something to see.”
Hill said she has enjoyed her 63 years with Southland, and when the time does finally come for her to retire, she plans to travel with her daughter and “just go where the road takes me.”
PHOTO CAPTION: David Wolf (left), president and general manager of Southland Park Gaming & Racing, recognizes Mildred Hill (right) for 63 years of employment at the venue. Hill was one of Southland Park’s first six associates.