Born to Irish immigrant parents in 1838, railroad mogul James J. Hill died one of the richest men of his era. Asked to explain his success, he answered: “Work, hard work, intelligent work, and then more work.”

But it was no work and all play at A Great Northern Evening. The gala, held at the James J. Hill Center in St. Paul, honored its founder’s legacy by supporting “the entrepreneurial spirit in the 21st century.”