Pages 490-491, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




WILLIAM T. HALL—In enumerating the successful farmers of Allen county the name of William T. Hall should not be omitted. He is not one of our pioneers but his residence among us entitles him to be classed with the permanent people and responsible for a fair share in the development of his county.

Mr. Hall was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, April 12, 1838. His ancestors were among the first to settle that region and were there when the French controlled old Ft. DuQuesne, now Pittsburg. His grandfather, an old German, went into Allegheny county, Pennsylvania in 1768, and there passed his remaining years. One of his sons was Robert Hall, our subject's father. The latter was born in 1808 and died in 1887. He married Grace Bell whose family settled in Allegheny county, as early as the Halls, their land being on Chartiers Creek. Upon the old farm stands the stone mansion which was erected as a means of defense against the Indian attacks of that day. The town of Carnegie covers some of the Bell land, and one of the Bells still owns the stone house and lot.

The Bells were originally Irish and Mr. Hall's great-grandfather Bell was a Revolutionary soldier in our war for independence. Joseph Hall, the old German above referred to, came into western Pennsylvania from New Jersey. He served his country in one of the early wars of our country and William Hall possesses a powder horn which the old patriot carried throughout his service and which has become one of the heir-looms of the family. The Halls and Bells were farmers, in the main, but James Bell, maternal grandfather of our subject, operated a distillery as well.

The children of Robert and Grace (Bell) Hall are: William T.; James F., of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. The former was put to learn the buggy and wagon-makers trade upon approaching man's estate and in 1859 he made his way westward to Owen county, Indiana. He took up the carpenter trade there and followed it in the two counties of Owen and Sullivan so long as he remained in the State. He helped build the theatre


in Brazil and was two years in the construction of the residence of Judge Hanna at Curryville, Indiana.

As a pupil in the country school Mr. Hall made satisfactory advancement and was considered one of the first in his class. His only experience as a teacher was when he filled his teacher's place for three months the last term he attended. In 1854 Mr. Hall was married in Owen county, Indiana, to Mary Wallace, a daughter of John and Margaret (Willie) Wallace. The Wallaces came from the Parish of Zaneygred, Scotland, and of their five children Mrs. Hall is the only daughter surviving. The sons are: David, James, Samuel and John Wallace.

Our subject's children are: Margaret, wife of David E. Earl, of Bronson, Kansas; Annie, wife of Ernest Pancoast, of Stroud, Oklahoma; R. W. Hall, whose wife was Miss Gertie Flake, and Misses Mattie, Frances E., Eva and Ross Hall.

In 1879 Mr. Hall came to Kansas. The appearance of Allen county satisfied him and he purchased a partly improved farm of Elias Norman. This tract is the northwest quarter of section 16, township 25, range 20, and lies on either side of a fork of the Marmaton river. The improvements of an old building, scarcely deserving the name of house, and a piece of tillable land. For some years he gave his own time largely to the carpenter's bench and left the actual work of sowing and reaping to the family. His last work as a mechanic was done on the Snyder barn some ten years ago and since then his farm has occupied him fully and well.

The politics of the Halls and the Bells were somewhat divided. Some were Democrats and some were Whigs. In these matters our subject has little interest. On national questions he is with the Democrats but on local candidates he is both and neither according to the character of the nominees. In secular matters he was schooled in the faith of Calvin and became a Baptist only when circumstances placed him without the influence of the United Presbyterian church.

Previous | Home | Next