The Grandfathers
Vol.I, The Hall and Overstreet Families
Carrol Carman Hall, Springfield, IL, 1981

Section VII
Chapter 25, Page 257

Moving into the XXth Century

… their youngest was not
     the last to die…..

The Children of James Newton and Emeline (Pestel) Hall

Henry Edward Hall (Carman)1873 - 1951
Carlyle Hall, (Potter),1875 - 1975
Clarence Albert Hall (Aubrey),1877 - 1946
William F. Hall 1879 - 1905
Myrtle Anna Hall (Pelham)1881 - 1938
James Longfellow Hall (Rhodes),1885 - 1962
Charles Abner Hall (Epling),1889 - 1971

This was a family that bridged the 19th and 20th Centuries -

Just as in the previous generations of the Hall family, the pioneer spirit persisted and the circumstantial events tended to disrupt the solidarity of the group. For this family it was not so much the pull of the West, but rather the stirrings of American life caused by the break-down of an agricultural economy and its shift into an industrial society.

Members of this farm family growing up in the memories of hard labor, could hear the whistles of the locomotives as they roared across the land. The growing cities were more alluring than the farm. A new kind of life beckoned, one that promised more monetary rewards, more leisure and perhaps a richer life for their families.

Only one of the sons attempted to follow the footsteps of his father, then only for a few short years. The daughter married a farmer, but in time her family became city dwellers. By the middle of the XXth Century none were identified were identified with the land as had their forebearers for over two hundred years.

the leader of the flock…..

Carlyle Hall
1875 - 1975

Second child in the family but always first in everything…he could climb the highest tree…swim the farthest…skate the fastest…a leader at school….first to own an automobile…he went the farthest from home to live on the west coast - and, was to live the longest of all the Halls, one hundred years, eight months.

Carlyle (his name was a spelling accident, it was meant to be Carlisle) ++moved away from farming into the world of selling and management. The trail led from Illinois to Utah and finally Seattle, Washington.

Almost to his last year he was planning, thinking of new worlds to conquer. It was a path of better tools for the farmer, markets for farm products. Personally, he was always 'inventing', toying with ideas for improving things used in everyday life - some were indeed ingenious.

His notions of physical exercise for the elderly may have prolonged his own life … there was tomorrow to look forward to and he was generous in his sharing of these ideas. The accounting could go on and on. Life for him was never dull and neither was he!

Married in 1904 to Stella Potter, 1875 - 1953, his own days ended at Springfield, Illinois - home country. His children make their homes on the west coast. A grandson keeps the family name alive.

Family of Carlyle and Stella (Potter) Hall

Dorothy Hall (Bolton),1906 -
Harold Potter Hall (Ketchum)1907 -
Lyle Ross Hall (son Harold) 1940 -

………….success as a small city business man

Clarence Albert Hall
1877 - 1946

Kansas born, Clarence Albert Hall, could remember only the life as a boy on the farm in Menard county, Illinois, the country school and the hard work. With his brothers he developed the yen to make his way in the beckoning world away from the farm. The way opened by going for a short session to a school at Bushnell, Illinois where telegraphy was taught. +++ Work on the railroad was the path to follow.

As a station-agent, telegrapher, on the old C.P. & St. L. R.R., he finally landed at Havana, Illinois. There he met Marie S. Aubrey, 1876 - 1949, daughter of a local jeweler and watchmaker. They married, 1903, and a new life opened up.

Clarence Albert Hall left the railroad and entered the business world of the small city of Havana. Over the years he was an officer and part-owner of a lumber yard, involved in individual mausoleum business and an officer of a Savings and Loan association. He owned two houses in the town; a cottage at nearby Lake Chatauque, and of course an automobile. He became active in civic, church and fraternal affairs. The family became upper-crust small-city residents.


His wife, call 'Minnie' by her intimates, was of French descent. The family broke away from the Catholic church, as result of the improper conduct of a priest toward her in the confessional. Her adult life was in a Protestant environment. At death, however, she was buried with a rosary in her hands.

An only daughter, Mildren, 1904 - 1975, was the first of the 'cousins' of her generation to graduate from high school - and the first of this branch of the Hall family. Married to Cecil Nichols, a WWI veteran, she was the mother two children; Edward Hall Nichols, ++++and Barbara Nichols. The family resided at Havana and Peoria.

In later years, she and her family, alienated themselves from the rest of the Halls +++++and it is thought they converted to Catholicism.

he came home to die

William F. Hall *
1879 - 1905

Born during the years the family spent in Kansas, William F. Hall grew up on the farm, receiving what was then known as a 'common-school' education. He was a product of the Hall School located about a mile and a half from the home place. In winter, one could skate to it over the frozen branch nearly all the way; and, in the nicer months, hiking across the fields and climbing over the fences, short-cut the route.

As soon as he could manage it, he went along with his brother, Clarence, to the school at Bushnell, Illinois where he learned telegraphy. He was soon a railroader, starting as a baggage man then becoming a telegrapher - well on his way to having a station of his own. A promising career loomed ahead.

Then, he came home to die.

Stricken with Peritonitis, it was too late for an operation and in the days before the antibiotic drugs, his life was doomed. The old country doctor was helpless and the family hovered around his bedside, using the time-honored comforts of the sick room.

Will's death, the first in the family (it was thirty-three years before the next one occurred), had a unifying effect on the family, causing them to come together more frequently for reunions. His mother carried his death on her heart, until her time came.

a farmer's wife and a life of hardships…..

Myrtle Anna Hall (Pelham)

To write of Aunt Myrtle and her family is a difficult task because of the hardships she endured so undeservedly. Raised the only girl in a household of rough and tumble boys, she of auburn hair, graceful poise and sunny disposition, shared with her mother the hard work of a farm home. Married in 1901 to Charles Owen Pelham, 1875 - 1950, a man with excellent prospects, she lived many rugged years on their farm near Salisbury, Illinois only to see it lost in the bad times that followed WWI. Fortunately, her husband's skill as a barber kept the family afloat in nearby Springfield.

'Uncle Charley' was a descendant of the pioneer Pelham and Batterton families of northwest Sangamon county. He inherited the Pelham temper but not the Batterton easy-going temperament. Perhaps 'he farmed the road more than his land' as some of his contemporaries alleged. At any rate, the circumstances of the family prevented good educational opportunities for his children. They were to start their lives handicapped. It wasn't quite all that bad. With their talent for music and the brighter years of good crops - there was often time for enjoying the simple ways of having fun in the country life.

The writer's fondness for his aunt and particularly for his cousins - her two oldest children, of his own age group, helps gloss over the short-comings of his uncle. In all fairness it must be said that in spite of his advantages, there was no great gap in the relationships with the Pelham family.

Cancer shortened the life of Myrtle, as it did her son, Lester. The three older children lived good lives and did well in terms of their opportunities. Only Leonard, the youngest, product of the hectic family life in the city, failed to measure up - a victim of the hardship years. The two youngest sons served in WWII.

Family of Charles Owen and Myrtle Ann (Hall) Pelham

Ernest Pestel Pelham (Bennett) (Cox)1902 -
Elsia Pelham (Henderson) (Lawson) 1906 - 1975
Lester Pelham (Floyd) 1913 - 1956
Leonard Pelham 1919 -

The Pelham family had a distinguished record of service for the Union in the Civil War, with several brothers, including the father of Charles O. Pelham serving. A grandson was killed in Korea. Unfortunately, Leonard Pelham acquired a criminal record.

sons to be proud of

James Longfellow Hall
1883 - 1962

'Uncle Jimmie' was the only son of James Newton Hall to be a farmer; that is, for a portion of his life. An alumnus of the famous 'Hall' school on the road to the farm, he followed the footsteps of his brother Carlyle in becoming a salesman. Dealing in cream separators, he did very well. But, at the time of his father's retirement and the flush of good farming income of World War I, he returned to the home farm and for several years lived where he had spent his boyhood. The farm-depression years of the 1920s plus the need for a high school education for his sons caused the family to move to the nearby village of Athens, Illinois, where he had several careers; in the local mail service; in the poultry and feed business, ** and as superintendent of the city water works.

Married in 1907 to Daisy Rhodes 1886 - 1966, he fathered two sons, James Ralph and Charles Vernon. Both were outstanding in their days at Athens High School; James Ralph in forensics and Charles in athletics. *** In their adult life the sons followed careers in business (James Ralph) and in the military (Charles). Charles was a commissioned officer in the Air Force during WWII. Daisy was a good mother and thrifty housewife, along with her husband, was a respected member of the Athens community.

With only one grandchild, a girl, the name Hall dies out in this branch of the family.

Perhaps the best memories of all, to the writer, is the brass-radiatored Ford of Uncle Jimmie and Aunt Daisy's Angel Food Cake!

Family of James Longfellow and Daisy (Rhodes) Hall

James Ralph Hall (Taylor) (Garrison),1911 -
Charles Vernon Hall (Lawson)1915 -
dau. Charles Vernon 
Karen Sue Hall (Ramadge)1953 -

Since there were three James Halls living on the farm; James Newton Hall, grandfather; James Longfellow Hall, father; and James Ralph Hall, son; family members always referred to James Ralph, by his middle name 'Ralph.' All were called Jim Hall by their contemporaries. Charles was always called 'Chuck' by his school mates.

…..a family man

Charles Abner Hall
1889 - 1971

Youngest of the family, Abner as he was always called was at times thought by his family to be the spoiled. Maybe this was true, but the fact of the matter is; he turned out to be a real good fellow. He did miss the extreme hardships of the early days on the family farm. He lived a portion of his youth at Athens and perhaps had extra school beyond the country school.

The railroad called him and he followed the footsteps of his brothers, Clarence and Will, and worked on the old C.P. & St. L., as baggageman and in station operation. He followed the line to Petersburg, to Havana and finally at Waverly, Illinois where he met his wife, Laura Epling, 1884 - 1955, a daughter of a Confederate war veteran. They married in 1911.

The years after leaving the railroad were engaged in insurance and merchandising, with moved to Jacksonville and Springfield in Illinois. He final stopping place was Springfield where he educated his children, giving each of them a high school education. In his later years he acquired some property, looked after his aged mother and later made a home for his brother, Carlyle. He engaged in a personal contracting business. His neighbors remember him as a clerk and judge at the polls and a fellow to help them keep their property in shape.

'Ab' as many of his old friends called him, had a sense of family and made every effort to keep the kinfolks in contact.

He was proud of his own family and was kept busy with four children, ten grandchildren and nineteen great grand-children and perhaps a great-great grand child or two at the time of his passing.

The Hall name in his line is perpetuated through the family of his only son.

Family of Charles Abner and Laura (Epling) Hall

Margaret Hall (McCubbin)1912 -
Dorothy Dean Hall (Siebert) 1914 -
Betty Jean Hall (Campbell)1917 -
James Floyd Hall (Johnson)1925 - ****

+Is discussed in the section: Man of Many Uniforms and Many Friends.
++He was named for his uncle, Carlisle Mitts. His aunt Sarah M. Mitts, coined the nick-name 'Tolly' for him and this is how he was called in his younger years.
The writer has placed some other mementos of Carlyle Hall under the file for this family. See: section in appendix - Ever Young; He lived 100 years!
+++This was an early business school, training for specific jobs.
++++Named for his Uncle, my father, Henry Edward Hall, 1873 - 1951.
+++++This change in family attitude became most evident following the deaths of her parents. Nichols was a native of Havana, Ill., and for a greater portion of his life was employed by the Caterpillar Corp., of Peoria, Ill. Burials for the family are in their plot at Havana, Ill.
*Given name for the "F' unknown
**With Frank Fenton, brother-in-law, (Hall and Fenton, 1927 - 1937)
***Played on basketball team; tied for fourth place, ISHAA, 1933, high jump
****named for two grandfathers: James Newton Hall; Floyd Epling: has son and grandson named James Floyd Hall II and III, was severely wounded as a Marine in the invasion Iwo Jima. His son, James Floyd II was in the same regiment of Marines (the 5th) and was wounded in Viet Nam.
James Floyd Hall's family nickname is 'Billy'. Billy was a western pony of his grandfather - a favorite family horse.



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Illinois Ancestors