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

Section IX
Chapter 28, Page 278

The Halls in the Twentieth Century


THE COUSINS are the grandchildren of James Newton and Emeline (Pestel) Hall and are the seventh generation from William Hall, d. 1757. By 1981 their lives are nearing completion - their children, grand children and great-grand children have stretched the family line into the tenth American generation. Most of this group will be living into the Twenty-first century.

The cousins have lived through one perhaps two major wars, innumerable lesser conflicts, the great depression and witnessed a technological, social and cultural revolution.

The United States of their forebearers has been replaced by a new society. They are no longer living on the land, but are city dwellers. They live in a money culture and under the shadow of terrifying weapons of war. They wonder what the future holds.

no longer pioneers

The Cousins +
1900 -

One must write carefully about his contemporaries as they may object to the conclusions made. Besides, as an older member of the group, the writer is not as nimble as he once was!

There were fourteen of the cousins that survived to adulthood - one more than the family of James Wesley and Catherine (Claypool) Hall, our great grand parents.

As of this year, 1981, eleven of us are still living.

We were being born from 1902 through 1925; we were products of the first quarter of the Twentieth Century. Of the group, eight were males and six females. Of the males only two will have sons to carry on the name of Hall. That responsibility has fallen to two male descendants and both of them have sons. The are numerous descendants of the girls bearing different surnames.

Of the fourteen, ten graduated from high school, one from college and two one or two years of schooling beyond high school. Four of them, due to family circumstances, received a limited elementary education and of the four, two of them may have had a year or so of secondary education. None of the parents of these cousins received much more than a common school education - as afforded by the country schools of their time.

What did they do with their lives?

Of the males: one a successful real estate operator, three were employed in the business work, one a barber, one a professional military man, one an educator-business man, and finally the one with a criminal record, who has isolated himself from his kin, possibly employed in the business world. All married.

The girls all married. Two of them have exhibited artistic talent. Five of them were mothers; one childless. One is now a widow and one married twice, the second marriage followed the death of her first husband.

Their husbands followed a variety of occupations, none of them could be strictly labeled as professionals. None were farmers. Three of the women found employment.

Of the cousins who have passed on; two were women and one a male.

Five of the men were in military service; one a Marine severely wounded in the Pacific. One of the five was in the Navy. One an Air Force officer.

There have been three divorces among the cousins, all with male members who re-married. No divorces among the girls.

As might be expected, among the children and grandchildren of the Cousins, Education plays an increasingly important role. Nearly all have finished high school and several have attended and/or graduated from college. Their occupations reflect their better educations.

Where do they live?

With the exception of two living on the West Coast and one living in Florida and one unaccounted for, the group has stayed in Illinois; ten of us not straying far from the area in which our parents and grand-parents lived.

As cousins, when we are in each others' company, we get along famously. But, because of the diversity of our interest and educations, we sometimes find it hard to meet on common ground. As a group, we have never all been together at one time - though on occasion the Illinois cousins have nearly made it. There is no common rallying point - no family estate - no older ancestor about whom to cluster - there has been no great name for us to claim relationship with.

Basically, we are members of a social order that has lost its roots; perhaps this history will serve as a focal point!

about the author

family line:
Wm. (1)
Heze. (2)
Abner (3)
Jas. W. (4)
Jas. N. (5)
Henry E. (6)
CCH (7)

Carrol Carman Hall
1905 -

The only surviving child of Henry Edward and Lucinda Blossom (Carman) Hall was born at Salisbury, Illinois but whose home has always been in Springfield. Mr. Hall was educated in the Springfield Public Schools and received a B.S. degree from Eureka (Ill.) College in 1927. He earned an A.M. degree from the University of Chicago in 1937 and an LLD (hon.) from Eureka College in 1975. He also attended the Univ. of Illinois, Colo. State College of Education (Now, Northern Colorado Univ.) and the Mass. Inst. of Technology.

In 1931 he married Dorothy Virginia Silvia, 1903 - ; they have no children.

Mr. Hall entered the Field of Public Education and at his retirement (1965) was Head of the Science Dept., Springfield High School. His teaching field was Chemistry.

With a teacher colleague, he was co-founder of the Horace Mann Companies which became the 'largest insurer of teachers' in the world. That organization domiciled in Springfield became one of the city's major enterprises. Mr. Hall was President of the parent company, 1945-1963. He was also a Board Member of several of the subsidiary companies.

In addition, he was a free-lance writer, contributing to many publications. He was the owner of a Trade-Press Reporting Service.

Active in community and civic affairs, he has headed a a number of state-wide organizations, as well as important local groups. Currently, he is a v.p., and former Board Member of the Illinois State Historical Society. He is a member of the Illinois Historical Records Advisory Board and has completed two terms as a member of the Springfield Historical Sites Commission.

Mr. Hall makes his home at Springfield, Illinois.

+The Cousins are not named in this section. Their names and known dates are given under their respective families in the section titled; The Children of James Newton and Emeline (Pestel) Hall.

On file in the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield) are the charts and other family information concerning the cousins carrying down through 1981.



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Illinois Ancestors