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                                       JAMES HALLETT
                                         Biography
                                    Cook County, Illinois

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Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb by
        Sherri Hessick, added May 2001.

JAMES HALLETT

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County,
Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended
(Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 39-41

JAMES HALLETT, nearly all of whose life was passed in
Illinois, was among those hardy and industrious pioneers
whose efforts and sacrifices made possible the enjoyment of
the present advantages of our people, many of whom can have
but little realizing sense of the cost of the same.  His
veins held the blood of pioneers in the truest sense of the
term, for his ancestors were among those faithful spirits
who crossed the wide Atlantic, never to see again the scenes
and friends of their childhood, to found a nation on the
Western Continent.  They located on Cape Cod, where Moses
Hallett and Eunace Crowell, the parents of James Hallett,
were born.  Both the Hallett and Crowell families were among
the first settlers of Cape Cod.  The first of the former was
Andrew Hallett, who came from England soon after the landing
of the Pilgrims.  Moses, grandfather of James Hallett, was a
ship-builder at Barnstable, where Moses Hallett was born.
The great-grandfather of the last-named also bore the name
of Moses.  Like all Cape Cod men, the navigation of the sea
was their calling down to the generation of which we write.
In 1816 Moses Hallett and John Bancroft went from
Barnstable, Massachusetts, to Howard County, Missouri, the
journey occupying seventy-six days.  After a short time Mr.
Hallett returned to Massachusetts to claim his bride, who
was a native of Hyannis.  To quote a recent writer: “The
trials and hardships, suffering and self-denial of the old
frontiersmen has passed into history.  *  *  *  But the
women of that early day were the ones who exercised the
greater courage and fortitude.  And great, indeed, must have
been the love and adoration of those women for their
husbands when they voluntarily severed all ties and
associations of childhood and home, and, amid tears and
lamentations, went forth into the great unknown country.
Such a woman was Eunace Crowell, and when she became the
wife of Moses Hallett and started with her husband for his
new home, she knew she had said good-bye forever to her
birthplace, to home, kindred and friends.”  In 1826 they
removed to Shullsburg, Wisconsin, to join the miners who
were clustering in that locality.  Five years later they
settled in Jo Davies County, Illinois, which then extended
from the river to Dixon.  Mr. Hallett became the first High
Sheriff of that county, and was also the first to engage in
farming within its present borders.  He was active in the
suppression of the Indian insurrection under Blackhawk.  He
engaged in trade, and traveled much upon the Mississippi
River, and was one of the first to get out and ship walnut
timber to Philadelphia and Cincinnati.  The logs were
shipped by the river to New Orleans, and thence by ocean
vessel to Philadelphia.  It was while on one of these trips
that he was seized with cholera, in 1847, and died, being
buried at Bennett’s Landing, Illinois, a few miles below St.
Louis, Missouri.  His widow continued to reside at “Glen
Farm,” near Galena, and passed away at her son’s home in
Galena in the ‘60s.  The subject of this biography was the
eldest of their children; Timothy, the second, is a
prominent citizen of Galena; Bartlett died several years
since at Mount Carroll; Lucy is the wife of Samuel Snyder,
of Lena, Illinois; and Moses is Judge of the United States
District Court of Colorado, at Denver.

James Hallett was born in Howard County, Missouri, March 25,
1822, and was therefore but nine years old when he became a
resident of Illinois.  He grew up at Glen Farm, whence his
parents were obliged to flee to the fort at Apple River in
1832, to be safe from the depredations of the Indians during
the Blackhawk War.  Those days in that region did not afford
many educational advantages, save such as the hard school of
experience gave; but young Hallett was possessed of a sound
mind, and, with the counsels and example of good New England
parents, developed a firm and true character.

In 1847 he settled at Mount Carroll, Illinois, and continued
to reside there until death called him away.  In addition to
farming, he carried on quite extensively the manufacture of
brick, and furnished the material for many of the
substantial buildings of northwestern Illinois.  In company
with a Mr. Sweet, of Chicago, he constructed a section of
the first telegraph line in this state, between Dubuque and
Dixon.  This was known as “O’Reilly’s Atlantic Lake &
Mississippi Telegraph, Illinois and Mississippi Line.”  His
industry and integrity earned and kept for him the
confidence of the public, and he was able to extend his
business, until it included brickyards at Hanover, Lanark
and Oregon, in addition to that at Mount Carroll.  He
furnished the material and built most of the public
buildings of Carroll County.  He died of heart diseased on
the morning of March 17, 1889, at his home in Mount Carroll.
Mr. Hallett was married at Dubuque, Iowa, September 19,
1848, to Miss Amanda M. F. Lindsay, a native of Huntsville,
Alabama, who was born April 5, 1822.  Her father, Morris
Lindsay, was a member of an old Virginia family.  Her
mother, Drusilla Ballard, was a native of Charleston, South
Carolina, belonging to one of the old families there.  Mrs.
Hallett’s childhood was passed near Abingdon, Washington
County, Virginia.  After the death of Mr. Lindsay, Mrs.
Lindsay became the wife of John Pierce, a native of Dublin,
Ireland, and member of a fine Protestant family from the
North of Ireland.  Mrs. Hallett’s father and step-father
were typical Southern men, both being large planters and
slave-holders.  In 1845 the growing sons got the western
fever, and the parents, unwilling to separate the children,
sold out all their interests and removed overland to
Illinois, settling in the northern part of Carroll County.

Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Pierce, and all of
them figured in the stirring scenes of early western life.
John and William Pierce went out with one of the earliest
California expeditions.  Larkin died of cholera at St.
Joseph, Missouri, while fitting out a similar expedition;
and John was drowned in the north fork of the Platte River,
while making a crossing with the before-mentioned party.
Mrs. Hallett’s mother and foster-father died at their home
in Cherry Grove, Carroll County, Illinois, and both are
buried there, near where they settled.  Mrs. Hallett was an
expert horse-woman, and in her childhood days spent half her
time in the saddle.  She only gave up the saddle when
compelled by advancing years to do so.  She still resides at
Mount Carroll with her adopted daughter, Effie Lydia, as a
companion.  Four sons were given to her, and she may well
feel satisfied with their records, as conferring credit upon
their antecedents.  Russell B., the eldest, is a resident of
Los Angeles, California. William P. is a business man of
Sterling, Illinois. James Walter died at Aberdeen, South
Dakota, while Judge of a local court, in 1886.  A sketch of
Reuben will be found on another page of this volume.
The Mount Carroll Herald thus describes the character of Mr.
Hallett:  “With all public movements he has been associated.
County and personal trusts have been reposed in him, and in
all educational interests he was at the front.  He has given
employment to more men than any other business man in the
county, and many a man now living can testify to his kindly
heart and consideration.  James Hallett was one of the best
types of American manhood.  His long and busy career, so
suddenly ended, is proof that he was happy in work.  He
toiled with his men early and late, and asked no man to do
what he was not willing to do himself.  All of his business
transactions partook of the strictest adherence to truth and
justice.  His mind was vigorous and comprehensive, and he
directed and managed many business speculations at the same
time.  If he mistook impulses for convictions, he was the
first to admit the error.  On all questions requiring a firm
and decided expression of opinion, no man can accuse James
Hallett of hesitating or faltering.  He never sacrificed his
dignity to an overweening deference to anything or anybody.
He was loyal and courageous, stern and inflexible of
purpose, simple in manner and habits of life.  He despised
vulgar display, and abominated vanity.  He was not without
his faults, but never can the old saying be used with truer
or firmer emphasis, ‘they were of the head and not the
heart.’  In politics he was an old-line Whig, but upon the
birth of the Republican party, he supported all its
candidates until 1886, when he openly and loyally endorsed
the Prohibition movement, having been a rigid temperance man
all his life.  In this, as in all other convictions, he was
fearless and cared naught for the criticism of others.  With
him temperance and prohibition were questions of right and
duty, to be held above all else.

“The religious life of James Hallett is known by all who
ever came in contact with him or entered his home.  He
united with the Presbyterian Church at Galena in 1840, and
changed his connection to the Presbyterian Church of Mount
Carroll in 1847.  His devotion to his society, his earnest
and tireless work in its interest, are known and remembered
by all. He remained loyal to the Presbyterian Church, and in
1871, when it was no longer able to maintain itself
financially, he chose to worship with the Lutheran
denomination at Mount Carroll.  In the Sunday-school he was
a familiar figure, and was fourteen years at the head of the
Lutheran school.  But it was in the home, in the society of
his wife and children and friends, that the true beauty and
worth of his character became apparent.  Ever kind and
considerate, he loved his home, and no guest ever left his
house without carrying away some appreciation of the
influence of Christian teaching.

“He has not lived in vain.  Though some griefs of his life
were bitter, and would try the courage of the bravest of
men, he bore his crushing sorrows with patience and
humility.”

The Old Settlers’ Association, of which Mr. Hallett was a
member, acted as the escort at his funeral, when fifty of
its members accompanied his body from the residence to the
cemetery, which overlooks his old home in Mount Carroll.
		




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