JAMES W. HALL is now living retired in Chesterfield, Illinois, after many years of close application to farming and stock raising in Macoupin county, his industry and enterprise having secured him such a competence as now enables him in the very prime of his life, to put aside the active duties of business and enjoy all the comforts and pleasures afforded by a successful career. A native of this county, he was born on his father's farm near Chesterfield, on the 16th of November, 1856, a son of David T. and Elizabeth (Payne) Hall. The grandfather of our subject, Jacob Hall, who was born in Kentucky, brought his family to Macoupin county, Illinois, at an early date, locating near Chesterfield upon a farm which he continued to operate until his death. His son, David T. Hall, was also a native of the Blue Grass state and in early life learned the mason's trade. He followed that occupation for a time in Macoupin county, engaging in contracting and building but later directed his attention to agricultural pursuits, purchasing a farm near Chesterfield, which was his home throughout his remaining days. He married Elizabeth Payne, a native of New Jersey, and unto them were born en children, of whom two passed away in infancy, the others being: James W., of this review; Sarah, the wife of William Cundall, of Macoupin County; Thomas H., a physician of Gillespie, Illinois; Mary, the deceased wife of Newton Kennedy, who is also deceased; Lucy, who married Frank Christopher, of Waverly, Sangamon county, and who has also passed away; Emma, who wedded H. M. Hayward, of this county; Augusta, the deceased wife of French Chism, of Macoupin county; and David E., of East St. Louis, Illinois.
At the usual age James W. Hall was sent as a pupil to the public schools, wherein he acquired a good education, and on the home farm he also received thorough practical training. He remained with his parents until his marriage when he began farming independently, renting a tract for some time. Later he purchased one hundred and twenty acres and a subsequent addition of forty acres adjoining made him the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres which is still in his possession. Upon this place he erected fine buildings, introduced the latest inventions in farm machinery and all of the accessories and conveniences of a model farm, and today this is one of the best improved properties in the county, giving evidence in its well ordered appearance, of the spirit of progress which ever actuated his efforts. Close study also gave him accurate knowledge of the best methods of raising stock, and he ever made it a practice to handle only thoroughbreds, permitting himself at no time to be content with second best. It was but a natural sequence that his well directed efforts should be rewarded by success, and as the years passed prosperity in large measure came to him, permitting him in recent years to withdraw form business affairs, and he is now living retired in Chesterfield, enjoying, in the prime of life, well earned ease and comfort.
Mr. Hall was married, on the 21st of November, 1877, to Miss Abiah S. Dews, a daughter of John and Sylvia (Morris) Dews, both natives of England. Her father came to America at a very early day and for about three years resided in Cincinnati, Ohio. He arrived in Macoupin county in 1834, locating on government land in Western Mound Township, and throughout his lifetime engaged in agricultural pursuits. Something of the success which came to him is indicated by the fact that at the time of his death he was the owner of fifteen hundred acres of land which stood as the visible evidence of his excellent business ability and industrious habits. In his family were nine children, which number included William Henry Dews, a brother of Mrs. Hall, who is mentioned at length on another page of this volume. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hall has been born one son, Clarence R., who resides in Chesterfield. He married Miss Grace Childs, and they have one son, Daniel Mortimer.
The religious faith of Mr. Hall is that of the Methodist church. He gives his support to the republican party, and although he is without political aspirations, he has been called upon to serve on the school board of Chesterfield township and was also elected township supervisor, which office he held for two years. Quiet and unassuming in manner, he is earnest and sincere in his motives and possesses those qualities of character which make for honorable manhood and desirable citizenship, and in the community in which his entire life has been spent he has a large circle of friends who entertain for him unqualified respect and esteem.