J. N. HALL, deceased, was a worthy representative of one of the old and prominent families of Menard county. He was born in Lawrence county, Ohio, June 10, 1816, and was the fourth in order of birth in a family of fourteen children, whose parents were Elisha and Nancy (Overstreet) Hall. In 1827 they brought their family to Illinois and located in Menard county when this part of the state was still comprised within the boundaries of Sangamon county. Here the father died on the 22d of September, 1838, at the age of fifty-four years, while his wife, surviving him a number of years, passed away May 1, 1862. She was born in Bedford county, Virginia, in 1793. Both were members of the Methodist church, and she exerted great influence as a preacher and was looked upon almost as a saint. Throughout their residence in this state they lived upon the farm now occupied by their granddaughters Delia and Ella Hall and which comprises five hundred acres of the rich land of this part of Illinois.
J. N. Hall spent the first eleven years of his life in Ohio and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois, so that he was reared in Menard county, spending his youth here amid the wild scenes of frontier life and sharing with the family in all the hardships and trials that fall to the lot of those who establish homes in a frontier district. His education was mainly acquired in a log schoolhouse of a very primitive character, but he was a rapid scholar and became a fine penman.
When he had reached adult age Mr. Hall was married to Miss Sarah Parker, of Menard county, the wedding being celebrated April 17, 1842. She was born in Rush county, Indiana, November 4, 1824, and was a daughter of Solomon Parker, who was one of the pioneers of Menard county, locating on Rock creek at an early day. Mrs. Hall was related to the McCartys, a wealthy and influential family of Mason county, Illinois.
Politically Mr. Hall was a Democrat and was regarded as one of the ardent supporters of the party in his locality, having filled all of the local offices. He kept well informed on the questions and issues of the day and was thus enabled to give intelligent reason for his political faith. His business career was commendable, for he placed his dependence upon the substantial qualities of energy and unfaltering diligence, and upon that foundation he builded his success. As the years passed his capital steadily increased and he became one of the prosperous farmers of his community. He was greatly attached to his home and family. In 1890 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away on the 10th of March of that year, while he survived her until October 25, 1902. His genuine worth, business reliability, loyalty in citizenship and fidelity in friendship so endeared him to friends and neighbors that his death was the occasion of deep and widespread regret in his community.
In the family of J. N. Hall and wife were fourteen children, all of whom are living with the exception of one. Thomas J., born April 17, 18943, resides on a farm near Earlham, Iowa. He was married February 19, 1863, to Olivia Brown, of Menard county, and they have two children living, Ella and Sarah, both of whom are married. Anna E., born August 10, 1844, was married on the same day as her brother to James Brown, now a retired farmer of Earlham, Iowa, and they have six children, Milen, Charles, Jennie, Clara, Etta and Leona, all married. Abraham, born April 4, 1846, is a farmer and cattle dealer of Miles City, Montana, where he also served as government land agent under President Cleveland. He married Mamie Lisk, of that place, and they have four children. William E., born May 18, 1848, was first married November 9, 1876, to Addie Johnson, of Menard county, who died only two months after their marriage. Later he married Annie Schleumbach and they have two children, Ella May and Ruby. He formerly lived in Ford county, Illinois, where he was engaged in farming, but later, after graduating from a medical college of Chicago, he engaged in the practice of medicine in Waco, Texas, for seven years. Finally becoming tired of that profession he returned to agricultural pursuits and is today the owner of over fourteen hundred acres of land near Waco. Charles A., born November 4, 1849, is now a prosperous farmer of Worth county, Missouri. He was married July 28, 1871, to Lizzie Goodal, and they have two children, Effie and Nellie, both of whom married. The former is now the widow of William Sims and is successfully engaged in buying and shipping poultry near Grant City, Missouri. Emily E., born August 26, 1853, was married January 13, 1876, to Peter Wantz, by whom she had two children, Roy and Verna. For one year she lived in Indiana and then located in Gibson City, Illinois, but subsequently removed to Champaign, this state, where she owns property. Nancy Jane, born April 9, 1855, was married February 19, 1880, to Miles Rankin, who is engaged in farming and stock raising six miles south of Gibson City, Illinois, and they have four children, Edna, Arthur, Claud and Cora. John L., born February 20, 1857, was married March 245, 1887, to Lulu C. Henne and they have five children, Walter, Leo, Pembroke, William and Justin. For a few years after their marriage they resided on the Walnut Hill farm in Sangamon county and then removed to Grand county, Nebraska, where John L. served as county superintendent of schools for a time. At the end of thirteen years the drouth drove him back to Illinois and after spending five years in Menard county he removed to Brown county, this state, purchasing land near Mt. Sterling, where he now resides. Samuel B., born January 9, 1859, was married to Ella Gray in November, 1881, in Sumner County, Kansas, where he was engaged in teaching music for a number of years. Later he purchased a large tract of land in Ness county, that state, where he died November 25, 1887, leaving a daughter, Sadie, who is now Mrs. Southern. Ada A., born February 3, 1861, was married January 31, 1881, in Petersburg to Thomas Primm and located on a farm six miles east of Athens, where Mr. Primm died after a long illness November, 4, 1882. She was again married September 24, 1884, to Arthur Taylor and settled on a farm near Mt. Sterling, Illinois. She is now living at Catlett, Virginia. Delia A., born May 9, 1863, was educated in the schools of Athens and is living on the old homestead, where she has spent her entire life with the exception of one year passed in Kansas and Nebraska. She acted as postmistress of Athens during President Cleveland's second administration. James N., born February 20, 1865, spent two years in Kansas and then lived for five years upon a farm in this county given him by his father. At the end of that time he sold out and went to southern Texas, where he purchased rice land and is today doing a prosperous business. He was married in Kansas, March 21, 1886, to Lilly Kreider, and they have two living children, Lena and Willie, while another son, Herman, died November 11, 1904, at the age of twelve years. Robert L., born February 22, 1867, was married December 30, 1897, to Gertrude McDougall, of Menard county, and for some years they lived on the old home place, but in the summer of 1904 removed to Missouri, where they purchased a farm. They have one child, Carroll, aged six years. Ella M., born May 16, 1869, lives on the old homestead with her sister Delia. She, too, was a student in the schools of Athens and in 1893 she attended the normal school in Abingdon, Illinois. Subsequently she entered the Wesleyan Conservatory in 1895, in which institution she studied both vocal and instrumental music. After leaving the conservatory she returned home and remained with her father up to the time of his death, assisting him in business and in the supervision of the farming interests. The sisters now control the property. Both are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are popular with many friends. The Hall family has always figured prominently in business and social circles since the grandfather came to the county many years ago and the homestead property is a very desirable one, comprising five hundred acres of rich and arable land and in its control the sisters display marked business enterprise and capability.