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Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Page 292

JOHN T. HALL, owner of a good farm in township 19, range 5 west, was born August 24, 1851, in Menard County and is a representative of one of the old pioneer families. His father, Wesley Hall, was born in Virginia, June 2, 1811. He was twice married and by his first wife, Elizabeth, he had two sons; Amos, who was born March 25, 1836, and died July 25, 1842; and Augustus, who was born November 5, 1837, and died about 1884. The mother died March 12, 1839. For his second wife Wesley Hall chose Miss Nancy Ferguson, who was born in Kentucky, February 9, 1821, and they became the parents of the following named: Charles W., who was born June 26, 1842, and is now living in St. Clair, Missouri; Bethena J., who was born July 25, 1845, and died March 20, 1870; John T.; Amanda L., who was born June 19, 1853, and died September 2, 1877; Ann E., who was born March 16, 1856, and is now the wife of Dr. C. F. Whitney, of Washington, D.C.; Thomas H. ho was born December 25, 1857, and is now living in Scranton, Iowa; and Laura F., whose birth occurred July 26, 1860, and who is now the wife of J. H. Piper, of Mount Zion, Illinois. Her father, on leaving his old home in Virginia, made his way westward to Indiana, and locating at South Bend was employed by the Studebakers of that city. He hauled wheat to the Chicago market before the city was incorporated and he lived in the middle west when it was a great frontier region in which the work of improvement and progress seemed scarcely begun. On leaving Indiana he came to Menard county at an early epoch in its development, when the land was all wild prairie or was covered with dense timber. From Pekin, Illinois, he hauled the lumber with which to build his first house and amid frontier environments he began his life here, sharing with other early settlers in the hardships, trials and privations which fall to the lot of the pioneer. He was one of the founders of the county and he took an active part in promoting the legal status of the community as well as in advancing its material improvement through his agricultural interests. His death occurred on the 26th of November, 1893, and his second wife, surviving him for about eleven years, passed away on the 23d of January, 1904.

John T. Hall has spent his entire life in Menard county, and his education was acquired in the public schools, such as were found at that day. Farm work largely occupied his attention during the period of his youth, for he assisted in the cultivation of the old home place, remaining on his father's farm until twenty-eight years of age, when he was united in marriage on the 30th of December, 1880, to Miss Lottie E. Norton, daughter of Curtis J. and Mary E. (Wiley) Norton, the former born in the state of New York, April 24, 1831, while the latter was born in Wells, Pennsylvania, September 5, 1836. They were married in the Empire state and came to Menard county about 1863. For fourteen years, or until March, 1877, they resided in Logan county, just across the line from Menard county, where Mr. Norton carried on general farming. He afterward removed to Larned, Kansas, where he now makes his home. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Norton were born eleven children, of whom nine are living: Mrs. Hall, whose birth occurred April 7, 1857; William J., who was born November 12, 1859, and is now living in Ottawa, Kansas; John T., who was born October 1, 1863, and is a civil engineer, residing in the city of Mexico; Curtis H., who was born September 12, 1865, and resides in Larned; Henry H., whose birth occurred February 19, 1868, and who is also a resident of Larned; Grace L., who was born May 13, 1872, and is living in Larned; Mary A., who was born May 3, 1874, and was married June 5, 1901, to William Tomlinson and is living in Ottawa, Kansas; George F., who was born March 22, 1876, and was married September 15, 1901, his home being now in Colorado City, Colorado; and Lucy I., who was born July 26, 1878, and resides in Larned. The members of the family now deceased are Franklin L., the third child, who was born November 14, 1861, and died August 7, 1865; and Charles G., the seventh child, who was born March 24, 1870, and died October 2, 1895.

Mr. and Mrs. Hall have one child, Mary E., born December 1, 1889. They reside upon a good farm in township 19, Mr. Hall purchasing at the time of his marriage sixty-eight acres of land, to which he has since added a ten acre tract. He now carries on general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising and has well tilled fields and high grades of horses, cattle and hogs. In his business he is energetic and persevering and what he possesses has been gained through his earnest labors. Both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church and his political allegiance is given to the Republican party.

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