The father of our subject was born near Belfast, Ireland, in 1795, and received a classical education, being graduated from one of the best schools in Edinburg, Scotland. Later he studied surgery in Dublin, and in due time was appointed a Surgeon in the British army, in which capacity he served a number of years. He came to America in 1817, settling in Virginia, and the following year was married. Upon coming to Illinois he settled in that part of Morgan County, which is now Cass County, and laid out the town of Virginia. He entered a large tract of land from the Government, and became well-to-do, living there until his death in 1847. He was recognized as a liberal-minded and public-spirited citizen, and took an active interest in all that pertained to the welfare of his adopted county. He identified himself with the Democratic party, and became a warm personal friend of Stephen A. Douglas. Though not a member of any church organization, he led a truly Christian life, filled with deeds of charity and kindness, and enjoyed the highest respect of all who knew him.
The mother of our subject was a native of Virginia, and traced her ancestry back to the family of which William Pitt was a scion, in England. She was a devout member of the Presbyterian Church, a faithful wife and a devoted mother. Her death took place in 1882, after she had reached a ripe old age, in which she enjoyed the full possession of all her faculties, being remarkably strong both mentally and physically.
Our subject remained under the parental roof during the lifetime of his father, and was educated mostly in a private school. He embarked in merchandising about 1850, but a few years later, on account of failing health, turned his attention to farming and stock raising. Later he organized the Farmers' National Bank of Virginia, Cass County, of which he officiated as President four years. In 1870 he retired from active business, and took up his residence in Jacksonville, where he has since lived. He was first married to a daughter of Judge Epler, of Jacksonville, and they became the parents of five children: Charles H., Ida M., Mary E., Grace M., and John R. all living. Charles and John were both educated in the Illinois College, and the former is now living in Minneapolis, Minn.
Our subject, in 1872, contracted a second marriage with Miss Anna Savage of Jacksonville. Of this union there has been born one child, a daughter, Helen H. Mr. Hall, politically, is a member of the Democratic party, and belongs to the Congregational Church.