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Wilson Ewing Hail, eldest son of Jonas Judd and Amanda Ewing Hail, was born in 1826, Rutherford County, Tennessee. At an early age, removed with his parents to Texas, settling in San Augustine County, some 3 miles west of that city.


His father being a colonist, under the Mexican colonist laws, he was granted land in Houston County, known as the J.J. Hail Survey.  Domiciled in San Augustine, his father joined the Texas Volunteers in their struggle for independence and being a cripple, was attached to the Baggage Detail in Harrisburg, Texas and not assigned to actual combat duty in San Jacinto.


After the Battle, young Wilson, in a wagon traveled to Harrisburg to bring his father home. Our subject joined the Methodist Church South at an early age and was always regular at worship services.  As soon as he became of age, his application for membership in the Masonic Lodge was accepted.  His energies were soon recognized, leading to his election as Worshipful Master of Redland Lodge, San Augustine.


Mr. Hail married Miss Mary E. Smith of San Augustine County. To this union were born four sons: Benjamin Ewing Hail; Taylor J. Hail; Edly Ewing Hail; and James Wilson Hail.


In the mid 1850's Hail moved to Houston County, building his home on land given him by his father out of the Hail

Survey.  In 1859 he was elected Sheriff of Houston County.  After the outbreak of the War Between the States, even though he sided with Governor Houston on succession, Hail joined for duty and enrolled in Crockett, February 22, 1862, as Private in Captain John T. Smith's Company -Burnets 13th Regiment Texas Mounted Calvary.  In September, 1862, he was commissioned Captain, serving with Capt. A.T. Monroe, Quartermaster C.S.A. Camp Holmes, Arkansas. In November 1862, however, he resigned from the service returning home, largely as a result of the loss of a younger brother, Jesse M. Hail, killed in action, Battle of Sharpsburg (Antetum). His oldest son was now of age for service and his wife was in need of him at home.

After the war he and his father, Jonas, ran a stage coach line from San Augustine to Crockett. 

Mr. Hail at one time operated a hotel in Crockett, situated on the corner of what is now known as Goliad Ave. and South 5th Street.  He had a very strong voice and if something was needed from his home, which was only a short distance back of the hotel, he would call out in a loud voice, his needs.

Wilson and Mary had four children.  They were Benjamine Ewing, Taylor I., Edleye, and James.

Benjamin Ewing Hail married Nancy Jane Burton in Crockett in 1867.  There were five children born to them; Mary Constance, William Wilson, a daughter who married Fritz Edward Ripley, James Pinkney who married Mable Durst, Evelyn Taylor who married Rodger Wheeles, and later Ralph Littlefield, and Nancy Benjamine who married George Lee Moore and later Mack M. Shipp.

About 1883, Mr. Hail conveyed to the Board of Freedmen, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 20 acres of land on which was located Mary Allen College for black girls.  Our subject was also active in local and state politics, taking part in the needs and efforts, during and after the reconstruction period.

W.E. Hail was called Wilse Hail for short and spelled many ways by persons not familiar with the name (eg. Wils, Wiltz, Wiltze), also referred to as "Pap" Hail.

Mr. Hail died in 1903, is buried in New Glenwood Cemetery, Crockett, Texas, next to his wife in the B.E. Hail plot.

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