Wilson Ewing Hail,
eldest son of Jonas Judd and Amanda Ewing Hail, was
born in 1826, Rutherford County, Tennessee. At an
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.
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
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
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
Mr. Hail died in
1903, is buried in New Glenwood Cemetery, Crockett,
Texas, next to his wife in the B.E. Hail plot.