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Biography of Philo Hall

This biography appears on pages 1485-1486 in
"History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. 11 (1904)

The legal affairs of the great state of South Dakota at the present time are placed in able hands, and as attorney general of the state the subject of this sketch is giving an administration which is creditable to the commonwealth and to himself professionally and officially.

Mr. Hall is a native of the state of Minnesota, having been horn in Wilton, Waseca county on the 31st of December, 1865, a son of Philo and Mary E. (Greene) Hall. Philo, Hall, Sr., was born in Caledonia Springs, Canada, being the son of Philo and Susana Hall, both of whom were born in the state of Vermont. When about fifteen years of age the father of the subject left his native town in Canada and went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, his father having died when Philo was a mere child.

He attended school in Kenosha and Racine, Wisconsin continuing his studies until he was about nineteen years of age and he then removed to Waseca county, Minnesota, where he turned his attention to teaching school, gaining distinctive prestige in this profession.

In April, 1861, in response to the President's first call for volunteers. he enlisted as a member of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, with which he served three years, making the record of a valiant and faithful soldier of the republic.

He then returned to his home in Minnesota and engaged in the hotel business in Wilton, having married Miss Mary E. Greene, daughter of William and Mary Greene, of New York city. The father of the subject died on the 30th of April, 1883, and he is survived by his wife and their four children, the mother being now a resident of Brookings, South Dakota, which is likewise the home of her son, the attorney general, who is the eldest of the four children, the others being as follows: Mary E., who is the wife of Arthur Alton, of Brookings; George P., who is likewise a resident of this place; and Nellie, who remains with her mother.

After the death of his father in 1883, the family removed to Brookings, and here the subject of this review took up the study of law in the office of Judge J. 0. Andrews, under whose direction he prosecuted his technical reading until 1886, and was admitted to the bar of the territory of Dakota in 1887. Shortly afterward Mr. Hall entered into partnership with his former preceptor. Judge Andrews, this association continuing until 1889, when Judge Andrews was elected to the circuit bench, and since that time.

Mr. Hall has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession in Brookings, and is now the senior member of the present firm of Hall, Lawrence & Roddle. Mr. Hall has ever been a staunch advocate of the principles of the Republican party and has been a valued and able worker in the cause of the same. In 1894 he was elected state's attorney of Brookings county, and was chosen as his own successor in 1896 while in 1895 he was elected mayor of the city of Brookings, serving one term and giving a most able administration of municipal affairs. He has also served as city attorney and in 1901 he represented his district in the state senate.

In the autumn election of 1902 he was elected to his present distinguished office of attorney general of the state, assuming the duties of the position in January, 1903, and was unanimously re-nominated to that office at the Republican state convention at Sioux Falls, May 4, 1904. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient order of United Workmen.

On the 27th of April, 1890, Mr. Hall married Mrs. Mary A. Cooke, and of this union have been born three children, namely: Vivian, who was born on the 25th of September, 1891; Philo, Jr., who was born on the 8th of August, 1895, and Morrell, who was born on the 26th of March, 1898.

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