Tuesday, April 7, 2015


A biography and an obituary tell part of his story.  The "sad" part is at the end, and because he had such a sweet face and surely didn't deserve what fate set out for him, I have always thought of him as "Sweet Baby James."  His dad, Abner Hall, was my 2nd great grandpa.

History of Johnson County, Missouri; Ewing Cockrell 1918
Historical Publishing Co, Topeka, Kansas

J. E. Hall, of Warrensburg township, was born in 1853 in Franklin county, Missouri.  He is the son of Abner and Mildred (Bourn) Hall, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter a native of Virginia.  Abner Hall was born in 1797 and in the early thirties came to Missouri settling in Franklin county.  Mildred (Bourn) Hall came to Franklin county from Virginia, when she was fourteen years of age.  Abner Hall and Mildred Bourn were married in Franklin county and their all their children were born and reared:  Benton, who died in early youth; Caroline, who died in 1863; Nannie, the wife of William H. Wegman of St. Louis, Missouri; R. M. Johnson, who is now deceased; Honore, who died in childhood; and J.E., the subject of this review.  The father died in Franklin county in 1863.

J. E. Hall attended the public schools established after the Civil War, in Washington, Franklin county.  With his mother, he came to Johnson county in 1867 and March 10, 1868, they settled on the farm which is now the home of Mr. Hall.  The home place originally comprised one hundred twenty acres of land, but Mr. Hall at present owns ninety-five acres and is engaged in general farming and truck gardening.  He raises garden vegetables, melons, and strawberries.  Thirty acres of his farm are in pasture.  When Mr. Hall came to Johnson county with his mother in 1868, practically the only roads were cowpaths.  In driving from their home to Warrensburg, they came through a dense wood or forded Pertle Springs.  Farms were not generally fenced in those days and wild game, turkey, deer and prairie chickens could be found in abundance.  The mother died in 1904 and burial was made in the cemetery near Warrensburg, known as the Dunkard cemetery.

In 1875 J. E. Hall and Mary Alice Ayres were united in marriage.  Mrs. J. E. Hall is the daughter of Samuel and Jane Ayers….

At the World’s Fair at St. Louis in 1904, strawberries raised by Mr. Hall on his farm in Warrensburg township received prizes in ten leading varieties.  The berries were sent to Mr. Goodman, secretary of the State Board of Horticulture, who displayed them.  Fifteen of the Maximas variety of berry filled a quart box.

J. E. Hall is an exceptionally fine horticulturist, possessing some very excellent ideas, which he is successfully putting in operation on his farm.


Warrensburg Star Journal 4-21-1939

A short graveside service was conducted for J. E. Hall, 87, Saturday afternoon at the Brethren cemetery, according to his own request, with the Rev. James Mohler of Leeton in charge.  Pallbearers were Fred Greim, John Greim. V. C. Roop, J. W. Ronemouz, Walter Myer and Adam Fickas.

Those attending the funeral from out of town were Mrs. J. E. Hall, Jr., Eugene and Adah Marie Hall and Miss Louise Marshall of Independence, Charles Ayers and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Ayers of Kansas City.

James Edward (Uncle Jimmy) Hall, 87, was born on a farm south of Washington, Missouri July 23, 1852 and died Friday.  He was the youngest of six children of Abner and Mildred Hall.  He with his mother, a brother and sister came to Johnson County in 1867 and March 10, 1868 settled on farm three miles south of Warrensburg, where he lived until he sold the farm four years ago.  Most of his life he was engaged in raising vegetables, melons and strawberries.

He was united in marriage to Mary Alice Ayers, daughter of Samuel and Jane Ayers in November 1875.  To this union four sons were born.  Two sons, Byron and James, Jr., preceded him in death.  Mrs. Hall died June 14, 1936.

He became a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church soon after his marriage.

Mr. Hall is survived by two sons, Warren Hall of Seattle, Wash., and Lee W. Hall of Warrensburg, also by 20 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and several nieces in St. Louis.

SO, what is the sad part?  His oldest brother, William LeGrand Hall, stabbed a man to death, was imprisoned and then released after a few years, and then killed his sister in an attempt to get rid of all other heirs to his father's fortune.  For this, he was hung.

And then, one of his own sons, Byron, shot and killed two policemen in a paranoid delusion that people were following him, and in turn was himself shot and killed by another policeman.

Such a cross for this man to bear.  

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