Monday, August 10, 2015


St. Louis [MO] Republican - July 22, 1862


A few days ago mention was made in the Republican of the killing of Miss Emily Hall, a  young lady of Union, Franklin county, by her brother, Legrand Hall, who shot her with a musket.  The following facts, which we learned yesterday from a gentleman acquainted with the circumstances show that the murder was one of the most cruel and cold blooded of any that has ever taken place.  It appears that the murder has for years been regarded as a desperate character. A few years ago he was convicted of the murder of Andrew Bullock, and sentenced to the penitentiary.  Shortly after he was pardoned out by Gov. Stewart, at the request of a Circuit Judge.  His father recently made his will, and gave $500 more to his two other children than to Legrand.  The latter took offense at this, and determined to have revenge.  He endeavored to make an arrangement with an old negro to kill the whole family on the 4th of July, but the negro declined.  Mr. Hall, the father, was on his death bed on the night of the murder, and his children, including Legrand, were present.

Late in the evening Legrand went out of the death chamber and soon after called his sister Emily to join him.  The sister had no sooner stepped outside the room than she was shot dead by her brother, who then fled.  The citizens of the vicinity soon after turned out and succeeded in capturing him, and he was lodged in jail.  The day was fixed for the preliminary examination, and he appeared in Court provided with law books and papers to defend himself.  The examination had progressed but a short time, when he was seized by the infuriated citizens.  A rope was tied about his neck, and he was swung up on the limb of a tree, and thus speedily and summarily executed.


Things you might need to know if this is YOUR relative:

The father's name was ABNER HALL.  He died shortly after Emily was shot.
The murderer's name was William LeGrand Hall. He was an attorney
Miss Emily's name was Caroline Emily.

William was Abner's oldest child.  John Hall (my great-great-grandfather), was Abner's 2nd child.
After William killed Emily, he set out for John's house (John was NOT at his father's bedside) intent on killing him next, probably because his father had appointed John executor of his considerable estate.  Obviously I would not be here if William had succeeded in killing John.

There is a slightly different version of this story in the well-known book on Franklin County by Herman Kiel.  That story ends this way:  "Hall's body was left to hang about three hours, when it was cut down and buried in the old graveyard about one-third of a mile northeast of Union.  There is no doubt in the minds of many of the best citizens that the victim of this lynching was insane."

It is possible that there was insanity in the family.  In an earlier blog I wrote of Byron Hall who killed two policemen - and he was the son of Abner's youngest son James A. Hall.

I have set no requirement for those whom I choose to be my Immortal Nobodies.  Some are my family and some are not.  Some are "good" and some are not.  I am ok with adding poor William to the list.

The picture by Shar (above) is one of an unidentified stone in the Old Union Poor Cemetery.  I do not believe William got a stone.  I do not know where any of the Halls who lived and died in Union, Missouri were buried.  There's much I know, and a whole lot I don't know, which is just the way genealogy is.

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