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Biography and Genealogy
(1855 – 1935)
Madison and Shelby County, Alabama
The Rev. James Hugh Blair Hall was born Sept. 22, 1855, at Hall’s ferry, on the Tennessee river, seven miles east of Madisonville, Monroe county, in East Tennessee, and is the son of Sylvester Young and Alazannah (Blair) Hall, the grandson of James Wiley and Ruth Margaret (Parks)Hall, and of Rev. James and Jane Gamble (Blair) Blair, and great-grandson of James and Margaret (Wiley Hall, and of William and Sallie(Simmons) Blair, and great-great-grandson of John Blair and Thomas Rogers, the two last named fighting side by side at King’s Mountain.
The Halls came from Ireland, and the Blairs were of Scotch origin. His boyhood was spent on a farm. In the fall of 1869 he entered Hiwassee College, of the M. E. church, South, two and one-half miles east of Madisonville, the Rev. J. B. Greiner, of Virginia, being the president and Prof. Benj. C. Graham, of Alabama, his first assistant.
Here Mr. Hall remained until the spring of 1872, doing all his preparatory work, the Rev. Frank M. Grace, now of the North Alabama Conference College, Birmingham, having succeeded Prof. Greiner. While here, he made a profession of religion and joined the church.
In the fall of 1872, he entered the Loudon high school, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, located at Loudon, Loudon county, East Tennessee. Here he studied until the spring of 1876, doing his collegiate work. During this period he joined the Hiwassee—now the Knoxville Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church as a candidate for the ministry.
In Sept., 1876, he entered Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn., from which he received the A. B. degree, June, 1878. Coming to Alabama, Aug. 28, 1878, he began teaching in the Helena Collegiate Institute, Helena, Ala.
With the exception of some five years, he has spent all the intervening time in the school room, having had in his care about two thousand pupils and students. Helena and Highland high school, Highland, Shelby county; Springville, St. Clair county; Pleasant Hill academy, Dallas county; and the Zelosophian academy, Jefferson county, Alabama, are the points at which most of this work has been done.
He spent one year as the president of Loudon high school, already named. Two of the out of the school room years were spent as pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, Winchester, Tenn., one as such at Gadsden, Ala., and the other two as Synodical evangelist of the Alabama Synod of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He was a Democrat; and a Prohibitionist. Mr. Hall was an earnest student and has written much. He was the recognized historian of his church in Alabama.
On July 23, 1882, he married Miss Emma C. Gardner, daughter of the Rev. W. C. Gardner and wife Cora Carleton, of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, at Montevallo, the Rev. W. H. Meredith, D. D., officiating. Rev. Hall lived in Chelsea, Alabama in 1920s.
Their known children:
- Hugh Talmage Hall, m. Myrtice A. Bristow, of Calera, lived in Birmingham;
- Mignon Myra Hall
- Ruskin Hall. Resided in Brent, Alabama
- Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society: New ser, Volume 4 By Alabama Historical Society 1904
- History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie (Bankhead) Owen. Published by the S. J. Clarke publishing company, 1921, pages 727-72
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