BiographiesGenealogy Information

Biography: Joe Cunningham Hail born April 9, 1865 – photograph

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(1865 – aft. 1904)

Calhoun and Jefferson County, Alabama

Joe Cunningham Hail was an attorney at law in Birmingham, Alabama. He was born in Calhoun county, Alabama on April 9, 1865, the son of Richard J. C. Hail, D. D, and his wife, Martha Caroline (Cunningham) Hail, both natives of Alabama.

His father was a Cumberland Presbyterian minister. His degree of doctor of divinity was conferred upon him by the University of Alabama, He became an educator in Alabama for many years, and was a professor in the Female academy at Elyton, Jefferson county, Alabama, before the Civil war. The family was living in Montevallo, Alabama in the 1860 census. He taught for several years after the war in the high school at Jackson, Alabama, and later at Gadsden, Alabama. He was pastor of Cumberland Presbyterian church at Gadsden, and did a great deal of pioneer work.

He died on March 11, 1896 and is buried in Helena Cemetery, in Helena, Shelby County, Alabama. His wife died in Gadsden, Alabama, in February, 1881. They were parents of seven children, all of whom were living in 1904.

Their children were:

  1.  George W. Hail
  2. Alice Amanda Hail – married 1st Rufus H. Wright and 2nd Isaac A. McCarver
  3. Richard B. Hail
  4. Lucrecia “LuLa” C. Hail
  5. Joseph C. Hail
  6. Margaret F. “Fannie” Hail
  7. Mary W. Hail
  8. Willie Hail

Joe C Hail was the fifth child in order of age. He received his education in the high school of Gadsden, Alabama. He moved to Birmingham in 1883, and taught school for a few years in Jefferson and Etowah counties.

In 1886 Joe C. began the study of law in the office of Hewitt, Walker & Porter, and was admitted to the bar in November, 1887. He then clerked for two years in the office of E. L. Clarkson, attorney and register in chancery. In 1889 he established an office and began the practice of law. He did not take active part in politics, but made a close study of his profession and became a Judge.

In 1905, he was an original member of the Corporation of the Pittsburg, Land, Mining 7 Manufacturing Company of Birmingham, Alabama, where he was Vice-president.

He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was noble grand one term. He was also a member of Encampment and a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church where he was chairman of the board of deacons.

Judge Joseph Cunningham Hail married Sarah Cotton. He died June 1, 1933 in Birmingham, Alabama and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Jefferson County, Alabama. His wife preceded him in death. His last known address was 1913 South 16th Avenue in Birmingham, Alabama.


  1. 1860, 1870, 1880 U. S. Census
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 46289008 and 66687759
  3. “Alabama Deaths and Burials, 1881–1952.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010.
  4. Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 2 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose

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