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Oliver W. Hall

Died, at his residence in Carlinville,
on Thursday, Dec. 27th, at 12:45 p.m.,
Oliver W. Hall, aged 82 years, 3
months, and 8 days.
Funeral services were held from St.
Mary's Catholic church on Saturday,
Dec. 29th, at 10a.m.
Oliver W. Hall was born in
Rutherford county, North Carolina,
Sept. 19, 1812, and came to Illinois in
1819 with his father, James Hall, and
family, settling near Plainview, in
what was then Madison county; his
grandfather, William Hall, an old
Revolutionary soldier, having
preceded them a few years. He was
among the first citizens of Carlinville,
and has lived in and about the city
until his death. He joined the
expedition against Black Hawk in the
'30's, from which he was a pensioner,
and on his return was united in
marriage to Miss Deborah Redman,
of Virginia.
As a business man Mr. Hall has
been well known in this community.
Some of the older citizens remember
when he and his brother-in-law, Dr.
Logan, began one of the first
manufactories in the county, by
engaging in "riving" shingles. He
was at one time an extensive land
owner in this county, but for years
kept a grocery store on the west side
of the square, in the building which
will soon be torn down. He had held
many positions of trust in the city
and township, and at the time of his
death was holding the office of police
Mr. Hall was known to be a
charitable man, and while not
believing in church work, he did
believe in Samaritanism, and lost a
great part of his possessions in
attending to the needs of others.
During the cholera epidemic his
tireless aid and open purse became
proverbial. In all business matters he
was a man of great integrity and
Mr. Hall had at one time been a
member of Mt. Nebo Lodge, A.F.
&A.M., in this city, but after the
tragic death of the wife of his youth,
which our citizens well remember, he
lost interest in most things and
dropped out of the order. In religion
Mr. Hall was something of a free
thinker, not believing in churches
and caring but little for the future, but
three or four days before his death he
was admitted to membership in St.
Mary's Catholic church, and died in
that faith.
During the later years of his life he
had been greatly troubled with
rheumatism, which, for the last year,
has made it difficult for him to get
about, and confined him to his bed
for the last month. About ten days
before his death he fell into a
comatose condition, from which he
never rallied, but sank quietly and
peacefully into the long sleep. His
one remaining and aged brother,
Matthew, was with him to the last,
the rest of his father's family having
gone before. (Mrs. Narcissa Davis
moved to California and was lost
sight of.)
The large family that he raised are,
for the most part, scattered, one son
being in California. Of those away
from the city, Mrs. Stella S. Berry, of
Carrollton, was the only one able to
be present at the funeral, at which
quite a large concourse had gathered
to pay a last tribute to the old settler,
and shed a tear over the ashes of a
departed friend. May he have an
early rising on the resurrection
morning. A FRIEND.

Carlinville Democrat - January 3,
1895- front page.

Also noted on this page:

Mrs. S.D. Keller arrived from St.
Louis Saturday night, to attend the
funeral of her father, O.W. Hall, being
unfortunately uninformed of his
death in time to reach here sooner.
She returned Wednesday morning.



One of the Oldest Citizens of Macoupin
County Taken From Among Us.

Died, at his home in this city, on Thursday, December 27, 1894, Oliver W.
Hall, aged 82 years, 3 months and 8 days.
The above notice announces the removal from earth of one among the
very oldest, if not indeed the oldest, settler in Macoupin county.
Mr. Hall was born in the state of North Carolina on the 19th day of
September, 1812. When he was about ten years old his father, James Hall,
removed with his family to Illinois, stopping for a time with relatives and
friends in Madison county. In the spring of 1823 he removed to the
territory now embraced within Macoupin county and settled near where
Macoupin Station now stands, but soon afterwards removed to this city.
This was six years before the organization of the county of Macoupin, thus
making O. W. Hall, the subject of this sketch, a continuous resident of this
county for a little over seventy-one years. We very much doubt whether
any other person now living in the county can claim as long a residence as
this, except Matthew H. Hall, a brother of the deceased, and who is now
living at the age of 76 years. It is impossible for one to fully realize the
great changes that have taken place in this county during the seventy-one
years residence of O. W. Hall.
Upon his arrival here the Indians of the Sac and Fox, Potawatamie and
Osage tribes were plentiful and were seen almost daily. The timber and
prairies then abounded in wild game such as bear, elk, deer, prairie chicken,
wild turkey and quail. While the beasts of prey abounded on all sides, the
still watches of the night were made hideous by the dismal howl of the wolf
and the plaintive cry of the panther. The writer has frequently heard Mr.
Hall tell of killing and assisting in killing bear at different points in the
In his seventy-one years residence here he had seen the population of
the county increase from less than 2,000 in 1823 to over 40,000 in 1890. He
saw the increase of wealth in the county as indicated by the taxes paid. In
1830 the total amount of tax collected for all purposes amounted to $177
and some cents, while in 1893 they amounted to something over $350,000.
He saw the vast wilderness of prairie transformed into rich and productive
farms and every valley and hill top dotted with churches and school
houses. The railroads, telegraph, telephone and hundreds of other
improvements have come to this favored county during the life and
residence here of this one man.
Mr. Hall was a soldier in the Black Hawk war, and was an active
participant in the campaign which overthrew that celebrated Indian chief,
Black Hawk.
He held many offices of trust during his life, among which was that of
deputy sheriff, constable, and was at the time of his death serving as police
magistrate of this city. He also at one time engaged in merchandising for
several years in the building now owned by B. M. Burke on the west side of
the public square, and which is known to many persons yet as "Oliver
Hall's corner." In politics Mr. Hall was a Jeffersonian Democrat, but while
always firm in his political opinions, yet he was always courteous and
affable to his opponents. He was a man of a social, cheerful disposition,
and enjoyed the companionship of friends as much as any man with whom
we were ever acquainted. He was liberal and charitable, no one in distress
ever appealed to him in vain. He was twice married. His last wife, one
brother and a large family of children are left to mourn his loss. His funeral
took place on Saturday, Dec. 29, from St. Mary's Catholic church at ten
o'clock a.m., and was attended by a large concourse of sorrowing relatives
and friends.

Macoupin Enquirer - January 2, 1895 - front page.

More on Oliver Wiley Hall:

Fragments of County History (concluded)
By Mrs. John C. Berry

In March 1833 my father, Oliver Wiley Hall, was married to Debora Redman of Virginia. The
ceremony was performed by Abraham Walker in Carlinville. A few log houses composed the town
at that date as it was only a village. I do not remember where my parents began housekeeping but
their early married life was primitive and my mother endured many hardships. She was a brave
woman and could handle a gun like a soldier. The Indians prowled about and she often felt the need
of a weapon with which to defend herself.

In those days the settlers went to Alton for provisions, driving ox teams and it often took several
days to make the trip, that being the nearest trading point.

The stage coach began to make regular trips between Alton and Springfield and the driver's horn
could be heard re-echoing through the woods as he drove up over the one wagon road. Many
interesting incidents could be told of the old Concord, which took its name from the place where it
was made, Concord, New Hampshire. Those primitive vehicles were the only means of travel for
those who did not ride in the ox cart.

I have heard of the time when Rush Guy was killed by the overturning of the stage coach north of
Carlinville. He was the driver, the night was dark and so the accident happened.

My father was one of the original manufacturers of this region, being employed in furnishing
shingles for the builders about 1840. General John Logan, his brother-in-law, was his partner in the
business, and the shingles were "rived" with an implement called a "frow." Such a thing would not be
easily recognized in these days, and it is a matter of great regret to us that the prices of those almost
indestructible shingles were not kept on record. We were ignorant of the fact that our parents were
making history, but this was before my time and I have no recollection of ever seeing a "frow." I only
repeat what was told to me.

In 1850 my father was engaged in hauling lime, by teams, from Alton and mother was always
anxious lest it should rain, as a tarpaulin to cover the wagon could not be had. He was a devoted
admirer of Stephen A. Douglas and so was his friend, Uncle Joe Hodges. Well I remember that
placid, jolly friend of father's when he would laughingly refer to Douglas as the "Little Giant," with the
hard sound on the G.

During the epidemic of cholera in 1851 my father proved himself a real hero. He was not afraid
of the disease and in company with Dr. J. W. Hankins and other brave men, he went everywhere to
care for the sick and to bury the dead. I have heard my mother tell of that awful time when death
stalked through the country, taking old and young without warning.

None of our family took the disease but many of our relatives in Madison County were taken way
in the prime of life. The "Cholera Year" will never be forgotten by those who lived here at that time.
My father worked day and night to aid the sick and it was through his tireless efforts that many
recovered. Many others took part with him in this work, whose names I forget. I think Dr. Wood
died of the disease at that season, also the father of your prominent citizen, W. E. P. Anderson.

Many will remember Dr. Cherry, an old physician of Carlinville when I was quite a little girl. I
certainly have occasion to remember his treatment, for he was called in once when several of our
family were ill, I think it was some simple affliction, however, and we children sat around the room in
great dread of what we were to swallow. It was lobelia, taken in broken doses and Dr. Cherry, who
was a very kind and determined old man, gave each of us the emetic in turn, then waited the result.
It was simply awful and I cannot think of it now without a shudder. However we recovered and
have long since forgiven the doctor if we cannot forget him.

Of our family only my sister, Dr. Corr, and myself are remaining here. In early life we both
entered the ranks of school teachers, fresh from the efficient, finished course of Professor Sawyer's
"Central Seminary" which stood on the site now occupied by the South Schools. We have here still
a host of friends among our classmates and pupils who are citizens of the county. After my sister's
marriage with Dr. A. C. Corr, also of a pioneer family, she studied medicine with him and was the
first lady graduate in medicine from Macoupin county. Since his death as all know, she has bravely
carried on the noble work alone.

Among the citizens of Carlinville whom I knew as a girl, I recall the names of:

James Queen and Mar Pocklington, Chapman and Gwin,
Dr. J. W. Hankins and Editor Flynn,
Paddy Cannon, John Dohoney, Smock and McWain,
Uncle Don Cameron and Jacob L. Plain;

Sam Pitman, George Hamilton, W. M. Snow,
Mr. Howel, the bachelor called "Uncle Joe,"
Farrell and Woodward, McClure and George Hughes,
Mr. Mayo, Ed Miner, a dealer in shoes;

Steidley and Valentine, Boring and Moore,
Braley Brothers; Milo Graham who kept a drug store;
The Weers who were millers; Vanderen, Ed Gray,
Gus Walker, our friend who is with us today;

General Rinaker, Anderson, Chapman and Burke,
Chapino and Gillman, Simon and Turk;
And there was "Hall's Corner," west side of the square,
His groceries competed with those of Sinclair.
Mr. Freeman, whose history here is well known,
As scholar and soldier in years that are gone;
Billy Maddox, DuBois, Drs. Logan and Head
Were among the old friends who long since are dead.

Drs. Halderman, Holliday, Webster and Corr,
Were noted physicians who now are no more;
Mark Crowder and Luther were teachers all know
Who taught our ideas to shoot long ago.

Joseph Phillips, that quiet and worthy old man,
James Lynch, Paddy Cannon and Johnny Moran,
Henry Daley, Hugh Colton, O'Neil and Chris Keys,
The Duggers and Stewart and Mr. Battise;

Dr. Matthews, the Berrys and Bettersworth too,
William Wright, Mr. Mounts, Judge Loomis and Crew;
But their number is legion, as every one knows,
So, with list incomplete, I respectfully close.

Mrs. John C. Berry 1907

This was printed in the Macoupin County Enquirer on November 19, 1936