FRANCIS M. HALL, a skillful farmer and breeder of Short-horn cattle, is located on section 24, Danvers Township,
where for many years he has carried on the different departments of his calling with success. Mr. Hall was born
in Todd County, Ky., March 25, 1833, and is the son of Young and Rachel F. (Hay) Hall, also natives of the Blue
Grass State. They came to Illinois and located in McLean County in the spring of 1835, since which time they have
been residents here. Their family included nine children, as follows: Henry P.; Francis M.; John R., who lives
in Iowa; Young, who died in Kansas ten years ago; Isaac is a resident of McLean County; George, now in Iowa; James,
in Chicago; and Susan and Mary both died at the age of three years. The mother of our subject died in this county
in October, 1883, Mr. Hall is still living at the venerable age of eighty years.
Francis M. Hall remained under the parental roof until he had reached years of maturity, and was then united in marriage with Miss Jane E. Barnard, on the 19th of August, 1855, the ceremony being performed by Elder G. W. Manear, of the Christian Church. Mrs. Hall was born in McLean County, June 22, 1838. Her parents, James 0. and Lydia (Swallow) Barnard, were natives of North Carolina and Ohio respectively. James O. Barnard removed from his native State to Illinois in March, 1828, and located in Dry Grove Township upon a small tract of land, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1873. The mother died in 1847. Their children were Nancy A., now Mrs. John A. Artis, and the wife of our subject. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Hall are: James F., who married Miss Furman, and is residing in Dry Grove; Lydia R., now Mrs. Bennett Snavely, residing near Kearney, Neb,; Willie died in infancy; Young M. married Miss Mary Lamb, and is living near Kearney, Neb.; George E. died when one year old; Jessie died in infancy; Ellen died at the age of two and one-half years; Eva J., the youngest of the family, was born Sept. 21, 1877, and is residing at home.
Mr. Hall came to Dry Grove Township with his parents in August, 1835, and remained there until the fall of 1858, when he settled at his present home in Danvers Township, which is only about a mile and a half from his first. In 1874 he began the breeding of Shorn-horn cattle, and in 1885 went to Kentucky and purchased twenty-two head of choice families, including the Oxford, Barrington and others obtained from Col. Sims, of Paris, Ky. Besides two males he has twenty cows from different families, and among his transactions since that time one public sale of eighteen calves six months old yielded him an average of $50 per head.
The farm of Mr. Hall embraces 570 acres of finely improved land. In the spring of 1882 he erected a handsome residence, 34x53 feet in area, with two stories and basement, containing twelve rooms. It is situated upon a rise of ground and commands a fine view of the surrounding country for many miles each way. His barns, outhouses and other accommodations for stock are all first class, and his business is conducted in that systematic manner which is the sure forerunner of success.
Mr. Hall has been quite a traveler, visiting the principal cities of the United States. He was at the Centennial in 1876, has traveled from Washington City to San Francisco, and visited the World's Fair at New Orleans in 1885. Our subject is the only representative of the Knights Templar in this township. He is an active and earnest member of the Masonic fraternity, with which he became identified in 1874, first in Allin Lodge No. 685; he is a Royal Arch Mason of Chapter No. 26, at Bloomington, Ill., and also belongs to DeMolay Commandery No. 24, K. T. Accompanied by his wife he attended the Triennial Conclave at Chicago in 1880. Three years later they went to California, and in 1886 to St. Louis to attend the twenty-third conclave. Mr. Hall has been Master in the Blue Lodge in Danvers for one year. He was a charter member in Danvers Lodge No. 742, and has given much time as well as means in assisting to maintain the principles of the order, of which he is a great admirer.
In politics Mr. Hall is a Douglas Democrat. He has been connected with the Christian Church for the last thirty-five years, Mrs. H. also being a member of the same. Our subject is in all respects a worthy representative of the enterprise, industry and intelligence of this county, and presents a fine example of the valued citizen and worthy member of society. In the galaxy of portraits of the leading men of the county given in this volume may very properly be found that of Mr. Hall.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 703. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.