Chapter 17, Page 175
.they came to manhood and womanhood
Martha Frances Hall (England) (Swearinguin), 1837 -1902
note: Since the Grandfathers is not strictly a genealogy the readers are reminded that the information is limited. Each family division affords ample room for further research. Certain accumulated genealogical information on the family has been placed in the Illinois State Historical Library, (Springfield) for those wishing to pursue further study.
In its issue of Friday, August 25, 1919 the Athens Free Press carried the following story:
At the homecoming at Cantrall last Sunday five sisters met in happy reunion. They were Mrs. Eliza Cline, Athens; Mrs. Margaret Metz (Mitts), Edinburg; Mrs. Emma Showalter, Edinburg; Mrs. Anna Neer, Springfield; Mrs. Ella Cullom, Peoria.
These ladies are daughters of the late James and Katherine Hall. To this union thirteen children were born, twelve of whom are living.
Beside the mentioned there are: Mrs. Amanda Alexander, Springfield; James Hall, Athens; Henry Hall, Grant City, Missouri, Thos. Hall, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Chas. Hall of Colorado; Mrs. Rosa Tober (Cover) of Chicago and Abner Hall of Tacoma, Wash.
The oldest daughter has passed 80 summers.
This is an unusual family record and is interesting because of the fact that they all have reached advanced age.'
This account written nearly fifty years after the deaths of their parents speaks well for the general longevity of this family. In 1919 only one had passed away, Martha Frances, born 1837 had died in 1902.
Beginning with the following year, 1920, death began its inroads into the group, which continued until 1954, by which time all had passed away. It is doubtful that the entire family had ever been together as a group since the 1870s.
Named in the news-story were three Civil War widows and two Civil War veterans. All told, they furnished fifty-six grandchildren for James and Catherine Hall.
Note: The reader of The Grandfathers is advised to review the section on The Grandfather of the Civil War before beginning this section.
Not only did James and Catherine Hall have a large family (13 children) but their at early ages, James 55 and Catherine 52, caused complications in the lives of the family members; both of the older group and the five minor children.
In the post-Civil War period a new frontier across the Mississippi River opened up. This proved a magnet for the male members of the family and all but one spent their adult lives outside Illinois.
widowed during the Civil War
1837 - 1902
First born in the family, Martha Frances Hall was the first to die.
From Power's, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois, (1876) we learn:
'William B. England married Martha Hall. They had three children. Laura married Jeremiah Case, and resides in Menard county. Hettie and William live with their mother. William B. England enlisted in 1862 for three years, in Co. K, 115th Ill. Inf. He was killed Sept. 20 1863, at the battle of Chickamauga, Tenn. His widow married Thomas Swearingen, who served three years as a captain in the Union army. They reside at Athens, Menard county, Ill."
Martha's marriage to William B. England, 1835 - 1863, (1854) united the Hall family with the Stephen England family, a large and prominent group. Stephen England was a pioneer Christian Church preacher in the Sangamon-Menard county area. A monument to his memory stands in the Brittin Cemetery at Cantrall, Illinois. Early histories of the area give some interesting accounts of his life. William B. England was a grandson of the pioneer minister.
The death of her soldier-husband, left Martha with three children: Laura, b. 1855; Hettie Ann, 1860 - 1933; and William Henry, 1863 - 1952. (Two children, Charles and Mary died as infants.)
As indicated in the Power article, Laura married Jeremiah Casey (pronounced K-Z) and their home was at Athens, Illinois. Hetty Ann married Cal Jensen, 1850 - 1936 and they lived on a small farm in the Hall neighborhood southwest of Athens. Their family identified with the city of Athens, including some of that community's business leaders. William H., married Clara Sprouse, 1871 - 1922, they had six children associated with Springfield and Athens. (Further information on these families is available from the Historical Library files.)
One descendant of this group served in WWI and two in WWII.
Following her first husband's death, Martha re-married. Her second husband, Thomas A. Swearinguin, 1834 - 1908, gave the Hall family its highest ranking officer in the Civil War. After the War, Capt. Swearinguin became a very prominent man in the Athens community. He was a leader in veteran's affairs and successful in business. He re-married after Martha's death. Swearinguin had been married previously before he married England's widow. He may have had one child by his first marriage. There was no issue from the second and third marriages.
Note: More complete information on the war service records of England and Swearinguin will be found in the section: The Halls in the Civil War.
the childless couple
1838 - 1926
The second oldest child of James and Catherine Hall was born November 23, 1838 and died October 1, 1926 at age 88. She was married to Carlisle Mitts, 1830 - 1894, on June 4, 1863. Mitts was a member of a well-known family living in Fancy Creek Township, Sangamon county Illinois. There is no record of military service for him, although other members of his family served in the Union forces. As of 1981, Mitts family members still live in the area where the family had pioneered.
'Aunt Mag' as she was known in the family, gave birth to three children, none of whom survived infancy.
According to a 1904 History of Sangamon County, Carlisle Mitts was a 'farmer and stock raiser and was killed in a runaway accident.' At the time of his death he was considered a well-to-do-man, owning 98 acres of land for which he paid $65.00 an acre!
In 1872, after the deaths of his wife's parents, James W. and Catherine (Claypool) Hall, Carlisle Mitts became the official guardian of the two youngest minor children, Emma and Elvira (Ella) Hall. The two girls being sisters of his wife.
This act of kindness paid dividends. In her declining years, Sarah Margarett made her home with his sister, Emma.
Carlisle +++ and Sarah Margarette (Hall) Mitts are interred in the Britten Cemetery (Fancy Creek Township) near Cantrall, Illinois. On the plot is the grave of an infant son buried there March 3, 1964.
the 'pet' of the town
1840 - 1934
During the last decade of her long life of nearly 94 years, 'Aunt Eliza' was the matriarch of the Hall - Overstreet family ---its nominal head. She spent her entire life in the community of Athens and the immediate vicinity. The family farm being just a short distance from the village.
During her final years, her home was the focal point of the visiting family members, coming from far and near, to attend the family reunions. She was always a 'star' at these annual family gatherings. Fortunately, she had her daughters and grand daughters living in the community to look after her.
Her goings and comings, the visits of her kin were all duly reported in the various issues of the Athens Free Press. At her death she was described as 'as the oldest resident of the community dating from the origins of the settlement.' Although not strictly correct, the statement did correctly label her as a last survivor of the original pioneer families. The state of her health was for years a subject of weekly comment in the newspaper.
Born August 20, 1840, Eliza was the third oldest child of James Wesley and Catherine (Claypool) Hall. He death occurred April 28, 1934. Her exact age: 93 years, eight months and eight days.
She was married November 20, 1856 to James Cline, 1838 - 1897. In 1862 he entered the Union service, leaving Eliza with one small child at home. This child was eventually to marry a Civil War veteran herself. See: Halls in the Civil War.
During the war James Cline was to be a prisoner at Andersonville, but survived. After the war he returned to farming in Menard county and subsequently three more children were born into the family. Cline, for the times was a successful man and well regarded in the community. His Civil War pension and the income from the farm, eased Eliza's final years. She was a widow thirty seven years.
In 1872 James Cline became the guardian of three minor children left by the deaths of Eliza's parents. They were: Abner Banks; Rosa Belle, and Catherine Anna Hall. The brothers-in-law James Cline and Carlisle Mitts executing bonds to satisfy the court.
Family of James and Eliza (Hall) Cline +++++
he had the largest family
1844 - 1935
The oldest son and fourth child born to James Wesley and Catherine (Claypool) Hall was named William Henry. He was one of their two sons that served in the Civil War and his service is recounted in the section: The Halls in the Civil War.
A brick mason in his early years, he ended his life as a Missouri farmer. He was married September 13, 1866 to Mary Caroline Larkins, 1845 - 1940.
As for his own life, he was born October 4, 1844 and died August 31, 1935. In less than two months he would have reached his 91st birth date.
According to his own account, 'He resided at Athens, Illinois until the Fall of 1873, then lived near Glenelder, Kansas until the Spring of 1895; and then in Worth county, Missouri.' He was living at Grant City, Missouri at the time of his death.
Stricken with the 'going West fever,' he went with a group of fellow Athenians, among whom were a number of relatives, in the early 1870s. Finding Kansas agriculture difficult, he came back to Missouri where farming was more like it had been in Illinois.
From the Petersburg Democrat of June 27, 1874 in the Athens news we learn that "Mr. Hall, of Kansas, has returned to Athens to spend the summer. Mr. Hall is a No. 1 brickmason and those of our citizens wishing anything done in his line, will do well to contact him.'
In addition to picking up some cash, William Henry was likely checking into the progress of his parents' estates, which was then in the process of settlement. The money would come in handy for the Kansas venture.
Henry and Mary Caroline (she was called 'Aunt Kate' in the family) were parents of twelve children, nine boys and three girls. The boys came back with their parents to live in Missouri. The girls married in Kansas, continuing to live there. One or more of the boys served in World War I.
Here is a list of the children with their birth dates:
It is likely that unknown to the members of this family that living not too far from them in Missouri were other descendants of the Hall family tree. Just below them on the western side of the state were the descendants of an Elisha Hall who had migrated from Virginia, to Kentucky and to Missouri just prior to the Civil War. The original member of this group was a son of William Hall, d. 1757, and a brother of Hezekiah Hall, d. 1811, from the which Hall - Overstreet was descended. They supported the CSA during the War between the States. See: Our Southern Cousins.
There was also another historical throw back with the William Henry Hall group.
In the early history of the Hall family (those of the Pennsylvania - colonial Virginia era) there was a strong suggestion of Quaker associations among the members of the family. In the family under discussion, there was an interesting religious throwback.
Annie Mabel Hall (in the family listed above) married during the Kansas days of the family into the Pickett family. The Picketts were Quakers and Mabel's family were of that sect. The Picketts were successful farmers and gave their children excellent educations - they attended Quaker schools in Kansas, including those of collegiate level.
Just prior to World War II, the Picket family moved to the Los Angeles area of southern California as a retirement location for the parents and to provide better employment opportunities for their children. For example, in those early days of radio, one son was an engineer for a broadcasting station.
the first divorce in the family!......
1846 - 1938
The fifth child of James and Catherine Hall was another boy. They named him Charles Wesley Hall. He was born February 15, 1846 and died October 23, 1938. He was 92 years, eight months, and eight days old at death.
On his eighteenth birthday in 1864 he enlisted as a Cavalryman in the Civil War. With him, his brother William Henry Hall re-enlisted for Civil War service. On his death, he was given a military burial. See: Halls in the Civil War.
His first marriage was to Ellen E. Hodges (d. 1894) on January 12, 1870. This marriage ended in a divorce in 1887. This was the first divorce in the history of the Hall-Overstreet family.
On October 10, 1888 he married Mary Jane Adamson who died in 1915.
Charles W. Hall fathered eight children: three boys and five girls. Six of the children were from his first marriage, two from the second.
Here is a list of his children and their birthdates:
In his early years he possibly worked as a farm laborer. He resided in Illinois until 1873, when he joined the 'Athens Pilgrimage' to Kansas. He lived in Mitchell, Kansas seven years: Carthage, Missouri, six months; Worth county, Missouri, eighteen years and in Oklahoma seven years. In 1909 he moved to Colorado where he spent the remainder of his life. The family lived on the western slope, became involved in fruit raising. He was buried at Palisades, Colorado.
This branch became Westerners and had only minimal contact with the Illinois kinsmen. Descendants may be found in the area.
..second family member to die
1848 - 1920
The second death to occur in the Civil War group of Halls was that of Amanda, sixth child. Her death occurred eighteen years after that of her sister Martha Frances in 1902. Amanda a widow since 1904 was strong of body and of mind, but a freak street car accident hastened her death. In the same accident was her sister, Catherine Anna, who passed away the following year. The accident occurred at Springfield, Illinois the home of both the women. Amanda was nearly seventy-three years of age at the time of her death.
Born January 25, 1848, Amanda was married to Samuel C. Alexander, 1837 - 1904, who was a Civil War lieutenant. *The marriage was October 12, 1871. From this marriage six children were born, five of whom reached adulthood.
Samuel Alexander was a farmer and farmed in Sangamon and Ford counties, Illinois. After his death, with most of her children living in Springfield, Amanda maintained her home there. She maintained close ties with ther family members living in the Athens-Springfield area. 'Aunt Mandy's' hearty laugh enlivened many a family gathering.
The marriage of her daughter, Inez to Edward Batterton gave the family linkage with another pioneer Menard county family. Of more interest is the fact that Batterton was a professional soldier, entering the service as a private in the U.S. Calvary prior to the Spanish-American War. His service was in Alaska and the Phillipines. He retired as a Major after serving two years in France during World War I. Amanda's home contained many memos of his travels.
Another strong central Illinois connection was made by the marriage of James M. Alexander to Cora M. Cantrall, 1879-1974. She was the daughter of Jacob M. Cantrall, 1840 - 1923. The Cantrall family were pioneers in the area and the village of Cantrall, near Athens, which honors the family name.
a Congressman enters the family
1853 - 1926
Thomas Roe Hall, fourth son of James Wesley and Catherine (Claypool) Hall. He was nineteen years of age following the deaths of both his parents. Apparently, he was not considered a minor and was not given a guardian by the court. By that date he had likely struck out on his own. He was too young for service in the Civil War.
Eventually he settled in Oklahoma, which became a state in 1907. Earlier he may have been in Kansas with his older brothers. He is identified with both Guthrie and Oklahoma City. In Guthrie he had a cousin Addison Casey, and the two men were in contact with each other. At the time of his death he lived in Oklahoma City. He was a railroad employee.
He was married to Effie Ford, 1860 - 1940. Thomas and Effie had three daughters (from the death record) ***Mrs. A.B. Brotherton, Oklahoma City; Mrs. H.E. Stubbs, Santa Maria, California; and Mrs. E.R. Tinsley, Shamrock, Texas. This family kept closer contact with their Athens, Illinois relatives than did other branches of the family. Mrs. Tinsley is assumed to have been his daughter, Jessie who during the 1920s visited Illinois as did her father.
Mrs. Tinsley's husband was a cotton gin operator in Arkansas and Texas.
It is by the marriage of his daughter, Ruby to Henry Elbert Stubbs that the Hall - Overstreet family gained a distinguished relative. ****
Stubbs as a Christian church minister, was elected as a Democrat to the 73rd;; 74th; and 75th; Congresses. He died March 4, 1933 during his third term. He was part of the New Deal sweep of the early Franklin D. Roosevlet years. A memoriam was published concerning him by the Congress.
A Texan, Henry Elbert Stubbs was born in 1881, he attended Phillips University at Enid, Oklahoma and became an ordained minister in 1911. After holding pastorates at Frederick and Kingfisher, Oklahoma, he migrated to California in 1921. His pastorates in California were at Tulare and Santa Maria. It was from the last city that he began his political career.
If Thomas R. Hall had any descendants, they would not be named Hall, as he had no sons. However, his middle name 'Roe' did survive. It was given by his sister Rosa Belle Hall (Cover) to her son - Roe Hall Cover.
..he never came back
1855 - 1924
The Athens Free Press in its issue of February 6, 1924 under the heading: Abner Hall Dies carried an account of the death of Abner Banks Hall at Tacoma, Washington on January 22, 1924.
According to this story, he died of apoplexy at age 69.
The newspaper account further told of his connection with an old Athens family and something about the home in which he lived. The information revealed that he had lived 48 years in Tacoma and after leaving the Athens community at an early age never returned.
The name Abner Banks had been borne by his grandfather, the ancestor who platted the town of Athens and by his uncle, who had operated a Taven in the town. It was borne by family members for several generations.
Abner Banks Hall was one of the five minor children left by his parents' deaths and by court action in 1872 he became the ward of his brother-in-law, James Cline. Since he was about seventeen years of age at the time, are indications are that he headed west in 1876, he could not have been under the supervision of his guardian for any great length of time. There is a record of him working in Springfield prior to leaving Illinois.
With his older brothers living in Kansas, he possibly headed there at first - later going on to the State of Washington. Not too well educated and without a trade, it is understood that he made his livelihood in the mining and lumber camps.
His wife was named Bertha and they had five children. The author remembers meeting two of his sons as adults. One was a business man and the other operated his own marchine shop. Both lived in Seattle.
Because of the isolation of this family, very little is known about them. However, there are likely descendants living in the State of Washington.
'Abner B. Hall, 69, died at his home, 2513 South Cedar Street, Tuesday. Surviving are his widow Bertha, four sons, Julian of Seattle, Arthur, Harry and George of Tacoma; and one daughter Mrs. Myrtle Desplain of Tacoma. Mr. Hall had been a resident of Tacoma for 35 years, coming here from Springfield, Ill. He was a member of the W.O.W.
'The funeral will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the family home. The body will be cremated. George W. Piper will have charge. ---Tacoma News Tribune, Jan. 23, 1924.
another daughter touched by the Civil War
1858 - 19
In 1882 Rosa Belle Hall married Francis H. Cover, 1844 - 1916. ***** Cover was a Civil War veteran born in Maryland but living at Williamsville in Sangamon county, Illinois at the time of his enlistment. See: Halls in the Civil War.
Like many others he was a farmer, but later he worked at the Illinois State Reformatory at Pontiac, Illinois where his family was raised. The couple had two children: Roe Hall Cover, b. 1884; and Ila N. Cover, b. 1886.
Rosa Belle was one of the minor children and was placed under the guardian ship of her brother-in-law James Cline the husband of Rosa's sister Eliza Jane.
She was married a second time to a man named, Seesmuller. There was no issue from this marriage.
If she had obtained a pension from her first marriage, it was likely forfeited by her second. Because of the Privacy of Information Act passed in 1974, the National Archives refused to release the pension information. It could be that they were separated or divorced prior to Cover's 1916 death. At any rate it is suspected that there is some irregularity in the record.
Both her children made their homes in Chicago where her son Roe was a Post Office employee. After her marriage to Seesmuller, who operated a garage, her sisters Emma and Ella made their homes with her or near her in the same neighborhood. Emma eventually made her home in California but Ella remained with her until eventually death took them both.
Francis H. Cover is buried in City Cemetery, Pontiac, Illinois as is a brother, also a Civil War veteran.
death from an accident
1859 - 1921
The freak street car accident which brought about the death of her sister, Amanda, hastened the death of Aunt Anna Neer. She died the next after the accident. ^
Born January 23, 1859, Catherine Anna died on September 8, 1921. She was not quite sixty-three years of age.
In a history of Sangamon County, Illinois published in 1912, she gave her birth date, some items about her father and mother and other family members. Her remarks are quoted elsewhere in The Grandfathers. Her marriage to Samuel L. Neer resulted in the birth of a daughter, Catherine, b. 1886. The daughter was never called by her given name but always as 'Kitty.' Thus, the name Catherine survived through thee generations, grandmother, mother and daughter.
Samuel L. Neer, 1853 - 1911, was a blacksmith and operated his business at several different locations during their years at Springfield. He had been married prior to his marriage to Catherine Anna and there was a step-son, B.L. Neer.
Catherine Anna was one of the five minor children left by the deaths of her parents. In 1872 her brother-in-law James Cline became her guardian, along with her brother Abner and sister Rosa. The Petersburg Democrat, March 30, 1875 reports a court action in which Cline was discharged at his request of this responsibility. Since Anna was 16 that year, she may have been planning marriage.
Following Anna's death, her daughter Kitty left Springfield to live in Californis. There she married Dick Brady, a railroad man, and there was no issue from this marriage. Both Kitty and Dick died there.
In later years, Kitty's aunt, Emma Hall Showalter lived with them in their California home. Although much older, she out-lived her niece and on her death, he body was brought back to Springfield for the services and burial was made at Edinburg, Illinois.
of a gentle disposition
1861 - 1954
It is impossible to describe what kind, gentle and good people Uncle Jasper and Aunt Emma were because such persons seem unreal!
Emma was nine years of age at the death of her father and eleven at the time of her mother's passing. From 1872 until she was eighteen (or married?), she was the ward of her uncle Carlisle Mitts. The Mitts' home was in Fancy Creek Township not far from Emma's home community of Athens.
The date of her marriage is not known but Jasper N. Showalter, 1856 - 1927, is thought to have been a member of a family at Athens of that name. In their final years together the couple made their home at Edinburg, Illinois in Christian county, where they were active church members and enjoyed an excellent reputation among the townsfolk. At Edinburg, Uncle Jasper did what he had done all his life, he clerked in one of the general stores there. The general store was for the farm trade and has almost vanished from the American scene.
Earlier he had been in charge of a general store at Cascade, Illinois. + He was probably part owner of this business. Cascade was on the Sangamon River near the Sangamon-Christian county lines. At one time there had been a mill there and the general store survived for many years after the demise of the mill. With the coming of paved roads and the automobile, the store at Cascade went out of business. From Cascade the move was to Edinburg.
In later years, when her sister Sarah Margarett Mitts - Mag - widowed and alone - needed a home, Jasper and Emma opened their home to her; thus, re-paying the kindness Emma had been shown in the 1870s.
Following Jasper's death, Emma for a number of years was housekeeper for a prominent Edinburg business man. For a time she shared a home with her sisters in Chicago. Then 'Kitty' daughter of Emma's sister, Anna, opened their California home to her. After Kitty's death, Emma made a home for Dick Brady, and when Emma died in 1954, it was Dick that brought her body back to Illinois to be lain aside that of her beloved Jasper.
There were no children.
The death of Emma in 1954 was the 1st for the children of James and Catherine Hall. The first birth in the family was in 1837 - to Emma's death, it was a century and a quarter of family history.
she didn't like her name
1863 - 19
The youngest child of James Wesley and Catherine (Claypool) Hall was originally named 'Elvira' and so appears on the court records. However, she called herself Ella and that name was adopted by her family.
With her sister, Emma, she was placed under the guardianship of Carlisle and Sarah Margarett (Hall) Mitts, her sister and brother-in-law. Their home was in Fancy Creek Township, Sangamon county, Illinois, just south of the Athens community. Mitts was a well-known, successful farmer.
She was married to Jesse W. Cullom, 1844 - c. 1916/18. Cullom for many years was employed at the Illinois State Reformatory at Pontiac, Illinois. This Livingston county city was their home and where their family was raised.
The census of 1900 lists the family as;
All Ella's sons may have been in WWI. Charles H. Cullom died of Influenza while in the service in December, 1918. He is buried on the family plot in the City Cemetery, Pontiac, Illinois. His mother received government compensation for his death.
For several years, as a widow, Ella made a home for her son, Elbert, at Peoria, Illinois. Elbert was in sales work and in later years lived in New Orleans. ^^
Jesse W. Cullom was the son of Thomas B. and Martha Cullom of Tazewell county, Illinois. This group of Culloms lived near the McLean county line and are thought to have been of the same family as Shelby H. Cullom, Former Governor of Illinois and later a United States Senator. In his day, a very powerful political figure. At the state and local level, Richard N. Cullom, of the same area was an Illinois General Assembly member. The fact that Jesse W. Cullom's position at the State Reformatory may have been a political appointment substantiates this line of thinking.
Although of an age for service in the Civil War, no record has been found for Jesse W. Cullom.
The writer has no additional genealogical information on the descendants of 'Aunt Ella' Cullom.
+ See section: He was an Illinois Farmer