Biography of William A. Hall

Honored and respected by all, there is no man in northern Idaho who occupies a more enviable position in professional circles than William A. Hall, who for many years has devoted his energies to the practice of law and to the spread of the gospel among his fellow men. Born in England, February 15, 1847, he was five years of age when brought to America by his parents, William and Lucy (Atkinson) Hall, who crossed the Atlantic with their six children and became residents of Walworth county, Wisconsin. There the father engaged in farming up to the time of his death, which occurred in the fortieth year of his age. His widow afterward married William Ambler, and by that union had four children. Mr. Ambler enlisted in the Union army in 1862, as a member of the Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Infantry, and after a year’s active service was taken ill and died, at Helena, Arkansas, in 1863.

The mother reared her family of children, and died at Traverse City, Michigan, in the seventy-seventh year of her age. Four of the children of her first marriage and four of the last survive her.

William A. Hall is indebted to the public-school system of the Badger state for the educational privileges accorded him. He was reared upon the home farm, and when his stepfather entered the army, the management and care of the place devolved upon him. In 1866 he crossed the plains and located in Helena, Montana, where he engaged in teaching. While there he was also licensed as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, after which he devoted much of his time to preaching the gospel, meeting with excellent success in his labors to build up the churches of his denomination in the then territory of Montana. In 1879 the presiding elder of the Walla Walla district of the Columbia River conference sent for him to come to Grangeville and take charge of the Columbia River Conference Academy. Mr. Hall entered upon that work with zeal, and ably conducted the school for eight years, preaching at times, as occasion required.

In the meantime he had given some attention to the study of law, which he later pursued under the direction of Judge Norman Buck, and in 1887 he was admitted to the bar. He then opened his law office in Grangeville, where he has since remained, and has enjoyed a good practice. He is a man of strong mentality, keen discernment and possessed of an analytical mind, elements that insure success in the legal profession. Thus as preacher and lawyer he has been prominently connected with the interests of the town and has come into close touch with its people, many of whom have acquired their education under his instructions, while for others he has performed marriage ceremonies, and, as necessity has demanded, has preached funeral sermons, or delivered public addresses. In connection with his other labors he serves as notary public, makes conveyances and does all kinds of work in connection with his real estate business. Believing in a prosperous future for Grangeville, he purchased two hundred acres of land adjacent to the town and has since made three additions to Grangeville, known as Hall’s addition, Moxey’s addition and the Prairie View addition.

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Many of his lots have been sold and improved and now form one of the best sections of the town. Mr. Hall has also erected a number of good buildings, which have largely advanced material interests here. He has likewise acquired mining property at Florence, Buffalo Hump, Salmon River and the Clearwater country.

In public office he has rendered effective and faithful service to his fellow citizens and at all times has been a competent officer. He has been justice of the peace, has been probate judge and ex-officio county superintendent of schools for Idaho County, and while in Montana held similar offices. He is now referee of bankruptcy for Idaho County, and was for several years commissioner of the circuit court of the district of Idaho. In politics he has always been a stalwart Republican, unswerving in support of the party principles.

On the 18th of July 1876, Mr. Hall was united in marriage to Miss Susan M. Haynes, a native of Maine. Having no children of their own they have adopted a. daughter, Winifred G. Hall. All three are members of the Methodist church, in which Mr. Hall is serving as trustee and steward. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World and is an earnest advocate of the cause of temperance. He is a man of even temperament, calm and self-poised, of refined character, one in whom nature and culture have vied in making an honored and interesting gentleman.



Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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