Biography of James Harlin Hale

JAMES HARLIN HALE. In all ages of the world industry, perseverance and energy, where intelligently applied, have achieved results which could only have been gained by having one end in view, and by improving every opportunity of ultimately attaining that object. Mr. Hale is an example of what can be accomplished when the spirit of determination is exercised, in connection with the every-day affairs of life. His farming and stockraising operations have resulted most satisfactorily, and he is one of the substantial men of his section. Like so many of the representative men of Christian County, Mr. Hale is a Tennessean, born in Washington County, October 10, 1832.

His parents, Mark and Polly (Mulkey) Hale, were natives of that county also, the former born in 1809 and the latter in 1811. They were reared and married in that county, and, when our subject was a boy, they removed to Barren County, Kentucky, where Mrs. Hale died two years later. Mr. Hale returned to Tennessee, and was married in McMinn County, that State, to Miss Long. Soon after, he removed to Barren County, Kentucky, where he made his home until 1850, at which date he removed to McMinn County, Tennessee, and thence to Bradley County the following year. In 1852 he came to what is now Christian County, Missouri, but later settled in Stone County, where he remained until 1858, when he returned to Barren County, Kentucky His death occurred about 1870. He was a blacksmith, and followed that trade all his life. He was married three times. His second wife became the mother of two children: John and Henry. She died in Missouri, and her sons returned to Barren County. His last marriage took place in Kentucky, but the name of his wife is not known to the writer. Mr. Hale had four brothers and one sister, as follows: Archibald, Jackson, Chinneth, Henry and Frances, none of whom came to this part of the country. Their father, Thomas Hale, was probably a native of Virginia, but an early settler of East Tennessee, where his death occurred. Our subject’s maternal grandfather, Isaac Mulkey, was born in Washington County, Tennessee, and there followed farming. He was also a Baptist preacher. Of the five children born to his parents, our subject is third in order of birth: Elbert, a blacksmith, died in Kentucky; Nelson was killed during the war; Isaac, deceased, was a soldier in the Federal Army, and Elizabeth, died when eight years of age.

During his youth our subject assisted on the farm and in the shop, and received only about six months’ schooling in his life. He came with his father to Missouri, and was married in this State in 1855 to Mrs. Nancy Margaret (Messenger) Estes, a native of Morgan County, Tennessee, and daughter of John C. and Elizabeth (James) Estes, natives of North Carolina. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Estes removed to Roane County, Tennessee, and there remained until about 1852, when they came to Stone County, Missouri. There he died in 1882, aged eighty-six, his wife having died the year previous, when eighty-five years of age. Both were members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and well-respected citizens. Eight children have been born to our subject and wife, as follows: Martha Jane, died single; Julia Alice is the wife of Silas Gold, of Polk Township; Almira Elizabeth, wife of Martin Meacham, of this county; Amanda Melvina, wife of Gideon McBride, of Stone County; Nancy Margaret, wife of Boone Wright, of Stone County; Minnie Clementine; James Slaughter and John Grant. Mrs. Hale was first married to Birdick Messenger, by whom she had one daughter, Esther, wife of Benton Mitchell.

Mr. Hale lived in Stone County until 1865, and since on his present farm of 160 acres, five miles southeast of Billings. He followed blacksmithing until 1860, but since has given his entire attention to the farm. He was in the State Militia for some time, but in 1864 he joined Company K, Forty-sixth Missouri Infantry, and was made corporal, operating in southwestern Missouri until the close of the war, being mustered out at Springfield May 22, 1865. Early in the war he was shot in the wrist, and captured by some Confederate soldiers near home. He was kept a prisoner about nine days, and was released at Wilson Creek. He is a member of the Baptist Church, and of Billings Post, G. A. R.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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