Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Family Trivia

Today's FAMILY TRIVIA is not a question.  We are going to share with you our Sunday Excursion to find the original homestead of William HALL and the burial site of his father Equillar HALL.  We found the homestead but not the burial site of Equillar.

I wish my scanner was working or I had my new one, then I could provide you a picture of William and Nancy (Thompson) HALL.   I will add it later. Today we are going to share a history of William and Nancy's coming to Nebraska, what we have found and what we are searching for.

According to the RICHARDSON COUNTY history book:  "WILLIAM HALL, farmer and stockraiser, Section 14, Porter Precinct, Stella P.O. was born and reared in Morgan County, Ill., and was connected there with farming till 1864, when he came here and located, and has very successfully proscented his present industry here since.  In 1846 he married Miss N.J. Thompson of his native county.  They have six sons--Thomas E., Downy E., Henry H., Burton W., Samuel R., and Willis Guy.  Mr Hall has worked actively in the development of the social life of his locality."

Following locations on a very old plat map, and after going to the wrong location initially, we finally found the property first owned by William HALL.  From the 'story' below you will see that the home we have photographed above was obviously buildt later than the first winter home I'm fairly certain that this home WAS buildt by William HALL and even more certain the 'summer kitchen' was buildt by them due to the foundation type.  In the above picture you see the modest home and the 'summer kithen' along with a 'hitching post' still there.  The trees are typical of trees planted in front of houses that would be buildt in the late 1800's in Nebraska.

This is the photo of the barn, and a couple of corn cribs that are also located on the farm.  I will be going to Falls City, NE sometime in the future to try to confirm the cira of the house and buildings in the near future. HOWEVER there is also an additional homestead directly north of this house with a house on it as pictured below.   It is very likely this is part of the 60 acres north of William's 20 acre homesite that his father Equiller purchased in 1869 OR it could be that the larger house is actually William's original home.  We will find out more when we go to the courthouse in Falls City in the next couple of weeks.

When you first arrive at the corner you see these trees and the creek above and have to go north on the county road to actually find the house.  This part and the house were the 20 acre piece in the section across from the 100 acre parcel that William HALL purchased from Benedict AcAtee for a sum of $600 with the deed filed on October 6, 1864.  Obviously William had agreed to the purchase prior to his coming to Nebraska as per the story below.

This photo shows the land (100 acres) also originally purchased by William HALL in the transaction above.

The story below is from stories told by Angeline (Dalbey) Avery who was one of the girls in the original wagon train by this group:

"September 11, 1864 a train of four wagons started from Morgan County, Illinois for Nebraska.  Two wagons belonged to Will and Nancy Hall and their three small children.  With them came Mrs. Hall's brother, Alex Thompson and a young man, John Hudspeth.  James and Mary Martin and baby daughter, Annie came with one wagon.  The fourth wagon belonged to Abner and Esther Dalbey, their three grown daughters, Matilda, Angeline, and Theresa and two sons, Charlie and Harry. 

They crossed the Mississippi River on the ferry boat about 25 miles south of the Iowa line, then angled northwest into Iowa, crossed the state through the southern tier of counties to Clarinda, then turned southwest across the corner of Missouri to Brownville, Nebraska.  It was just before the close of the Civil War and this was in the land of boarder warfare.  Once they heard the sound of fife and drum and thought it might be "bushwackers", but they were not molested.  They drove through Walden's Grove near Rock Port, Missouri. - 1300 acres of fine timber.  The men of the company went hunting and soon had 32 squirrels.  They were plentiful as the farmers (of the area) had been robbed of all guns and ammunition early in the war.....The wagon train was on the road 21 days.  It rained 7 times and bedding and clothing were wet and they had to stop and hang them up to dry.

October 2, 1864 they reached the farm of Will HALL, SE corner of sec. 6, Portor T., Richardson Co.  They all stayed here about a week while Mr. Dalbey and James Martin looked for farms to buy, made harder by the continued rains--still living in tents and covered wagons as they had on the road.........

The Indians often camped on the Muddy (Creek) near Will Hall's.  The three men of the household who had so recently come from Illinois visited the (Indian) camp one evening that fall of 1864.  The Indians were having a dog feast.  The dog stew was in a big kettle over the campfire.  When it was done each Indian helped himself from the kettle but the visitors did not partake."

The spring of 1866 saw 2 new school houses....a frame building in Richardson Co. NW part of Sec 8, Porter T.  Largely thru the efforts of Will Hall a subscription school was held 1/2 mile south of his home in this new frame building.  Angeline Dalbey was the teacher.  There were 15 pupils.  One was Downy Hall.  Church service were also held in this school which was a 'subscription' school.  The picture below is where the school house stood.

In 1867, Equillar HALL, at the age of 74, came to Nebraska.  He was the father of William HALL.  In 1867 Equillar bought 160 acres north of William's place from William, Sinia, and John Thompson and John Sims for $2,200.

By the time Equillar arrived in Nebraska William HALL was already a Justice of the Peace

William sold part of his Richardson County land in 1871 and the remainder in 1873 at a good profit.

There will be more on this family on Tuesdays through May.

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