William Hall and Mary Reed
By Mike Landwehr
Every account of the history of a family has to start somewhere. In our case we begin the story of our Hall family with our earliest clearly-identified Hall family ancestors, William and Mary (Reed) Hall. As in many families, one of the most valuable sources of information about early generations of our Hall family is an old family Bible. An old Hall family Bible provides information about William Hall and his family that could not be found anywhere else. The Hall family Bible once belonged to William Hall's youngest son, and I strongly suspect that it originally belonged to William and Mary (Reed) Hall. In that Bible, the names of William Hall's parents were carefully recorded many years ago as “Thomas and Sarah Hall”.
The family Bible indicates that William Hall was born on December 10, 1811. The same date of birth appears on William's gravestone. Our only sources of information about William’s birthplace are the 1850 Federal census and the mortality schedules of the 1860 Federal census. These records both indicate that William was born in Tennessee.
The Hall family Bible records that William Hall was married to Mary Reed, "daughter of John and Anner Reed". Mary Reed's date of birth is listed in the Bible as October 31, 1811, which also matches the date of birth inscribed on Mary's gravestone. From early census records, we know that Mary Reed, like her husband, was born in Tennessee.
According to the family Bible, William and Mary were married on October 27, 1831. While we have no other record to substantiate the date of their marriage, this date appears reasonable when we consider the ages of William and Mary, and the date of birth of their first child. William and Mary were both nineteen years old when they married.
The Hall family Bible provides some additional information about William Hall's family that is of great value in our effort to accurately and completly document the makeup of the William Hall family. The Bible lists the names and dates of birth of seven children born to William and Mary (Reed) Hall, along with the dates of death of five of those children. Were it not for this old family Bible, we would have absolutely no knowledge of two of their children, as they died young, and it is likely that the family Bible is the only place that their names were ever recorded.
Though William Hall and Mary Reed were both born in Tennessee, they were probably married, and started their family, in Jackson County, Alabama. Before they migrated to southern Missouri in 1843, we know that William and Mary (Reed) Hall lived in northwest Jackson County, Alabama, in an area known as the Paint Rock Valley. More specifically, William and Mary made their home on, or near, a small creek called Larkin’s Fork, which flows into the Paint Rock River. We have good reason to believe that William Hall lived on Larkin’s Fork for about ten years before he and Mary Reed were married in 1831. And there can be little doubt that Mary Reed lived with her parents on Larkins’s Fork for at least ten years before she married William Hall.
Their first child, a girl they named Sarah Ann, was born to William and Mary in September of 1832. Their first son, who they named James, was born in August of 1834. James died in September of 1835, three weeks after his first birthday. Their next child, Martha Elizabeth, was born to William and Mary in May of 1837, followed by the birth of Rebecca Emily in December of 1839.
The earliest written record specifically linking William and Mary (Reed) Hall to the Paint Rock Valley of Jackson County was recorded in December of 1839. Among the early records of private land sales which survived the Jackson County courthouse fires is a deed, signed on December 10, 1839, by which "William Hall and Mary his wife", of Jackson County, sold land to a W. P. Robertson. The land was described as the East half of the South East quarter "except beginning on the Section line at or near the a Sinking Spring, thence in Square direction across the valley so as to imbrace the tilable Land thence to the East corner of said Section of said Section of Section Twenty two in Township two of Range Four East" . . . "containing seventy acres". The 70‑acre tract, which William and Mary sold for $432, was located one mile south and one mile east of the current site of the village of Swaim. William signed the deed with his name, and Mary, apparently unable to write her name, made her mark.
The 70‑acre tract William and Mary Hall sold in 1839 was all but ten acres of an 80‑acre tract of public land purchased on August 29, 1831 by Mary Reed’s father, John Reed. This tract appears to be the third of five tracts of public lands that John Reed patented in that vicinity between August of 1830 and November of 1833. John Reed purchased this 80‑acre tract only two months before William Hall and Mary Reed were married. Perhaps John Reed purchased the tract as a gift for Mary and her new groom, William Hall. Or, perhaps, William and Mary Hall purchased the land from Mary's father after she and William were married. Another possibility seems more likely. We suspect that John Reed died in Jackson County in the fall of 1835. The land that William and Mary sold in 1839 may have represented Mary’s share of her father’s estate.
Our second opportunity to identify the residence of William and Mary (Reed) Hall dates back to 1840, when their family appeared in the Federal census records. Recorded nine years after their marriage, that census places William and Mary Hall and their three young daughters (Sarah, Martha, and Rebecca) in Jackson County, Alabama. More specifically, a comparison of the census records with early Jackson County land records indicates that William and Mary were living in the Paint Rock Valley, near the confluence of Larkin’s Fork with the Paint Rock River.
In November of 1840, William and Mary lost their youngest child. Rebecca Emily Hall died just two weeks prior to her first birthday. Then, in February of 1842, William and Mary again became parents with the birth of their fifth child, a boy they named John Martin. The next year, in 1843, John Martin Hall would have been just a toddler when William and Mary and their three surviving children left the Paint Rock Valley of Jackson County, and migrated to Ripley County, Missouri. While we don't have an account of the family's journey to Missouri, nor know their route, we can make a few general comments about the trip. A look at an atlas reveals that the area where William and Mary settled in Ripley County is 310 miles west‑northwest of the Paint Rock Valley "as the crow flies". In making the trek, the family probably passed through parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri.
We also have descriptions of the trip made by other residents of the Paint Rock Valley who migrated to Ripley County, Missouri. Josiah Stogsdill and his family, along with at least two related families, migrated from Jackson County to Ripley County, Missouri, in 1840. Exactly one hundred years later, in 1940, a granddaughter of Josiah Stogsdill documented the story of her grandparents’ migration to Missouri as follows:
“Josiah had three children when they came from Alabama. They came from Ala. about 1840 or 1841. . . . Josiah and family John Reed and family and John Brewer and family these two last family only had one or two little children each. They three familys mooved from Tuscaloosa (sic) County Alabama in-to Oregon Co. Mo. Josiah furnished the team the other two men furnished the hack. they drove their cows and brought a yearling and buchered it later to eat on their journey starting with fresh butchered meat. They brought two dogs and two guns and got squirrels Rabbits and quails and fish. There was scarcely any if any bridges them days. one of their dogs began to sink in crossing the so wide Mississippi River and its owner went back and carried the dog out. I think he went on horseback. and they let the dogs, horses, cattle, and themselves rest a little while after the crossing before they started on. on their journey”
The John D. Taylor family lived in the same part of Jackson County, Alabama, as the William Hall family, and would later live as neighbors of William Hall and his family in Missouri. The John D. Taylor family made exactly the same move, from Jackson County, Alabama to Ripley County, Missouri, only a year after William Hall's family. In a biography written in 1894 by a grandson of one of the Taylor children who made that trip as a ten‑year‑old boy, there is a brief description of the journey:
"When he was ten years old his father took him and other members of the family, and started on a long and perilous journey for southeast Missouri, carrying their effects on pack‑horses, and killing game, as they traveled, for the greater part of their food."
The Taylor family biography also provides an account of the land that both the John Taylor and William Hall families found waiting for them in Missouri:
“The country abounded with game, and great herds of deer were to be seen daily, feeding on the prairies, scampering here and there over the bald hills and across the green, shallow hollows, while large flocks of wild turkeys skulked about the groves, or winged their way from hill to hill when disturbed by the too near approach of man. Bears were also plentiful, and smaller game such as raccoons, otters, mink, etc., were to be found in great abundance. The streams were literally alive with fish. In a country like this it is but natural that a boy become a hunter, either great or small, according to his industry, energy, and close application to business."
We don’t know exactly where William Hall and his family first settled. Unless information to the contrary is located, we assume that they settled on, or very near, the land which William Hall would purchase as the Hall family farm 15 years later. That land was immediately north of the Missouri-Arkansas border, about one-half mile south, and one and one-half miles east, of the current site of Myrtle, Missouri.
If someone had asked William Hall, in 1843, where his new home was located, we can only speculate about his reply. He might have replied that he lived in Ripley County, Missouri. Or he might have replied that he lived in Oregon County, Missouri. Ripley County was created out of Wayne County ten years earlier, in 1833. Then, in 1841, the boundaries of Ripley County were more accurately defined. At the same time, the boundaries of a new county, to be called Oregon County, and to be created from a portion of Ripley County, were defined. But the new county was to be attached to Ripley County for all civil and military purposes. The area where William Hall settled was within the boundaries of the newly-created Oregon County.
Oregon County was officially organized as a separate county in February of 1845, more than a year after the arrival of William Hall and his family. The area where the William Hall family chose to live was sparsely settled. The original boundaries of Oregon County encompassed much more territory than the current Oregon County boundaries. Still, the population of the county in 1845 was only about 700. In 1840, only three years before the arrival of William Hall’s family, Federal census records indicate that the area which now includes Howell, Oregon, Ripley, and part of Shannon County was populated by 2,856 inhabitants.
Another possibility exists. William might have replied that his new home was in Randolph County, Arkansas! Randolph County was carved out of Lawrence County, in the Arkansas Territory, in 1835. In 1836, the Arkansas Territory was admitted to statehood as our 25th state. William Hall and his family settled along the state line separating Ripley County, Missouri, from Randolph County, Arkansas. In 1845, the year that Oregon County was officially organized as an independent county, and two years after William and his family settled in the area, the State of Missouri had this portion of the Missouri-Arkansas border surveyed, and the border was moved south by approximately 2000 feet. The land that was transferred from Arkansas to Missouri by this shift in the state border was known locally as Lap-land. While we don’t know precisely where William and his family first settled, we do know that 75% of the Oregon County land that William would later purchase, including the land where he would locate his family’s home, was situated in the area which would be referred to as Lap-land, and which was a part of Arkansas until 1845.
Asked to be more specific, William Hall might have replied that he lived on the Eleven Point River (located four miles east of William’s farm). Or he might have replied that he lived near Elm Store, Arkansas. The village of Elm Store was located three miles east and one mile south of the Oregon County farm that William Hall would later purchase. Elm Store was one of the older communities in Randolph County, Arkansas. The first white settlers reportedly arrived in the area in 1812. The Looney and Stubblefield families are credited as the founders of the village of Elm Store. While there is little left today other than a highway department sign and a few residences, Elm Store was a bustling little village at one time. The Elm Store Post Office was established on May 8, 1868, and continued to serve the residents of the area until it was discontinued on June 27, 1930. Elm Store would have provided the nearest center of commerce to the William Hall family.
The village of Myrtle, Missouri, would eventually replace Elm Store as the center of commerce for the Hall family. But William Hall would never speak of the village of Myrtle, as Myrtle would not be established until 40 years after the William Hall family first settled in the area.
William and Mary Hall were not the only couple to move from northwest Jackson County, Alabama, to Oregon County, Missouri. The Benjamin Couch family made the journey approximately 1839. The John R. Brewer family, the William Stogsdill family, the Welcome Bennett family and the John L. Reed family came about 1840. The Robert O. Tribble family moved from Jackson County, Alabama, to Ripley County, Missouri, in 1841. The John D. Taylor family made the move in 1844, the George Lafayette Campbell family about 1849, and the Willis M. Campbell family about 1853. The Henry Beason family and the Daniel McGehee family migrated during the 1840’s. The Thomas Simmons family made the same journey during the 1850’s. The Richard Calloway family and the Ralph Arnold family made the move between 1850 and 1870. The James L. and Nancy (Williams) Sisk family came from Jackson County, as did the George Washington Clark family, the John Clay family, and a number of other families.
After their arrival in Missouri, William and Mary Hall had two more children. William Henry Hall was born on December 29, 1845, and Joseph Thomas Hall was born on July 5, 1848.
By the time Joseph Thomas Hall was born in July of 1848, William Hall had a new mailing address. The Jobe Post Office was officially established with the appointment of its first Postmaster on March 6, 1848. For the next 40 years, the Jobe Post Office would serve a community of families who lived in the vicinity of the William Hall farm.
Like most rural 19th century post offices, the Jobe Post Office was probably located in a small country store, with the owner of the country store also serving as the Postmaster. In some instances, villages formed around these country stores and post offices. In the case of the Jobe Post Office, there is no evidence to suggest the formation of a village. Instead, I suspect that the post office simply moved around from country store to country store within a relatively small area.
In 1892, a second Jobe Post Office, and a small village by the same name, were established about five miles north of Myrtle, Missouri. But there was no connection between the early Jobe Post Office, near the William Hall farm, and the village of Jobe, later established north of Myrtle.
While we have no information that suggests that the original Jobe Post Office was ever associated with a village, residents of the area did consider themselves to be “from Jobe”. A number of early records associated with residents of the area mention “Jobe” as their place of birth, or place of residence. Throughout the remainder of this book, we will use Jobe as a place name to refer to the area around the William Hall farm during the period from 1848, when the Jobe Post Office was first established, until 1888, when the Jobe Post Office was discontinued.
We don’t know the precise location of the early Jobe Post Office. But we do know that the first Postmaster of the Jobe Post Office was appointed on March 6, 1848. Post Office records indicate that the first Postmaster was “Noah Handley”. I am confident that the name was misinterpreted by the U. S. Post Office at some point, and that the name should read “Noah Standley”. Noah had been in the area for several years prior to his appointment as the Jobe Postmaster. He was listed as a resident of Davidson Township, in Randolph County, Arkansas, in the 1840 census. He was about 36 years old, and a resident of Arkansas, when he was married (his second marriage) in Jobe Township of Ripley County, Missouri, in January of 1845. After serving as the Jobe Postmaster for two years, Noah relinquished the position to William O. Nettles, who assumed the responsibility on April 9, 1850. The change in Postmasters was probably associated with Noah Standley’s move away from the area, as he and his family were enumerated in the 1850 census as residents of Jasper County, Missouri, on October 24, 1850. In Jasper County, Noah would serve as the Postmaster of the Coon Creek Post Office.
When the first Federal census of Oregon County, Missouri was enumerated in September of 1850, the members of the William Hall family were listed as residents of the county. We can't be sure where they lived in 1850, as we have not located any land records suggesting that they owned any real estate. We assume that they, like most of their neighbors, were "squatters", living on public lands. But we do have a description of their farm.
In 1850, William described his farm as 20 acres of improved land, having a cash value of $300. He valued his farm implements and machinery at $40. His livestock consisted of two horses, four milk cows, two working oxen, seven other cattle, four sheep, and 50 swine. He placed a value of $190 on his livestock. During the prior year, William indicated that his farm produced 40 bushels of wheat, 400 bushels of Indian corn, 30 bushels of oats, 15 bushels of Irish potatoes, ten bushels of sweet potatoes, and 20 pounds of butter. William valued the goods produced by his farm in 1849 at $30, and the animals slaughtered at $30.
On March 3, 1851, Paulser W. Smelser replaced William O. Nettles as the Jobe Postmaster. Less than nine months later, on November 29, 1851, William Hall replaced Paulser W. Smelser as the Jobe Postmaster. It was a responsibility that William would fulfill for eight years.
William Hall’s appointment as the Jobe Postmaster does provide circumstantial evidence about the area where the Hall family lived in 1851. If, as we suspect, the Jobe Post Office did not move far with each appointment of each new postmaster, William Hall must have lived on, or near, the farm he would eventually purchase in 1858, as we know he continued to serve as the Jobe postmaster after purchasing his farm.
In September of 1856, the first of the five surviving children of William and Mary Hall left home when their second-oldest daughter, Martha Elizabeth Hall, was married to Joseph Stubblefield.
William Hall undoubtedly farmed all of his life. But his first purchase of land in Missouri did not occur until January 7, 1858. On that date, William filed papers to acquire 122.98 acres of land located one and one‑half miles east, and one‑half mile south, of the current site of Myrtle, Missouri. This first tract of land that William purchased abutted the Arkansas border (see Figure 1 on page 11).
William purchased his farm from the U. S. Government. Had he paid for the farm with cash, the fixed government price would have been $1.25 per acre. Instead, William acquired the land under the provisions of the Military Bounty Land Act of 1855. This Act was the last of a series which rewarded soldiers who served between 1790 and 1855 with land warrants which could be exchanged for land in certain designated sections of the country.
Nearly all of these bounty land warrants were sold by the military veterans on the open market for whatever they would bring, and were then used by the purchaser as payment, or partial payment, for tracts of land. The veteran thus converted this government benefit into cash, and the purchaser was able to buy public lands at a discount to the cash price. For example, when William Hall died in 1859, his estate included another bounty land warrant for 120 acres of land, and the appraisers of his estate placed a value of $96.00 on the warrant. If we assume that $96.00 was the current market value of such a warrant, the veteran could derive the $96.00 in cash by selling the warrant awarded to him for his service, and the buyer could use the warrant to obtain title to government land which would cost $150.00 if purchased for the normal cash price of $1.25 per acre.
On June 6, 1856, George J. Blissett of Jefferson County, Kentucky, was awarded Warrant #75,480 for 120 acres of land as reward for his service as a Private in the Kentucky Militia in the War of 1812. William Hall obtained ownership of George Blissett's warrant at some point, and used that warrant in 1858 to purchase his Oregon County farm.
On the same day he purchased his farm with George Blissett’s Bounty Land Warrant, William also filed a pre-emption claim on the land. The Preemption Act of 1841 and its later amendments allowed settlers to file a preemption on up to 160 acres of surveyed or unsurveyed land and to receive title after paying a minimum price per acre established by the Government. As long as the settler complied with the terms of the act, his claim "preempted" subsequent claims against the tract. One of the depositions contained within William Hall’s pre-emption claim, referring to William as the "claimant", was provided by Willis M. Campbell (referred to as the "witness"). Like William Hall, Willis M. Campbell had migrated to Oregon County from Jackson County, Alabama. Willis was a neighbor of William Hall, as he owned a farm immediately west of William. The disposition read, in part:
"...claimant commenced his settlement on the land in question on the 18th day of November 1857. On that day witness helped claimant to lay the foundation of his house which he has since completed. Said house...was made of round logs...it is about fourteen feet wide by twenty long, & has one chimney completed up to the mantle. The back & jambs are made of rocks and the rest of sticks & clay. It has one door & shutter made of plank, a plank floor and is covered with boards, the cracks are also lined with planks and boards. Said house is about nine feet high from the sills to the eaves. Witness does not know the precise day on which claimant moved into said house but states that he eat breakfast with claimant in said house on the 2nd day of January 1858, and that claimant and his family were then there, and have continued to reside therein & made it their home ever since. Witness saw in said house, bedsteads, bedding, tables and cooking utensils & claimant has about one acre of land cleared and newly fenced on said land."
Willis Campbell went on to say that William Hall had not previously owned land in Missouri, and described a problem that William had encountered with the survey of the land on which his improvements lay. Another witness, Thomas Taylor, also owned a farm immediately west of the William Hall farm. And, like William Hall and Willis M. Campbell, Thomas Taylor migrated to Oregon County from Jackson County, Alabama. Thomas confirmed the statements of Willis Campbell, and stated that he also helped William Hall raise the foundation of his house on November 18, 1857, and ate breakfast at the William Hall home on January 2, 1858.
The house that William Hall built was situated on high ground, facing south. Looking toward either the west or the north from the house, the land sloped down to bottom land drained by Bee Fork to the west, and Mill Creek to the north. But the predominant, and somewhat unique, feature of the William Hall farm was the public road which ran through the farm. The road from Thomasville, in northwest Oregon County, to Pocahontas, in Randolph County, ran from west to east through the William Hall farm. The house was located close to the road, and anyone traveling the road south from Oregon County to Pocahontas would pass the William Hall home, as the road ran between the house and the Arkansas border. After passing through the William Hall farm, the traveler would pass through the Joseph Brewer farm, then turn south into Arkansas, passing the Stubblefield burying ground before entering the village of Elm Store.
One can imagine that the location of the William Hall home in close proximity to this important thoroughfare had a significant impact on the lives of the family. It certainly would have made travel to the county seat in Thomasville, or to the nearby village of Elm Store, more convenient. If William had an interest in operating a general store, or any other type of commercial enterprise, the road would have provided many potential customers with easy access to his business. Living near the road undoubtedly provided the Hall family with a heightened awareness of what was happening in their neighborhood, and in both Oregon and Randolph Counties. From a security standpoint, the road may have offered both advantages and disadvantages. The increased visibility afforded by the road could have discouraged mischief in some instances. On the other hand, the road provided strangers with evil intent with easy access to both the inhabitants of the Hall home, and to their property. The fact that this important road passed through the William Hall farm would have tragic consequences for the family during the Civil War.
About six months after his purchase of his original 122.98 acres, William Hall made an additional land purchase. The additional land, consisting of 36.78 acres, was purchased from the U. S. Government, and abutted the first land he purchased on two sides. The location of this additional 36.78 acres is illustrated by Figure 1 on page 11. William purchased this tract at the Jackson, Missouri, land office on July 3, 1858. The price of the land was $1.25 per acre, and William paid $45.98 in gold for the 36.78 acres.
On July 29, 1858, William Hall purchased an additional 51.83 acres of land. This land was located in Randolph County, Arkansas, and was purchased at the U. S. Land Office in Batesville, Arkansas. The land abutted the Missouri-Arkansas border, and the William Hall farm in Missouri (see Figure 1 on page 11).
It is apparent that William Hall was both well-known and well‑respected by the residents of southeast Oregon County. He served as the Jobe Postmaster for more than eight years. As a postmaster, it is likely that he also operated a country store. He served as a Justice of the Peace of Oregon County, performing at least a dozen marriages between August of 1853 and October of 1859. His name appears, as a Justice of the Peace, on Oregon County deed records dating back to 1856. And a document found among William Hall's estate papers indicates that he was the President of the Board of School District No. 14 in 1858.
Other indications of William Hall's standing in his community can be found in the Oregon County Probate Records. In March of 1859, William Hall was appointed co‑executor of the estate of Samuel Job, Administrator of the estate of John L. Jones, and Administrator of the estate of Samuel Jones. When the Oregon County Circuit Court met at the Court House in Thomasville on September 12, 1859, the Sheriff submitted a panel of 18 grand jurors. William Hall was appointed by the Circuit Court to serve as the foreman of that Grand Jury. The Grand Jury met, and two days later returned 15 Bills of Indictment: six for
Gaming, two for Gambling Devices, one for Shooting Along Public Highway, one for Laboring on Sunday, three for Felonious Assault, one for Peddling Without License, and one for Public Indecency.
Two years earlier, in 1857, the Oregon County representative to the Missouri General Assembly had introduced a bill to divide Oregon County, and form a new county. The bill was approved in March of 1857, and the new county, formed from the western part of Oregon County, was named Howell County. Then, on March 12, 1859, the northern border of Oregon County, separating Oregon and Shannon Counties, was moved south, thereby transferring the northern quarter of remaining Oregon County land to Shannon County.
The county seat of Oregon County had been located at Thomasville ever since Oregon County had originally been formed from Ripley County in 1845. While Thomasville was centrally located within the original borders of the county, the separation of Howell County, and the movement of the border between Oregon and Shannon Counties, left Thomasville in the northwest corner of the Oregon County. Therefore, on March 14, 1859, the Missouri General Assembly approved a bill to relocate the county seats of both Oregon County and Shannon County. The bill specified that three Commissioners were to be appointed at the spring term of the Oregon County Court “to locate a site for the permanent seat of justice” for the county. The Commissioners were directed by the bill to “select a site in the most central and suitable point in said counties, having due regard to the quality of the soil and convenience of the people.” The Commissioners appointed to this task in Oregon County were Thomas Simpson, Thomas E. Old, and William Hall. On September 14, 1859, the same day that the Grand Jury on which William Hall served as foreman returned their Bills of Indictment, the three Commissioners submitted their report to the Oregon County Circuit Court. With their report, the commissioners submitted a deed conveying the fifty acres of land they had selected to the County, and the Court approved their report. Thus, William Hall was one of the three men responsible for selecting Alton as the site for the county seat of Oregon County.
It seems clear that William had become one of the leading citizens not only in the Jobe community, but in the entire county. But William Hall's growing involvement in the affairs of the Jobe community, and of Oregon County, ended suddenly and tragically in the fall of 1859. The 1860 mortality schedule of Oregon County, Missouri, substantiates that William Hall, a farmer, died in November of 1859. The mortality schedule reports that the cause of his death was "gravel", and that he had been ill for 14 days. The term "gravel" was used to describe what we know today as kidney stones. While William's gravestone clearly indicates that he died on November 2, 1859, the date on the stone is in error. The old Hall family Bible lists the date of William's death as November 20. And this date is substantiated by a bill for medical services for William's final illness. Dr. J. N. Kirkpatrick visited William on November 6, November 14, and November 19 of 1859.
William Hall did not die from lack of a qualified physician. His physician during his final illness was Dr. John Newton Kirkpatrick, the son of E. R. and Anna B. Kirkpatrick. John Newton Kirkpatrick was born in Franklin County, Illinois on October 31, 1831. In 1834 or 1835, his parents moved their family to Oil Trough Bottom on the White River, in Arkansas. John Newton Kirkpatrick studied medicine at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, with his uncle, Dr. Smith Woodrome. He commenced his medical practice in 1854 with Dr. Mack Alexander “on Martin's Creek at the Bry Kellett place”. He married Sarah C. Wasin in June of 1855, and attended St. Louis Medical School in 1856. Then, in 1857, two years before William Hall's death, Dr. Kirkpatrick located at Elm Store, Arkansas, about three miles from the William Hall farm, where he would practice medicine for the next 48 years. Dr. John Newton Kirkpatrick was a brother of Hiram C. Kirkpatrick, who would later serve the Jobe and Elm Store communities as a Baptist minister.
On October 23, 1860, one year after William Hall's death, Dr. J. N. Kirkpatrick presented the Administrator of William's estate with a bill for medical services for William's final illness. His fees for "milage and medicine" were $3.00 each for his visits on November 6 and November 14 of 1859, and $4.00 for his final visit on November 19, the day prior to William's death.
William Hall handled his responsibilities as Justice of the Peace until he fell ill. On October 20, 1859, only one month prior to his death, William married "John A. Felker and Margaret Stubblefield" and "Isaac Furgurson and Susan Standley". Only one week before he fell ill, on October 30, 1859, he married "Elijah Doulten and Elisabeth Stubblefield". The records of these three marriages were returned to the County Courthouse on February 13, 1860, by R. O. Tribble, the Administrator of William Hall's estate.
William Hall was 47 years old when he died, and he was survived by his wife and five children. He was buried less than two miles east of the William Hall farm, and less than a mile northwest of Elm Store, Arkansas, in the Stubblefield Cemetery (known today as the Walnut Grove Cemetery). Throughout this book, we will refer to this cemetery as the Walnut Grove Cemetery, to avoid any confusion with another Stubblefield Cemetery, located to the south of Elm Store. But the reader should be aware that the Walnut Grove Cemetery was known as the Stubblefield Cemetery, or the Stubblefield burying ground, until about 1917.
William Hall died without making a will. One week after William Hall's death, on November 27, 1859, Robert O. Tribble signed a bond as Principal, and Joseph Brewer and Jesse Byrd signed as securities, pledging that Robert O. Tribble would faithfully administer his responsibilities as Administrator of the William Hall estate. The bond was in the amount of $2000, suggesting an estate of modest size.
Robert O. Tribble was a well-known minister of the Baptist Church. While we know that William Hall was acquainted with Robert Tribble, we know of no family ties between the Tribble and Hall families. But the two men did share a common background, as both migrated to Oregon County from Jackson County, Alabama.
Robert O. Tribble, the son of Elijah and Rachel Tribble, was born in Franklin County, Tennessee, on December 25, 1817. Franklin County was situated immediately north of Jackson County, Alabama. Robert O. Tribble moved with his father to Jackson County, Alabama in 1819, the same year the county was formed. He lived in Jackson County until he was grown. He joined the U. S. Volunteers in 1837, and went to Florida, then returned and married Adaline Hambree, on August 18, 1839. In 1841, he moved to the state of Missouri, just two years before William Hall made the same move. Robert O. Tribble moved in 1844 to Arkansas, and then moved back to Missouri in 1852. He was baptized by Elder J. R. Russel in 1854, and was ordained to the ministry in 1857, two years before William Hall's death. The “Credentials of Ordination” for R. O. Tribble, filed in Randolph County, Arkansas, on January 20, 1858, mention that R. O. Tribble was a regular member of the United Baptist Church at Mill Creek, in Oregon County, Missouri. This is the earliest reference to the Mill Creek Church that we have located to date.
Less than two years after William Hall's death, Robert O. Tribble would be elected to serve as the Captain of a Company of the Missouri State Guard. The Company was comprised of men from southeast Oregon County, including William Hall’s eldest son, and Capt. Robert Tribble would lead these men in one of the major battles of the Civil War. In 1873, Robert Tribble would organize the State Line Association of the Baptist Church.
On December 14, 1859, less than a month after William Hall’s death, Robert O. Tribble filed a document with the Oregon County Probate Court listing the names, and places of residence, of the heirs of the William Hall estate. One of William's daughters, Martha (Hall) Stubblefield, had been married for three years, and was living with her husband north of Elm Store. William Hall's wife, and his other four children, were still at home.
On December 19, Joseph Brewer, Willis M. Campbell, and G. W. Hamm, having been appointed appraisers of the William Hall estate, reported the results of their appraisal. The results provide some insight into the life of those times, and, more specifically, the life of the William Hall family. The personal assets of William Hall, and their value, were reported as follows (with original spelling):
1 ‑ Sorrel Horse $65.00
1 ‑ Bay Mare 85.00
1 ‑ Bay Horse 40.00
1 ‑ Yoke of Oxen 35.00
1 ‑ Red Cow 11.00
1 ‑ Dun Cow 8.00
1 ‑ Speckeled Cow 12.00
1 ‑ Red Cow 10.00
1 ‑ Cow 8.00
1 ‑ White‑Backed Cow 8.00
1 ‑ White‑Pied Cow 8.00
1 ‑ Muley Cow 8.00
1 ‑ Yellow Cow 10.00
1 ‑ Speckeled Hieffer 7.00
1 ‑ Red Hieffer 7.00
3 ‑ hieffer yearlings 10.00
2 ‑ Red steer yearlings 7.00
3 ‑ Steer Yearlings 10.00
1 ‑ Speckeled steer 7.00
2 ‑ Steers 10.00
10 ‑ head of stock hogs 16.00
13 ‑ Sows & Pigs 10.50
16 ‑ head of Sheep 24.00
1 ‑ Ox Wagon 35.00
1 ‑ Set of Smiths tools 30.00
1 ‑ Small Plow, stock 1.25
1 ‑ Ca(ley) Plow, clevis 1.25
1 ‑ Ca(ley) Plow 1.25
2 ‑ Small Plows & single tree 1.50
1 ‑ Mat(ie), hoe .50
1 ‑ shovel plow 1.50
1 ‑ Carey plow .50
2 ‑ ch(ip)ing Axes 2.00
1 ‑ Grubbing hoe & hatchet .50
1 ‑ Lot of tools 1.25
1 ‑ Rat trap .50
4 ‑ Pla(in)s 4.00
1 ‑ Rifle Gun 12.00
1 ‑ Rifle Gun 4.50
1 ‑ Powder horn .75
1 ‑ mouse trap .10
2 ‑ Saddles, bridles 2.50
1 ‑ Pair of (hains) & chains .50
2 ‑ Pair of ha(in)s .50
1 ‑ Pair of plow (gears) 1.25
1 ‑ Whip & (line) .30
1 ‑ Pair of (Stilyards) 1.00
1 ‑ Box of Irons 1.00
1 ‑ 1/2 bushel measure .50
1 ‑ Set of fan Irons 1.00
1 ‑ Cythe & cradle 2.00
1 ‑ Side of upper leather 2.50
1 ‑ 1/2 of a beef hide 1.00
1 ‑ hide in tan .75
1 ‑ Iron wedge .50
3 ‑ Empty Barrels 1.25
1 ‑ Lot of nails .75
1 ‑ Cag. of tar .75
1 ‑ Lot deer skins 2.50
1 ‑ Cutting knifes .50
1 ‑ Piece of log chain .25
8 ‑ Pounds horse shoe nails 2.00
1 ‑ Lot Hoop Iron .20
1 ‑ Pair of sheep shears .25
1 ‑ Colter .50
1 ‑ Pair Bridle bits .15
1 ‑ Lot hoop iron .20
11 ‑ hundred binds of fodder more or less 17.00
350 ‑ Bushels of Corn more or less 122.50
10 ‑ Bushels of Wheat 6.00
1 ‑ Lot of Books 6.00
1 ‑ Box Envelops 1.00
1 ‑ Paire Saddle riders 3.50
1 ‑ Cag. Powder 1.25
100 ‑ Pounds of Iron more or less 7.00
Land Warrant, 120 acres No. 90,054 96.00
The inventory of William Hall's estate also listed a number of accounts, as follows:
A Receipt against the Estate of Job $8.70
An Order from (L.) O. H(inoe) 3.00
County Scrip 8.00
Account on Jos. W(a)fford 2.50
Account on D. Hood 1.65
Account on A. Blevins 1.00
Account on W. M. Campbell 3.05
Account on R. O. Tribble .50
Account on Joseph Brewer .65
Account on (J.) L. Stubblefield 1.00
Account on R. Underwood 3.95
Account on Thos. Taylor 2.40
Account on (J.) (T)yra 2.05
Account on G. W. (Moten) 5.10
Account on (J. T.) Simmons .95
Account on (J. M.) Taylor 3.45
Account on H. B. Simmons .95
Account on Wm. Starling .95
Account on B. Huckabay 2.35
Account on Wm Reed 2.40
Account on J. King .10
Account on (J.) Jones 2.15
These “accounts” represented debts owed to William Hall by the named individuals. In total, William Hall's estate, excluding his land, was valued at $888.55.
On December 26, about five weeks after William Hall's death, R. O. Tribble, as the Administrator of his estate, conducted an estate sale. William’s physician in his final illness, Dr. J. N. Kirkpatrick, served as the Clerk of the sale. The following list of the items sold at that sale, along with the names of the buyers and the price of each item sold, was recorded by Dr. Kirkpatrick, and provides us with some indication of the size of William Hall's estate, the value placed on property at this point in our history, and the names of many of William Hall's friends and neighbors.
1 - Sorrel horse sold to Mary Hall $30.00
1 - Bay horse Mary Hall 30.10
1 - Carey Plow J. M. Hall .30
1 - Carey Plow J. King .85
1 - Carey Plow Wm. Stalling .15
4 - Plows Mary Hall .35
1 - Matie hoe Mary Hall .05
1 - Iron wedge J. M. Hall .45
1 - Iron wedge Mary Hall .35
1 - Grubbing hoe J. M. Hall .25
1 - Lot of plow gearing Mary Hall .15
1 - Pair of hains J. N. Kirkpatrick .30
1 - Pair of Styliards Mary Hall .30
1 - Box of Irons W. M. Campbell .45
1 - 1/2 bushel masure Mary Hall .25
1 - Lot fan Irons L. D. Brown 1.65
1 - Cythe & Cradle Wm. O'Neal 1.40
1 - Book R. Cox .25
1 - Book G. M. Williams .40
1 - Book G. M. Williams .40
1 - Book G. M. Williams .80
1 - Book G. M. Williams .50
1 - Book T. B. Hail .50
1 - Book R. Cox .50
1 - Book history J. M. Taylor 2.50
1 - Book R. Williams .30
1 - Book Wm. Underwood .35
1 - Book N. Rice .20
1 - Book J. Cox .30
1 - Lot of hoop Iron W. M. Campbell .15
1 - Land warrant 120 acres
No. 90,054 J. Cox 110.00
1 - Yoke of Oxen Mary Hall 15.00
1 - Dun Cow R. Spears 12.10
1 - Red Cow J. M. Hall 10.25
1 - Speckeled Cow Jos. Wafford 12.05
1 - Yellow Cow Sarah A. Hall 8.30
1 - White Backed Cow J. Stubblefield 8.05
1 - White Sided Cow J. M. Williams 9.15
1 - Muly Cow J. W. Hall 8.20
1 - Red Cow G. Underwood 9.50
2 - yearlings Sarah A. Hall 4.50
2 - steer yearlings J. January 10.45
2 - steer yearlings J. January 8.50
1 - yearling J. January 3.10
1 - steer yearling J. January 7.55
2 - steers J. M. Moore 16.00
1 - Wagon Mary Hall 15.05
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels G. W. Hamm 8.75
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels G. W. Hamm 9.50
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels W. M. Campbell 9.375
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels L. D. Brown 9.50
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels R. O. Tribble 9.50
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels J. Stubblefield 9.375
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels Wm. Starling 9.00
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels J. Stubblefield 9.125
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels R. O. Tribble 9.125
1 - Lot of corn 25 bushels Wm. Starling 9.25
1 - Lot of fodder J. M. Hall 2.00
1 - Lot of fodder Mary Hall 1.00
1 - Lot of fodder J. Stubblefield 3.35
1 - Lot of fodder W. M. Campbell 2.10
1 - Lot of fodder Mary Hall 2.00
1 - Box Envelopes G. W. Hamm .65
1 - Pair Saddlebags Mary Hall .25
1 - Rifle Gun Mary Hall 2.00
1 - Rifle Gun J. M. Hall 2.50
1 - Powder horn J. M. Hall .40
1 - Powder Cagge Mary Hall 1.25
1 - Bridle Mary Hall .15
1 - Rat trap J. W. Hall .35
1 - Mouse trap Wm. Phillips .15
4 - Carpenters Plains J. M. Custar 3.25
1 - Plain L. D. Brown .35
2 - Saddles & bridles Mary Hall .15
1 - Lot of chains Mary Hall .25
1 - Side of leather Mary Hall .65
1 - ½ of Beef hide J. Stubblefield .60
1 - Colter J. R. M. Allison .35
1 - Pair Bridle bits J. Stubblefield .25
3 - Empty Barrels Mary Hall .25
1 - Cag of tar Mary Hall .20
1 - Lot of nails Mary Hall .15
2 - Cutting knifes J. M. Hall .20
2 - Chains J. M. Hall .20
1 - Lot horse shoe nails G. W. Hamm .40
1 - Lot horse shoe nails G. W. Hamm .40
1 - Lot horse shoe nails R. Williams .40
1 - Lot horse shoe nails R. Williams .40
1 - Lot hoop Iron C. Crass .15
1 - Pair of sheep shers J. M. Moore .30
1 - Lot of steer hides W. M. Campbell .30
1 - ½ of a hide in tan J. M. Hall .15
1 - deer hide H. Skags .30
1 - Set Smiths tools J. Stubblefield 28.25
1 - Lot horse shoe Iron J. M. Taylor 5.05
It appears that the sale raised a total of $492.00. It should be noted, however, that many of the purchases appear to have been made by the heirs to William Hall’s estate: William’s widow, Mary Hall; his daughter, Sarah A. Hall; his son, John Martin Hall; and his son-in-law, Joseph Stubblefield.
Robert O. Tribble not only served as the Administrator of William Hall’s estate. He also assumed William Hall’s responsibility as the Postmaster of the Jobe Post Office. Robert O. Tribble was officially appointed to the position on January 12, 1860, about two months after William’s death.
The fact that William Hall served as the Jobe Postmaster for eight years suggests that he may have also operated a country store. The number of small accounts due William Hall at the time of his death also suggests that he was involved in some sort of commercial enterprise. And one of the claims against William’s estate provides additional evidence that William may have operated a country store. On February 25, 1861, a merchant in New York City named Calvin E. Hull gave a deposition in a legal action to collect $17.17, plus interest from February 6, 1860, owed to him by William Hall.
It appears that Calvin Hull sold patent medicines via mail order for the purpose of resale by the purchaser (with a 50% markup in price). Presented as evidence of William Hall's debt to Calvin Hull was an order apparently placed by William Hall on December 22, 1858 (see Figure 2). The order was for five dozen boxes of Dr. Strong's Compound Sanative Pills, to be sold at 25 cents per box; five dozen boxes of Dr. Strong's Pectoral Stomach Pills, to be sold at 25 cents per box; and one dozen boxes of Dr. Hull's Vegetable Fever and Ague and Anti‑Fever Pills, to be sold at 75 cents per box. It appears that the sale of all of these pills would generate income of $39.00. William was to return $26.00 to Calvin Hull, and retain the balance of $13.00 as his sales commission. William listed his post office as “Job” (a frequently encountered variant of “Jobe”). The order was signed "Wm Hall", in William's distinctive bold hand.
The evidence suggests that William sold most of the pills between December of 1858 and his death in November of 1859. On January 6, 1860, Calvin Hull’s agent credited William Hall’s account for the return of one dozen boxes of Compound Sanative Pills, five boxes of Pectoral Stomach Pills, and one dozen boxes of the Vegetable Fever and Ague and Anti-Fever Pills. After returning the unsold pills, William Hall’s estate owed Calvin Hull a balance of $17.17
The evidence suggesting that William may have operated a country store raises a question, however. If money owed to William by some of his customers, and a claim for money owed by William for the patent medicines, were both included in his estate, why didn’t the inventory of William Hall’s assets include any of the stock that would have been required to operate a country store?
Other documents which have survived give us additional glimpses into the daily activities of William Hall, and his contemporaries. One of those documents records William Hall's debt to David Hood, for services rendered in 1859, the year of William's death. The debt of $3.55 consisted of $2.00 for "making 2 axels for waggeon", $1.00 for "working on a gun", and $.55 for "one Carry plow".
In June of 1860, seven months after William Hall's death, his widow was listed in the Federal census as a resident of Jobe Township of Oregon County. Mary reported the value of her personal property as $503. Four of Mary's children were still at home with her. They were Sally, age 27; John, age 18; William, age 14; and Tom, age 11. Mary and her children were listed "next door" to the Joseph Brewer family, who lived on the farm immediately east of the William Hall farm.
While the acreage of the Hall farm expanded dramatically during the decade of the 1850’s, there appears to have been only modest growth in the amount of livestock and produce. The following table compares William Hall’s description of their farm in 1850 to Mary Hall’s description of her farm in June of 1860:
Improved land 20 acres 35 acres
Unimproved land 125 acres
Cash value of farm $300 $1000
Implements and machinery $40 $30
Livestock as of June 1:
Horses 2 3
Milk cows 4 3
Working oxen 2 2
Other cattle 7 7
Sheep 4 11
Swine 50 54
Value $190 $933
Past 12 months production:
Wheat 40 bushels
Indian corn 400 bushels 500 bushels
Oats 30 bushels
Wool 30 pounds
Peas and beans 3 bushels
Irish potatoes 15 bushels 5 bushels
Sweet potatoes 10 bushels
Butter 20 pounds 60 pounds
Sorghum molasses 4 gallons
Value of homemade products $30 $12
Value of animals slaughtered $30
Oregon County was still not heavily populated in 1860. The 1860 census revealed that the population of the county (now smaller in physical size than it was in 1850) was 3,009.
Mary Hall added to the Hall family farm less than ten months after William's death. On September 5, 1860, Mary appeared at the land office at Jackson, Missouri, and paid $59.94 for 47.95 acres of public land situated immediately north of the land purchased by William Hall in 1858 (see Figure 1 on page 11). The price of the land was $1.25 per acre, and Mary paid for the land with $55 in gold and $4.94 in silver. The Patent transferring title to Mary from the U. S. Government was dated February 9, 1861. The Hall farm was now comprised of 259.54 acres.
Robert O. Tribble, who assumed the responsibility of Jobe Postmaster after William Hall’s death, served as the Jobe Postmaster for only 15 months. On April 9, 1861, John F. McGhee was appointed to the post. Three days later Confederate batteries opened fire on Ft. Sumter in the opening engagement of the Civil War.
We have never heard anything to indicate how the Hall family felt about slavery. They came from an area, in northern Alabama, where slavery was common, but only a few of the more prominent residents of Oregon County owned slaves prior to the Civil War. In 1850, census records indicate that seven Oregon County families owned 18 slaves. A few additional Oregon County families are known to have been slaveowners between 1850 and the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. We have not found any information that would suggest that our Hall family were slaveowners before or after migrating from Alabama to Missouri.
In Borderland Rebellion, Elmo Ingenthron wrote:
“Prior to the Civil War, Missouri and Arkansas were settled largely by immigrants from the southern states. They possessed a southern heritage with many kinships and social ties with their former homes. However, there were few slaveholders among them. In Arkansas, four-fifths of the white families owned no slaves. Missouri, in 1860, was much like Arkansas, having an average of one slave to every nine white persons. The two states encompassed largely a “region of small farms, few slaveholders, and few slaves”.
“The border areas had proportionately even fewer slaves than were in their respective states. Most of the borderland had been settled by poor white people, with large families, seeking cheap land and needing few or no slaves. The topography and terrain of the region offered only a limited amount of virgin prairie soil and fertile bottom land where slavery would have been profitable in the production of cash crops. The average Ozarkian viewed slavery as being not wholly good or totally bad, surely nothing so serious as to foment rebellion. In general, he was a loyal American.”
The 1860's were turbulent years for the residents of Oregon County, as they were for the nation. Once Lincoln was elected President, events leading to the Civil War were set in motion. South Carolina seceeded on December 24, 1860. Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas seceeded in January of 1861. In February, the seven states which had seceeded formed the Confederacy. Lincoln took office on March 4. On April 12, the Confederates fired on Ft. Sumter. Virginia seceeded from the Union five days later, and Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina followed quickly.
Missouri’s governor was Claiborne Fox Jackson, a southern sympathizer who favored secession. In February of 1861, Governor Jackson unsuccessfully argued for Missouri's secession at a State Convention convened to debate the issue. Most of Missouri held moderate unionist beliefs at this point and did not favor secession, but they did not support going to war with the southern states either. On May 10, the aggressive actions of Union forces stationed in the Union arsenal in St. Louis angered many in the state legislature, and Governor Jackson received approval the next day of a pending Military Bill. This bill authorized the governor to disband the old Missouri State Militia and reform it as the Missouri State Guard. The purpose of the Missouri State Guard was to protect the state from federal invasion. As soon as the Military Bill was passed, Governor Jackson issued a proclamation calling the state to arms. As soon as the proclamation was issued, Oregon County State Representative John R. Woodside hurried back to Oregon and Howell Counties and started recruiting men to serve in the Missouri State Guard.
One Company of nearly 100 men was recruited from southern Oregon County. The recruits included 19-year-old John Martin Hall, the eldest son of William and Mary Hall. John was the only member of the William Hall family old enough to serve. These recruits met on July 4, and elected their officers. Robert Tribble, the 43-year-old Baptist minister who was serving as the Administrator of William Hall’s estate, was elected to serve as Captain. Willis M. Campbell, age 37, who lived immediately west of the William Hall farm, was elected to serve as 1st Lieutenant. John Martin Hall undoubtedly knew many of the men who volunteered to serve in the same company of the Missouri State Guard.
The volunteers in the Missouri State Guard signed up to serve for six months. During that six months, they would be sorely tested. In addition to a number of smaller battles, they fought General Lyon’s forces in the Battle of Wilson Creek, on August 10, 1861. This battle, fought south of Springfield, Missouri, was the second major battle of the Civil War. The battle has the distinction of producing the highest casualty rate of any battle in the Civil War. It is reported that only 27 of nearly 100 men in John Hall's company of Oregon County men survived their six months of service in the Missouri State Guard. At least six of them died in the fight for Bloody Hill in the Battle of Wilson's Creek.
After his discharge from the Missouri State Guard, John Martin Hall returned home to Oregon County, where he was married in May of 1862. But not all of Mary Hall's children would survive the horrors of the Civil War. Mary's younger son, William Henry, died in March of 1864, at the age of 18. A grandson of William and Mary (Reed) Hall would later recall hearing that William Henry Hall was killed near his home by bushwhackers. We now believe that the “bushwhackers” who killed William Henry Hall were a Federal scouting party of approximately 100 cavalrymen operating out of a Union army post at Pilot Knob, Missouri.
Some time in 1864, John Martin Hall re-enlisted in the service. This time, he enlisted to serve in a regular Confederate unit, commanded by Colonel Fristoe. John served as a 2nd Sergeant in Fristoe’s Regiment until the Regiment surrendered about four weeks before the final surrender at Appomattox.
At least one story recounting an experience of Mary Hall during the Civil War has been passed down through her descendants. Jessie Thornton, a great-granddaughter of Mary Hall, recalled being told that civilians would have to hide their silverware, and other valuables, during the war, to prevent soldiers and bushwhackers from stealing them. In one instance, when “they” came to the Hall place to take their cattle, Mary Hall pleaded with the soldiers, "Please leave me the old bell cow". Finally, the officer told the men to cut the old bell cow out, and leave it.
Jessie Thornton passed along another Civil War story that was related to her by her mother. Jessie wrote that "Mom told me that she had an uncle or great uncle that was in the Civil War who was a General, I thought. I know he was an officer. That his horse finally come home but he never was heard of any more after he left to go with his outfit." Jessie also reported that her mother also told her "of a Hall, I think uncle or great uncle, who was officer, I think, in Civil War, who was written up in Pink Palace in Memphis, Tennessee".
We are fortunate that the Oregon County records survived the Civil War. The records of many counties in the southern states, and in the border states, were lost when their courthouses were destroyed. The records of Oregon County were saved by the foresight of some of the county officials. Their actions are described in Oregon County’s Three Flags, by Lewis A. W. Simpson.
“Upon learning of a plan to raid Alton and destroy the court house and contents, County Clerk Mathew G. Norman, Deputy B. F. Stewart, Simpson Couch, Rufus McClelland and probably others, removed the county records and concealed them in a cave on Piney Creek. They took along Joseph B. Johnson, a lad of 10 years of age, as a witness and instructed him on procedures to recover the records after the war, should none of them survive. Here the records remained until after the surrender of the Confederate Army.”
The Oregon County Court House in Alton had been built in 1860, the year before the Civil War began. That court house was burned on October 21, 1863, in the third year of the Civil War, after being vacated that same day by the Union Army. It was 1871 before Oregon County recovered sufficiently enough from the war to rebuild their court house. The new court house was rebuilt on the same foundation as the court house that was burned in 1863.
Prior to the Civil War, our best information about the site of the Jobe Post Office was the knowledge that William Hall continued to serve as the postmaster after his purchase of his farm in 1858. The Jobe Post Office was surely located, at that point in time, on the William Hall farm. But the Jobe Post Office was discontinued on November 20, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. About two years after the conclusion of the war, on March 22, 1867, the Jobe Post Office was reestablished. The new postmaster was Mary Hall’s next door neighbor, Joseph Brewer. In this case, we are able to establish an exact location of the Jobe Post Office.
A Site Location Report, submitted by Joseph Brewer three weeks before the date of his appointment, clearly describes the proposed location of the post office. Joseph stated that the Jobe Post Office would be situated “in the N. W. quarter of fractional Section 6, Township 21, Range 2 W…” This clearly describes the farm where Joseph Brewer lived, immediately east of the William Hall farm. Joseph further stated that the post office would be on or near “the route from Pocahontas Arks to Thomasville Mo. on which the mail is now carried one time per week.” We know that the road from Thomasville to Pocahontas passed through the farms of both William Hall and Joseph Brewer. Joseph indicated that the post office “will be directly on this route”, and that the “contractor’s name is Mr. Buckler”. Joseph also stated that the nearest post offices, on the same mail route, were the post office at Webster (later renamed Couch), thirteen miles northwest, and Pocahontas, Arkansas, 25 miles to the southeast. The nearest post office not on the same mail route was Ash Flat, Arkansas, 25 miles to the southwest.
As further confirmation of the exact site of the reestablished Jobe Post Office, Joseph indicated that the post office would be four miles west of the “Elevenpoints River”, and 200 yards south of Mill Creek. Joseph also confirmed that there would not be a village associated with the post office, and that 34 families lived within two miles of the proposed site. Joseph Brewer signed his statement on March 1, 1867, and his statement was certified by Simpson Couch, the postmaster at Webster.
We know that Joseph Brewer operated a country store just east of the Hall property. We assume that he operated the post office out of his store.
R. O. Tribble continued to serve as the Administrator of William Hall's estate for a number of years. Nell Ashley, a genealogist familiar with Oregon County, Missouri, probate records observed "there's one thing I've noticed about Howell and Oregon Counties‑‑it took forever for estates to be probated and by the time everything was disposed of and nothing was left to pay appraisers and fees of various officials, a final settlement was filed and heirs received very little part of anything." The William Hall estate seems to have fit that pattern. On November 5, 1868, nine years after William Hall’s death, Mary Hall appeared in the Oregon County Court House, with an attorney, in an action against R. O. Tribble, petitioning for her dower rights. A widow had a dower right to one-third of her deceased husband's property. R. O. Tribble failed to appear at the hearing. The court endowed Mary Hall with one-third of the land William owned at the time of his death, and James B. Old, Willis Campbell, and Thomas Taylor were appointed commissioners to set apart the land, and report back at the next term of the court.
After serving as the postmaster for 22 months, Joseph Brewer gave up the position, and John M. Hall, son of William and Mary Hall, was appointed the new Jobe Postmaster of January 14, 1869. John M. Hall would serve as the postmaster for more than fifteen years.
Widowed at 48 years of age, Mary Hall never remarried. When the Federal census of Oregon County was enumerated during the summer of 1870, Mary’s family was again listed “next door” to the Joseph Brewer family. Mary's eldest son, John M. Hall, was no longer living at home, as he had married in 1862. Still at home with Mary were her eldest child, Sally (now 38 years old), and her youngest child, Tom (now 22 years old). The census records indicate that Mary was unable to read or write, and that Sally and Tom could read, but could not write.
An early map of Oregon County, which probably dates back to the 1860’s or 1870’s, provides further information about Jobe. The map (see Figure 3 on page 27) locates Jobe on the road which ran southwest from Gatewood, in Ripley County, and just east of the point where the Gatewood road intersected with the road that ran southeast from Thomasville and Webster, in Oregon County, to Pocahontas, Arkansas. While we can’t be certain about the accuracy of this map, it is obvious that Jobe was an important landmark at that time, and the location of Jobe appears to be about one-half mile northeast of the Joseph Brewer home.
On September 9, 1870, R. O. Tribble paid $3.00 in taxes (.50 State Tax, .50 State Interest Fund Tax, and 2.00 County Tax) on 113 acres of the Hall farm. Finally, in 1871, R. O. Tribble published a “Notice of Final Settlement” in the newspaper notifying all interested persons that he planned to present the final settlement of the William Hall estate to the Probate Court in Alton on the fourth Monday in September of 1871. The settlement of the William Hall estate took nearly 12 years to complete!
Sally Hall and Tom Hall probably continued to live at home, and help their mother with the farm, until 1875, when both Sally and Tom were married. After Sally’s marriage in July, we assume that she left the William Hall home place to live with her husband and his children. After Tom's marriage in December, he and his bride apparently continued to live on the William Hall home place. The census of 1880 lists Joseph T. Hall as the head of the Hall household, which consisted of Tom, his wife, their three young children, Mary Hall, two boys who Tom and his wife had taken in as wards, and a farmhand. Once again, the Joseph Brewer family was enumerated “next door” to the Hall farmstead.
The 47.95 acres of land that Mary Hall purchased in 1860, shortly after William Hall’s death (see Figure 1 on page 11), would not have passed by inheritance to William Hall’s children, but would have remained the property of Mary Hall. On January 22, 1880, Mary Hall sold this 47.95 acres of land to her eldest son, John M. Hall, for $40.
All of the 159.76 acres of Oregon County land purchased by William Hall in 1858 apparently belonged to William’s children, as the heirs of his estate. On December 8, 1883, three of the four surviving children of William Hall sold 35 acres of the William Hall farm to their brother, John M. Hall, for $70.00. The deed reflects that Levi A. Hall and Sarah A. Hall, his wife, of Randolph County, Arkansas; Joseph Stubblefield and Martha E. Stubblefield, his wife, of Randolph County, Arkansas; and Joseph T. Hall and Easter A. Hall, his wife, of Oregon County; sold to John M. Hall of Oregon County all of the remaining William Hall farm north of Mill Creek. This 35 acres was the northern part of the William Hall farm, and part of it abutted the 47.95 acres that Mary Hall sold to John M. Hall in 1880. The sale carved off the William Hall farm that portion that was separated from the house, and the rest of the farm, by Mill Creek. The two purchases by John M. Hall in 1880 and 1883 reduced the William Hall farm to approximately 125 acres.
On the same day that Sarah, Martha and Tom Hall sold their inherited interests in 35 acres of the William Hall farm to John M. Hall, the balance of the Hall farm was sold to Tom Hall. Sarah, Martha and John M. Hall, along with their spouses, sold their interests in the balance of the William Hall farm to Tom Hall for $70. The balance of the farm was described as containing “one hundred and one acres more or less”. There is a discrepancy of about 24 acres in the descriptions of the lands purchased by William Hall and by Mary Hall in 1858 and 1860, and the lands sold to John M. Hall and Tom Hall in 1880 and 1883.
We have no information about Mary Hall after the 1880 census. We assume that she continued to live on the William Hall home place with her son, Tom, and his family. Mary lost one of her daughters when Martha Elizabeth (Hall) Stubblefield died in March of 1884, at the age of 46. Mary Hall passed away less than seven months later, on September 27, 1884. Mary was 72 years old when she died. She was buried beside her husband in the Walnut Grove Cemetery, near Elm Store, Arkansas. Mary was survived by her eldest daughter, Sally, and by two of her sons, John and Tom.
 Lewis A. W. Simpson, Oregon County’s Three Flags, page 12.
 Lewis A. W. Simpson, Oregon County’s Three Flags, page 11.
 Sherman Baker, Oregon County Genealogical Society Newsletter, May-July 1991, page 4.
 Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832 - September 30, 1971
 The land was described as "Lot Numbered 1 of the North East fractional quarter and the East fractional half of the south east fractional quarter of fractional section one in fractional Township twenty one North of Range three west in the district of lands subject to sale at Jackson Missouri".
 The land was described as "the North West quarter quarter of the South East quarter of Section one in Township twenty one North of Range three west in the District of Lands subject to sale at Jackson Missouri". This tract of land also abutted the Arkansas border.
 Land described as the West ½ of the East ½ of Section 1 in Township 21 North of Range 3 West
 Oregon County Probate Records, Volume 1, page 1.
 Laws of the State of Missouri, 1858-1859, 20th General Assembly, Volume I, pages 385-386.
 Oregon County Probate Records, Volume 1, page 15.
 The land was described as "the West half of the Lot numbered Two, of the North East Quarter of Section One, in Township Twenty One, North, of Range Three, West".
 Lewis A. W. Simpson, Oregon County’s Three Flags, page 12.
 Elmo Ingenthron, Borderland Rebellion, pages 34-35.
 Ferguson & Atkinson, Historic Arkansas, page 113.
 Violette & Wolverton, Jr., History of Missouri, page 284.
 Oregon County Probate Records, Volume 1, page 296.
 The land was described as “The SE frl. ¼ & Lot No 1 of the North East qr. Section 1 Township 21 Range 3 west”.
 Described as “All of Lot #1 in the Northeast 1/4 of Section One in Township
21 North of Range 3 West that lies north of the main channel of Mill Creek".
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