31 March 2014

Jeremiah Smith Hall (21 Apr 1809 - 6 Sept 1882)

Last summer my son Ralph and I decided to go on a cemetery visit day.  Despite the fact I was born and raised 2000 miles from Illinois, my roots are deep here.  My father's paternal line is rooted in Illinois as is my mother's maternal line.  So with a dozen ancestors buried within a couple or three hours drive, it is no sweat to get in a car and go.

One of the first graves we visited was for my ggg-grandparents Jeremiah Smith Hall (1809-1882) and his wife Jane (Combs) Hall (1814-1874).

From pages 472-474 of The Good Old Time in McLean County, Illinois by Dr. E. Duis (Bloomington, IL: Leader Publishing, 1874) --
Jeremiah S, Hall, brother of Israel W. Hall, was born April
21, 1809, in Salem, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. He
lived in his native village until the age of seventeen, when he
went to Boston, to learn the bricklayer's trade. He was in that
city when the great celebration of 1826 occurred, making the
fifteenth anniversary of American independence. The exercises
were held on Boston common, and an immense crowd was in attendance.
On that day John Adams said in the morning : "I
have lived to see another fourth of July." But before the day
was ended the bells of Boston were tolling for his death. On
that day also, another Ex-President, Thomas Jefferson, died ;
but, as the telegraph was then unknown, the news did not reach
Boston until the middle of the week. 
Mr. Hall remained in Boston for three summers, working at
the brick-layer's trade, and also in a shoe-factory. He worked
in various towns in New England. On the 16th of October,
1834, he started for Illinois. He came from Nashua, N. H., to
Troy, N. Y., by stage, and thence to Buffalo by canal. From
the latter place they started on board of a steamboat for Detroit,
Michigan. They were delayed by a severe storm, and Mrs. Hall
had an experience with sea sickness which she yet remembers. 
At Detroit they took stage for Chicago, traveling through mud
and water, and after a fearful ride arrived at their destination
November 7. After a short stay at Chicago he came to McLean
County, arriving in December. lie traveled here in his own
wagon. His family boarded for a while with Mr. Francis Barnard
at Dry Grove. Mr. Hall soon went to farming just west
of where he now lives, in the edge of the village of Danvers.
His was one of the first prairie farms, and he was much ridiculed
for leaving the timber ; but he held to the land, and it is now
worth sixty-five dollars per acre. 
In September, 1844, Mr. Hall met with a strange accident,
which has puzzled the physicians. While riding through timber
and under brush he had a thorn pressed into the joint of
the middle finger of his right hand. The thorn was removed
but a part of the point remained. The finger became so much
inflamed that Mr. Hall was thrown into spasms of pain, and he
narrowly escaped lock-jaw. The finger was amputated, but he
has never entirely recovered. His nervous system received so
severe a shock that at the present time he is liable to become
stiff and rigid when any undue excitement occurs, or when he
falls into -any unusual attitude. His case is a puzzle to the doctors,
who disagree concerning it. 
On the 24th of April, 1832, Mr. Hall married Miss Jane
Combs in Nashua, New Hampshire. They have had five children,
of whom three are living. They are :
Hannah, Wilburn and George. The two latter are married
and George lives in Nebraska. The eldest son, Edward W.
Hall was killed in the army at Jackson, Mississippi. He was
first lieutenant of Company B, 3d Iowa, but at the time of his
death was in command of Company I. He was wounded and
captured, and died a few hours after. The fight was known as
Lauman's unsuccessful charge. 
Jeremiah Hall is about five feet and ten inches in height, is
stoutly built and has a sanguine complexion. He is healthy in
his appearance, but his nerves are shattered by the severe pain
of which an account is given above. He appears to be a man
of correct judgment, and is faithful to his trust. His head is
partially bald, and he seems to have a good development of
brain. His eyes have a clear, pretty expression when he is
amused, and he is usually pleased at any kind of burlesque.
He wishes it understood that he has never been a fisherman, a
hunter, or an office-seeker, but has succeeded well. He is a
substantial American citizen.
Here are the pictures we got. (Always remember you can click on photos to enlarge.)  Very hot day.  Cemetery ground and grass was parched --

And on the other side if the same marker we find his wife.  Sorry for the shadow, I am new at this. Interesting and practical they included her maiden name --

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

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