WILLIAM B. HALL. As a farmer of large interests and a business of many years standing William Butler Hall is a prominent figure in the affairs of DuQuoin. For more than twenty years he has represented the Illinois Central Railway Company in the sale of the lands, granted to it by the Government, and for more than a third of a century he has been a resident of DuQuoin and has been actively engaged in furthering the growth of the city. Believing that the prosperity of the city would be greatly fostered by the organization of another bank, he was one of the prime movers in the chartering of the First National Bank of DuQuoin, and is at present vice-president of the institution. William Butler Hall was born in Posey county, Indiana, on the 20th of October, 1848. He is the son of John Hall, who was a native of Kentucky, having been born at Bowling Green in 1810. His ancestors were the Halls of Virginia, of colonial fame, and the family were pioneer setlers in the Blue Grass state. The father of John wielded the hoe and drove the plow through unturned soil, and when he came into Indiana it was as one of her earliest settlers. He died in Posey county, leaving two sons, John and Daniel Miller Hall, and one daughter, who married Aaron Miller and died in the county of her residence. John Hall married Margaret Harris for his first wife. She was a native born North Carolinian, and out of her large family of children, ten in number, only three grew up, namely, David West Hall, who died at De Soto, Illinois; Mary, who married E. A. Sprague and died in Williamson county; and William B., the only survivor. After the death of his first wife, in 1866, Mr. Hall married Mrs. Clarissa (Tinsley) Blake. No children were born to them, and in 1876, Mr. Hall died in Franklin county, Illinois. He was a Democrat in politics, and was an active worker in the ranks of the party. In the early fifties he served his county in Indiana as a representative in the lower house of the state legislature.
During the minority of William B. Hall he was a farm boy in Williamson county, but he managed to find the time from his duties to go to school. After obtaining as much education as the country schools provided he attended the Southern Illinois College at Carbondale, having only one session of work there but that work was done under the tutelage of Clark Braden. He later passed a winter in Ewing College, when Dr. Washburn, well remembered as the founder of that institution, was its head. He then returned to his old home, where he remained until his father's death.
In October, 1875, he married Miss Eliza Blake, a daughter of his step-mother. Her father was Aaron Blake, of Franklin county. She did not live long, dying the next year, and their infant daughter, Isa, only lived to be eighteen months old. The old home was so saddened by these events that Mr. Hall concluded to leave it and establish himself elsewhere.
In 1878 he came to DuQuoin and entered into his first business connection as a merchant. After a few years of selling goods over a counter he was appointed agent for the Illinois Central Railway Company, as sales manager for their lands, and he has been engaged in this work ever since, and is even now occupied with some feature of the company's land business. As has been mentioned, he was very prominent in the organization of the First National Bank, of which he is vice-president. He takes great interest in any building erected in DuQuoin and has had considerable to do with many of the finest buildings. He was chairman of the building committee of the Odd Fellows when they built their handsome structure, and as a member of the building committee he helped plan and erect the Methodist church. His own home and two of the most substantial business houses in the city are owned by Mr.
Hall, and all of these were built under his direct supervision. He has, therefore, had no small part in the material development of the place. He is also interested in farming, having extensive interests in the surrounding country, but doing his farming mainly by proxy.
Mr. Hall has always been keenly interested in politics, especially in those of his home city. His allegiance is with the Temperance Democrats, and in their behalf he has served the town as alderman and also as mayor, making a reputation for honesty and good government during his term of office in the latter capacity. He is a charter member of the Southern Illinois Immigration and Improvement Association and served as its secretary for several years. Mr. Hall is an Odd Fellow and an Elk. He is a regular attendant and member of the Methodist church, as are all of his family. Mr. Hall was married on the 8th of March, 1882, to Miss Lizzie Emery, a daughter of John Emery and a granddaughter of Dr. John Emery, of Loveland, Ohio. Her father was superintendent of the salt works at St. Johns, Illinois, when he died. Mr. and Mrs. Hall are the parents of two children, Gussie and Bessie. The former is the wife of Ralph W. Eddleman, of Chanute, Kansas, he being foreman of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway shops at that place.
Mr. Hall's conspicuous part in the development of his town was well rewarded in the confidence which his fellow citizens reposed in him in electing him chief executive of the city, but he undoubtedly finds a greater reward in the consciousness of work well done. Having the "bee of progressiveness in his bonnet," he has been able through his native enthusiasm to win others to his views and his work for the upbuilding of the town of DuQuoin can never be estimated.