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Monday, February 2, 2009

Review of Hall's Journal - Part One

The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn

In our Houston County Library there is a three hundred and twenty-five page Journal that's going to prove of interest to many descendants of pioneer families living in Houston County. This Journal has just recently been presented TO THE LIBRARY by Mrs. Mahala HALL BROWNLOW of Shreveport, La., and her nephew Robert L. HALL of Anahuac, Texas.

The Journal is of the Civil War period, and was kept by JAMES MADISON HALL when he lived at Hall's Bluff during the years 1860-1866.

Here, we feel that we should give a biographical sketch of James Madison HALL, who kept the Journal -- and to this we turned to our ever highly prized "History of Houston County" written many many years ago by Judge A. A. ALDRICH; and from this, in part, we quote.

"James Madison HALL was the son of Joshua A [James] HALL. He was born February 22nd, probably in Maryland. He came with his father to Houston County as early as July 1st, 1839. He married Cornelia A. BRACKEN, as early as 1851.

"James Madison [HALL] was elected district clerk in Houston County in 1847, and held the office until 1857.

"About 1858 he and his first wife were divorced and he later married his stepsister, a daughter of his stepmother, Mahala HALL, with whom he lived until his death in 1866."

The Journal "covers the entire period of the Civil War from 1861 to 1866. In this he has preserved some valued history of that period."

"James Madison HALL was the son of Joshua H [James] HALL. The records show that JOSHUA J. HALL was here as early as July 1st, 1839; and that he was owner of more than twenty-three thousand acres of land on which he located his home, and on which he lived up to the time of his death. He later married the widow Mahala L. SHARP, the daughter of Elisha ROBERTS, a pioneer citizen of San Augustine County. Soon after reaching Houston County he established a warehouse and business at a point on the bank of the Trinity River, near his home, which, ever since, has been known as Hall's Bluff.

"Hall's Bluff," as Judge A. A. ALDRICH wrote "was quite a business place where cotton was shipped to market on steamboats that plied the river to and from Galveston. The business of hauling cotton to that point, and goods from that point, to Crockett merchants, was a regular trade before the coming of the railroad."

To be continued . . .