Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Search the Journal

The Original Journal Keeper

James Madison Hall was born in Baltimore, Maryland February 19, 1819. He came to Texas with his father when he was sixteen years old, and he settled on the Elkhart Creek in Houston County with his father Joshua James Hall in 1835.

He served in the Mexican War of 1846, according to the records of Captain John L. Hall's Company of Houston County. James was a man of many talents and he had many different professions.

In Houston County he served as a District Clerk, and a Deputy Tax Collector. He was a merchant, a miller, a farmer and a land surveyor.

James Madison wrote a daily journal for the entire five year period of the Civil War. A copy of this Journal was made and presented to the Houston County Historical Library Collection by a great-nephew, Robert L. Hall.

In this journal, the daily events of James are written with many of the names of the early settlers of Houston County. The high prices of goods are mentioned; for example, one ounce of quinine was made for $300.00.

He writes that on December 31, 1863, they were ... experiencing the coldest day of his twenty-eight years since he had been in Texas, that the Mill Pond had been frozen over.

A ball was given at Hall's Bluff, January 20, 1865, for the price of $10.00 for the soldiers fighting in the war from Crockett.

He writes, May 24, 1865 ... General E. K. Smith surrendered to General Canley of Trans-Mississippi Department. The war is over, it is all over.

James Madison Hall went to Liberty, Texas on family and personal business from Hall's Bluff. He lived there the last few years of his life. He was the first mayor of that city and he died there September 12, 1866.

submitted by
Esther M. Biggers nee Hall
great-granddaughter of Joshua James Hall

This image is from an article about J.M. Hall and his Journal
as featured in the digital magazine, Shades of the Departed.

See Also
A Tribute to Our Mahala
Includes the story of how I was introduced to the very existence of "The Journal"
  The Journey Begins
The story of the day of the 150th anniversary of the day J.M. Hall made his first entry in "The Journal
Shades of the Departed
Christmas Day Thru the Years
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day