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John Hall, M. D., was born near Leeds, Yorkshire County, England, in 1819. He was reared and schooled in his native place, and early in life learned the printer’s trade. In 1845 he came to the United States and located in La Fayette County, Wisconsin, and, after a visit to New Orleans, was there engaged in the lead mines as a smelter. In 1848 he went to Canada, where he engaged in work at his trade as a printer in Toronto. He also entered upon the study of medicine in the Toronto School of Medicine. In 1857 he returned to the United States and entered the Western Homeopathic College at Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated at that institution in 1858, and in the same year married Miss Dorothea Stahl, a native of Darke County, Ohio. Mrs. Hall was educated as a physician and graduated at the Homeopathic College in the same class with Dr. Hall. The Doctor and his wife then located at Cincinnati, Ohio, and entered upon the practice of their profession.
In 1860 they removed to New York City, and there continued their calling until 1873. In that year they came to California and located in Riverside. Upon his arrival, Dr. Hall bought a claim for forty-one acres of Government land about one and one-half miles south and east of Riverside, located upon what is now known as Hall’s addition to Riverside, while Mrs. Hall continued to practice medicine for a time in the new colony, and then gave her energies in other directions. He gave up the practice of his profession and engaged in horticultural pursuits. Among his first labors was the planting of two acres of raisin grapes. He was a pioneer in raisin growing and curing, an industry that has since assumed the position of the second horticultural industry in the Riverside colony. The Doctor became a thorough practical horticulturist and devoted much attention to experimenting in order to secure the best results from citrus and deciduous fruits. He raised nursery stock, including a large variety of fruits, such as were presumed to be adapted to the soil and climate of Riverside. Much time and labor were lost in the growth of deciduous trees that eventually proved valueless and were replaced by others. His orchards and vineyards are now among the most varied in their productions in Riverside, and their prolific yield well attests the intelligent care the Doctor bestows upon them.
The Doctor has led a quiet life in Riverside, but he has been alive to its interests, and such enterprises as have been inaugurated for the development and improvement of the colony have received his support and co-operation. He is a member of the Universalist Church and also of the order of Good Templars. In political matters he is a strong supporter of the Prohibition Party.
Priestley Hall is the only son of Dr. John Hall (whose sketch precedes this). He is well known as one of the most enterprising and progressive of Riverside’s citizens. A brief mention of his life and association with the enterprises that have placed Riverside in the ranks of the leading cities of Southern California is of interest.
Mr. Hall was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1859. In 1860 his father located in New York, and the subject of this sketch received the benefits of an education in the public schools of that city until fourteen years of age. In 1873 he accompanied his parents to Riverside, where he completed his schooling and was engaged in horticultural pursuits with his father. In 1879 Mr. Hall purchased 140 acres of uncultivated land lying east of the homestead tract of his father. For several years he engaged in general farming upon this land. In the fall of 1886 citizens and others were seeking land in his direction, and he subdivided a twenty-acre tract. This found ready sale, and in the spring of 1887 forty acres more were placed upon the market. He then platted his whole tract and a portion of the old homestead of his father, and formed Hall’s addition to Riverside. With his characteristic energy he graded broad avenues, laid out parks, and planted thousands of ornamental trees. The Gage canal being by this time so far completed as to furnish water.
Mr. Hall, in September, 1887, incorporated the Hall’s Addition Water Company, of which he was made president and manager, and which office he still holds. A liberal expenditure of money was made; a main pipe was laid from their reservoir near the Gage canal, two and one-half miles to the lands of the addition, and branch lines laid through the principal avenues, forming a thorough and complete water supply for domestic and irrigation purposes. The capital stock of the company was $100,000, and over $40,000 was expended in perfecting their admirable water system. In June, 1887, Mr. Hall incorporated the Hall’s Addition Railroad Company. He has been the president and general manager of the company since its organization. This company built and equipped about one and a half miles of the street railway leading from the corner of Main and Tenth streets, in Riverside, to a central location in Hall’s addition. Mr. Hall has thus placed within rapid and easy communication of the business center of the city an addition to River-side that for residence and horticultural purposes is unequaled. The soil and climate is well adapted for orange-growing, the water supply is complete and ample, the lands are elevated and thoroughly drained, while the location for scenic beauty is unequaled by any in the valley.
Mr. Hall is thoroughly schooled in horticultural pursuits, and was for years engaged as an assistant engineer tinder C. C. Miller, in the construction of the Gage canal. He has been reared from boyhood in the colony, and has a large circle of friends. He is an energetic and straight-forward businessman, honest and liberal in his transactions, and well merits the success he has acquired in life. He is a consistent member of the Universalist Church. In politics, he is a Prohibitionist. He is prominent in Masonic circles, and is a member of Ever-green Lodge, No. 259, F. & A. M., Riverside Chapter, No. 67, R. A. M., and Riverside Commandery, No. 28, Knights Templar.