Levi Mead Hall, who recently celebrated his ninetieth birthday, still walks with firm step and unclouded mind the streets of Homer, and during his long and useful life in Champaign County has witnessed almost its entire development and has borne a share in its progress. He still manifests a keen and intelligent interest in all that affects the welfare of his community and country, and is widely and favorably known as a man of progress and public spirit.
He was born in Indiana, a son of Frost Underlin and Maria (Mead) Hall. The traditional account is that the founder of this branch of the Hall family came to America with General Braddock’s army and participated in that notable campaign which ended in western Pennsylvania on the march to Fort Duquesne, where Braddock was defeated and where the day was only partially saved by George Washington and his Virginia frontiersmen. This British soldier and his wife came from the vicinity of Edinburgh, Scotland, and they remained in this country and died in New York City. They left only one son, David Hall. David Hall married Phoebe Allen. Her father, Andrew Allen, had come from Falkirk, Scotland, to America before 1756.
Frost Underlin Hall, father of Levi M., came from the East and was an early settler in Ohio. It is said that while he was traveling with the Mead family he came to the banks of the Ohio River. At that time he had only 25 cents in his pocket, and, pulling out this piece of money, he threw it into the river, saying, “I am going to begin life even.” He lived in Butler County, Ohio, a number of years, but in 1840 moved to Indiana, and spent his last years at Quaker Point in Vermilion County. While in Ohio he had charge of a section of the old Miami Canal and lived at what was known as Hall’s Locks. He often said that the Hall boys threw a wagon load of stones over the canal, aiming at birds on the other side.
Mr. Levi M. Hall was three times married. On September 20, 1846, he married Rachel Hollingsworth. On April 3, 1855, Mary Darling became his wife. His present wife was Mary Frances Patterson, and they were married October 12, 1876.
Levi M. Hall learned the trade of blacksmith, and in the early days he shod horses that drew stage coaches over the route from Covington, Indiana, to Johnston’s Tavern. He is one of the best posted men on the old-time days and incidents in Champaign County. He had a large acquaintance with all the pioneers.
Mr. Hall arrived at the old town of Homer October 4, 1846. All there was of the village at that time was located by the creek near where Homer Park now is. In that community he has made his home all the years since then, a period of over seventy years. From his good business management he acquired a farm of over 200 acres and was for years extensively engaged in buying and selling farms. He made it a practice to buy up unimproved or rundown, places, living thereon until the land was once more in a state of good cultivation, and then sell out at a profit.
Mr. Hall’s children are noted as follows: Calvin Jenks Hall lives in Bond County, Illinois. He married Amy I. Dodd. Persis A. Bell, a widow, lives in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Hall’s oldest son was William Smith Hall, who died and left two children, Nellie R. and Levi B. Mr. Hall has three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
At the ripe age of ninety he is still a well preserved man and the years sit lightly upon his head. He is a man of genial character, and in a business way his word has always been accepted as good as gold in the hand.
His present wife, whose maiden name was Mary Frances Patterson, was born near St. Joseph, Illinois, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth M. (Ray) Patterson. She was educated in the district schools near St. Joseph. To their marriage have been born five children: Charles A., who died at the age of four years; C. B.; Ada M.; Carl C., who died at the end of ten months; and Laura A. The children who grew up were educated in the district schools and attended the Homer High School. C. B., who also attended the business college at Decatur, is now in the transfer and storage business at Danville, Illinois. He married Lillian Pogue and has a son, Melvin P. Hall. Ada M. Hall is the wife of E. M. Beazeley and they live at Denison, Texas, where he is manager of a wholesale mercantile house. Laura A. Hall is a graduate nurse of Danville and is still located in that city. About eighteen years ago Mr. and Mrs. Hall left their farm and bought a pleasant home on West Street in Homer. Here they live with every comfort, and surrounded with friends and relatives they have a most happy outlook on life and on all that awaits them in the future. They are active members and supporters of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he is a stalwart supporter of the Republican party. Mr. Hall has experienced the bitter along with the sweet of life, and has been called upon to lay away two wives and ten of his children. He and his present wife have been married now for over forty years and he considers it his high good fortune to have had such a capable woman at his side as an adviser and counselor during all these years. One of the most pleasant events in his life was the celebration of his ninetieth birthday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. E. M. Beazeley at Denison, Texas, on June 19, 1917. Mr. Hall has made a splendid record for himself in dealing with his fellow men, and his integrity of character has been a contributing factor in the development of his home county.