One of the first physicians to locate at the Town of Augusta in Butler County was Dr. L. S. Hall. That was nearly forty years ago. For a number of years Doctor Hall lived outside of Kansas, but the greater part of his professional career had been identified with a town that had since developed into a thriving city, the center of one of the greatest oil districts in Southern Kansas.
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Doctor Hall had done a great deal of good through his profession, and had lived a well rounded and complete life. His is an excellent ancestry. Doctor Hall was born at Spencer, New York, April 17, 1855. In the paternal line he is of Scotch-Irish descent, the Halls having come to New York state in Colonial times. His grandfather, Lewis Hall, was born on Long Island near New York City. He afterwards acquired a farm on the shores of Lake Cayuga, six miles from Ithaca, New York, and lived there until his death in 1861. His death was the result of an accident when his horse ran away. He had had a military training and served in the New York State Militia. His church was the Presbyterian. Lewis Hall married Miss Elizabeth Corey, a native of New York State. Doctor Hall’s father was H. S. Hall, who was born in Orange County, New York, in 1810. He spent his early life in Orange County and when a young man went out to Rockford, Illinois, where he established the pioneer general store. At that time Northern Illinois was just being settled up and law and order, peace and security of person and property were largely left to the people themselves. H. S. Hall became an active member of a vigilance committee which did much to suppress outlawry. He lived in Illinois three years and while there took up a homestead of a 100 acres. He later traded that farm and went to New York, locating at Spencer in Tioga County. He worked as clerk in a dry goods store, finally was taken into partnership and remained active in business thirty years. He had traded his Illinois land for a farm adjoining that of his father-in-Law in Tioga County, and after giving up merchandising he became a stock farmer and lived on his place from 1861 until his death in 1806. He was a democrat in politics and served as a justice of the peace.
H. S. Hall married Cornelia L. Fisher. Doctor Hall gives great credit for what he had accomplished in life and for his character to his beloved mother. She was born in Spencer, New York, in 1819, and died there in 1896, just one day after her husband died. Though the women of her generation seldom had the advantages of schools and colleges, she possessed an unusual range of accomplishments both intellectually and in the domestic arts. Her character was especially admirable. She was amiable, possessed a beautiful personality, and these qualities were balanced by fine intelligence and judgment. She was an active member of the Presbyterian church. Her grandfather, Leonard Fisher, was of pure German stock, and lived for many years in New York City, where he was a successful merchant and where he acquired considerable property which subsequently became very valuable. Leonard Fisher had fourteen children, and all of them but Thomas and George died in New York City. Mrs. H. S. Hall’s father was named Thomas Fisher. He was born in New York City. He and his brother went out to Western New York and became pioneer hop raisers at Spencer in Tioga County. He also had had experience as a sailor on the high seas and visited Portugal, Spain, and other foreign countries. He died at Spencer, New York, in 1864. Thomas Fisher married Olive Hodges. She was of English stock and possessed a splendid balance of character, and through her Mrs. H. S. Hall acquired many of the qualities already referred to. Olive (Hodges) Fisher died at Spencer, New York, at the age of ninety-six.
Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Hall had nine children: Henry H., who died at Brooklyn, New York, in 1907, was for many years in newspaper work but the last fifteen years of his life was engaged in the nursery business. Olive H., who died at Spencer, New York, in 1871, was the wife of Dr. Alonzo Norris, deceased, a physician and surgeon. Mary F., who lives at Spencer, New York, is a graduate of the Oswego Normal School of New York, and for many years was successfully engaged in school work, chietly as a normal teacher in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and New York. She retired very well to do, having made her own fortune. Thomas F. is in the nursery busines at El Paso, Texas. Emily C. lives at Chautauqua, New York, the widow of Rev. Jacob Woodruff, who was a Methodist preacher. The sixth in the family, Frederick A., died in infancy. The next younger is Dr. L. S. Hall. Rosemond C. married Jacob Valentine and they live on the old homestead in Tioga County, New York. Catherine L., the youngest, is the wife of Charles Fisher, a dairyman at Sponcer, New York.
Doctor Hall attended the public schools of Spencer, New York, graduating from high school in 1873, and began the study of medicine under his brother-in-law, Doctor Norris. He also took the regular course in the Bellevue Hospital Medical College at New York City, from which he had the degree M. D. given him in 1878. At three different times Doctor Hall had taken post-graduate work and special courses in the eye and ear and in general surgery at Kansas City.
It was in 1878 that he located in Augusta, Kansas. None of the men in practice at that time in this part of Butler County remain, and thus Doctor Hall is dean of the medical fraternity at Augusta. During his many years of practice he had found his services in increasing demand as a surgeon. In 1896 he left Kansas and spent two years at Clinton, Missouri, and then on account of failing health lived a year in Colorado. After his health was restored he resumed practice at Coatesville, Missouri, where he remained until 1910, then returning to Augusta. His offices are on State Street.
Butler County was a new country when he began practice in 1878. The homes of the settlers were often far apart, there were trails rather than roads leading about from place to place, and for those who never lived in such conditions it is practically impossible to imagine the countless difficulties which the pioneer doctor had to encounter. A man of less rugged physique would have worn himself out in a few years performing the arduous duties of country practice. Doctor Hall was called to attend his patients over a wide stretch of country. He rode horseback the greafer part of the time and it was years before the telephone came as an aid and years more before the automobile made country driving comparatively easy. It was not an uncommon thing for him during some of his eighteen or twenty mile rides to lose his way in the night time and spend several hours on a prairie by the side of a friendly hay stack. At sunrise the next morning he would take his bearings and proceed to the home where his professional services were required. One of the first professional calls Doctor Hall made after coming to Augusta was a conflnement case. He presided over the birth of Carl F. Buck, who is now a prosperous manufacturer at Augusta. When Doctor Hall located at Augusta the business district of the town consisted of only one stone building. This was occupied by Locke the druggist. This pioneer store was just north of where Ettenson’s business house now stands. Doctor Hall sinee coming to Kansas had taken an active part in behalf of the democratic party, and had done much to further and maintain its organization. He had served as chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee, the Democratic Congressional Committee, and had also been a member of the Democratic State Committee.
Doctor Hall served as president of the local school board a number of years, for a long time was on the city council, and in 1895 was elected mayor. He owned his residence at 1022 Dearborn Street and through the diligent practice of his profession for forty years had been able to provide amply for his family and secure a sufficiency for his own neods. Fraternally he is prominent in Mystie Tie Lodge No. 74, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, which he served as master many years, and also belongs to El Dorado Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and El Dorado Commandery No. 19, Knights Templar. He was formerly active in the County and State Medical societies and the American Medical Association.
Doctor Hall married in El Dorado, Kansas, Miss Fannie Houston. Mrs. Hall is a native of Indiana but lived at El Dorado before her marriage. Doctor and Mrs. Hall have two children. Gextrude E. is a graduate of the Trenton, Missouri, High School, and is now the wife of W. H. Watt, who is a resident of Kansas City, Missouri, and is agent for Florida lands. Robert L. Hall is a resident of Wichita, Kansas, and is in the railway service.