JAMES A. HALL - James A. Hall, comptroller of the city of Springfield, was born a half mile east of Loami, Illinois, and represents an old family of this county. His paternal grandfather, Dr. Samuel Hall, was a native of Pendleton county, Virginia, and was married November 3, 1814, to Hannah Cunningham, who was born in Pendleton county in 1798. He died October 16, 1827, and his widow afterward removed with her family of eight children to Sangamon county, Illinois, arriving November 20, 1833. The journey was made with a team and carriage and they traveled in company with her father. They settled first in Chatham township and the following year removed to Loami township. Mrs. Hall was again married May 1, 1835, to Adam Trumbo, and after his death she lived with her son, James A. Hall, the father of our subject and her fourth child. He was born in Virginia, January 25, 1821, and was married in Sangamon county August 16, 1845, to Elizabeth Mcginnis by whom he had two children. Her death occurred in 1849, and on the 16th of December, 1853, he was married to Margaret Darneille, by whom he had eight children; but Elizabeth and Virginia died when less than seven years old, and Jefferson died at the age of eight years. The others are Laura, the wife of Rufus H. Jones, of Loami; Hannah, wife of H. McGinnis, of Loami; Joseph, who married Florence Slaughter, of Salisbury, Missouri, and is now in Fowler, Kansas; John C., a farmer of Loami, who married Miss Hamilton, and James A., who completes the family. The father was a successful farmer, carrying on agricultural pursuits a half mile east of Loami. His wife died January 27, 1891, and he survived until March 5, 1900.
James A. Hall attended the public schools and remained on his father's farm until his seventeenth year, when he became a student in Eastman's Commercial College, at Poughkeepsie, New York, where he was graduated in 1891. He then went to the Pacific coast and was in the employ of the Sanford Anderson Mining Company until 1894, when he returned to this county and operated his father's farm. In February, 1895, he took up his abode in Springfield and entered the Internal Revenue department, where he remained until August 1, 1899. He then accepted a position as bookkeeper in the Ridgely Bank and on the first of January, 1901, he entered the Marine Bank as bookkeeper, remaining there until May 1, 1903, when he was appointed city comptroller under Mayor H. H. Devereux. His political allegiance has always been given the Democracy and he is one of the standard bearers of the party in Springfield. Fraternally he is connected with the Elks and Knights of Pythias and is a Knights Templar Mason, while with the Sangamo Club, he holds membership.
On the 20th of October, 1898, Mr. Hall was united in marriage to Miss Emma Helmle, daughter of Charles A. and Marie Helmle, early settlers of Sangamon county. Her father is now deceased and the mother lived with the daughter until her death, June 14, 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Hall have two children, but lost one in infancy. Their little daughter Marie Margaret, born January 28, 1900, is the pride of the home. In addition to his property in Springfield, Mr. Hall owns a farm in Loami township, which is operated by his brother. His father was a large landowner of that township, the home farm comprising over seven hundred acres.