The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

John Courtland Hall

For reminiscences from the pen of Court Hall, click here.

From The Sketch, Sept. 14-21, 1907

    J. C. Hall, one of our most prominent young men, and Miss Mabel Owen, the estimable daughter of ex-Sheriff Owen, were to be united in matrimony here on Thursday evening. They have the congratulations of a host of friends.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 9, 1891, page 2

    J. C. Hall has purchased Barker Bros.' saloon business in Central Point. He will keep a fine, large stock of goods in his line.

"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 13, 1892, page 3

    John Hanley and J. C. Hall were granted the right to sell liquors on the fair ground near Central Point by the secretary, Mrs. W. J. Plymale. The bid was $215.75, the highest ever paid for the privilege.
"Jacksonville Jottings," Valley Record, Ashland, August 25, 1892, page 3

    There was spirited bidding for the privilege of selling liquor on the grounds near Central Point during the coming fair. J. C. Hall and J. A. Hanley were the successful bidders at $215.75.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 26, 1892, page 3

    Court Hall is getting to be an expert on the bicycle.

"Central Point," Medford Mail, March 10, 1893, page 3

    Born, April 2, 1893, to Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Hall, a son. Court feels as big as he looks these days.
"Central Point," Medford Mail, April 7, 1893, page 2

    J. C. Hall of Central Point was in Jacksonville yesterday. He informs us that his wife has almost fully recovered from her serious illness.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 12, 1893, page 3

    Court Hall, of Central Point, who rides a velocipede, came out winner in a race with the stage to our town last Thursday.

"Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, July 21, 1893, page 4

    J. C. Hall and Sam McClendon came up from Central Point to get the news of [the] big prize fight, but were disappointed.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 25, 1894, page 3

    There has been a new shift made in the ownership of the Turf Exchange Saloon this week. S. F. Morine has sold his interest therein to J. C. Hall (called Court for short) of Central Point, and the firm is now Legate & Hall. Mr. Hall has decided to retire from his business at Central Point and will soon be a permanent resident of this city. H. H. Wolters will be retained as mixerologist until matters are gotten squarely in good running shape--perhaps he will be a permanent fixture. The new firm expect to add some considerable new furniture to the place. Mr. Morine will probably devote his entire attention to his quite extensive interests in the Applegate district.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, January 31, 1896, page 5

    Mrs. J. C. Hall left a few days since for an extended visit to the East.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 13, 1896, page 3

    "Here's to the things of friendship, may they never rust" is a toast that is truly noble. Such is the motto of the "Turf Exchange," a well and favorably known resort opposite the Hotel Nash. Mr. Hall handles nothing but the best foreign and domestic wines, liquors and cigars. He makes a specialty of the very best of brandies and Cyrus Noble whiskey. One wishing to while away an hour will meet with courteous treatment at this popular resort. "Our Business and Professional People Briefly Mentioned," Medford Mail, May 28, 1897, page 3

May 7, 1897 Medford Mail
May 7, 1897 Medford Mail

    Court Hall has been having his Turf Exchange refitted in fine style. New paper and paint abounds everywhere--put there by the master hand of Messrs. Ling and Russell. A new refrigerator--and a good one--the work of Messrs. Weeks Bros., has also been put in. G. T. Hershberger has swung into line as compounder of thirst-quenchers at these parlors--and everything is very smooth thereabouts.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 10, 1898, page 7

    Kelly Bros., who have located a good quartz claim on Forest Creek, were at the scene of their discovery on Monday, accompanied by Court Hall.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 7, 1898

    J. C. Hall has sold his saloon business to W. T. Nelson, who arrived from Klamath County a short time since. Court has not yet decided what he will engage in.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 5, 1898, page 3

    Dr. Vint. Hall of Lakeview is paying his brother, Court Hall, a visit.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 15, 1898, page 1

A Sad Accident.
    J. C. Hall of Medford, while hunting on last Tuesday in company with J. E. Enyart, met with an accident that may result in the loss of an eye. The latter fired at some birds, but one of the shot, after glancing off the limb of a tree, struck Court in the eye. The many friends of the unfortunate man hope that the wound is not as serious as it is supposed to be.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 15, 1898, page 3

    J. C. Hall, who was accidentally shot by J. E. Enyart several weeks ago, is able to be about. The sight of the injured eye has been lost, but there is every probability that the ball will retain its wonted size, while the other eye is not affected as yet.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 16, 1899, page 2

    J. C. Hall was in Portland last week purchasing materials for the cigar stand and soft drink emporium to be opened by himself and Geo. Isaacs in this place in a short time.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 17, 1899, page 3

E. J. Calley of San Francisco, one of the most popular and successful commercial tourists on the road, spent Saturday in Medford. While here he sold a large and handsome soda fountain to Hall & Isaacs, who are fitting up an elegant store on 7th Street.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 8, 1899, page 3

    Hall & Isaacs are tapping the water main in front of Wolters & Howard's store and will lay pipe, bringing the water across the street into their new quarters. This water will be used as a feeder for a beautiful little fountain which will form a part of the furnishings of this new resort.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 19, 1899, page 7

    Court Hall, Tuesday evening while in a playful scuffle with Mrs. Hall, had the misfortune to hurt his eye--the one which was injured by a shot last fall. His physicians had told him that it would be necessary to remove the eye before very long, and as this last hurt has greatly aggravated the injury, it is necessary to remove it at once. He took Thursday's southbound train for San Francisco, where he will at once undergo the operation for the removal of the eye. His many friends are all sympathizing with him in his affliction and hoping that the operation will be successful and that no further misfortunes may be his lot.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 23, 1899, page 7

    J. C. Hall and Wm. Isaacs opened their handsome variety store and ice cream saloon a few days ago, and are enjoying a big business already. They have fitted up their building in an elaborate manner.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 17, 1899, page 3

    Mrs. J. C. Hall and son have returned from a visit to Gold Hill.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 19, 1900, page 3

    Mrs. J. C. Hall and son, of Medford, were here visiting with Court last week.
"Gold Hill Items," Medford Mail, April 13, 1900, page 3

Dissolution of Partnership.
    Notice is hereby given that the co-partnership heretofore existing by and between J. C. Hall and W. F. Isaacs, doing business under the firm name of Hall & Isaacs, is by mutual consent this day dissolved. All accounts due the firm are payable to W. F. Isaacs, who will continue the business, and all accounts owed by the firm will be paid by said W. F. Isaacs.
    Dated at Medford, Oregon, this 5th day of April, 1900.
Medford Mail, April 13, 1900, page 3

    W. F. Isaacs has purchased J. C. Hall's interest in the Rialto confectionery and cigar stand and is now doing business in single harness, but as he is pulling in hame collar he is able to handle the large business which the establishment enjoys. B. I. Stoner and Charlie Isaacs will retain their old positions under the new regime.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 13, 1900, page 7

    J. C. Hall will soon move his family here from Medford, he having rented the Dodge property on F Street.
    The ice and cold storage building of Young & Hall was completed last Friday and the next day a carload of ice was received for the same. The building is now receiving a coat of paint.
"Gold Hill Items," Medford Mail, April 20, 1900, page 3

    J. C. Hall left Wednesday morning for San Francisco, where he is to have another operation performed upon his eye. There seems to be something wrong with the eyelid, which causes pain and is considerably irritated by coming in contact with the glass eye which Mr. Hall had put in several months ago.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 20, 1900, page 6

    Young & Hall keep one of the best assortments of wines, liquors, cigars, etc. in southern Oregon, and their saloon is first class in every respect. They have lately added to their stock five barrels of straight Old Hermitage whiskey, "93 goods," which they are putting over the bar as a straight 10-cent drink. They also handle the following brands of liquors and cigars: Whiskeys--Canadian Club, Cyrus Noble, Yellow Stone, Clark's Pure Rye, Portland Club, Old Castle, etc. Cigars--El Principe de Gales, Sanchez and Haya, La Flor Stanford, La Verdad, General Arthur, etc. For medicinal purposes their goods are unequaled. "Our saloon is the headquarters for mining men, where you are always sure of courteous treatment."--Young & Hall.
"Personal and Local," Gold Hill News, May 25, 1901, page 5

    J. C. Hall has moved dwellings, from the south side to the Dodge building on D Street.
"Gold Hill Items," Medford Mail, July 19, 1901, page 3

    Miss Pearl Hall has been elected principal of the Lakeview public school to fill the unexpired term of Prof. McCormack, who has retired because of poor health. Miss Hall has been a teacher in the primary department of the school for three years. She is a sister of J. Court Hall, of Gold Hill, and was assistant principal in the Medford public school a few years ago. She is a very capable young lady and while the duties which she has assumed are arduous and exacting, the Mail is satisfied she will acquit herself with credit to all parties interested.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 14, 1902, page 7

    J. C. Hall, who was in Medford Thursday, expects to leave for Ohio in a few days to visit his father, who is a prominent official in the National Soldiers' Home at Dayton. He will be accompanied by his brother, Dr. V. Hall of Lakeview.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 27, 1902, page 4

    J. Court Hall, of Gold Hill, and his brother, Dr. Hall of Lakeview, left for the East Tuesday. They will visit their old home in Ohio and from there will go to New York City, from which place the doctor will leave for Europe, where he will finish his education. After a few weeks' visit in New York Court will return to Oregon.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, March 28, 1902, page 6

    J. Court Hall of Gold Hill and his brother Dr. T. Vinton Hall of Lakeview have gone East. They will visit their old home in Ohio and from there will go to New York City, where Dr. Hall will attend a famous medical school for a three months' course.
"News, Local and General," Lake County Examiner, Lakeview, April 17, 1902, page 3

    J. Court Hall was up from Gold Hill Monday. He returned last week from New York City and other eastern points. While in New York City he had his eyes treated, and also secured a new one to replace the one he lost a few years ago. He remained in the city only three days--says there are too many people, too many streetcars and too much of a congestion of everything--kept him dodging all the time to keep from getting trampled upon.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, May 2, 1902, page 6

    Court Hall of Gold Hill has returned from his trip to Ohio. He visited New York City while he was gone and had his injured eye treated.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 8, 1902, page 5

    W. F. Isaacs returned last week from a visit with Gold Hill friends. He reports that while there he attended a dance given by the Women's Relief Corps, which was a grand affair. Over 100 tickets were sold and the music was by a Grants Pass orchestra. Master Seely Hall and little Miss Beeman did a cake walk and a two-step that was grand to look upon.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, May 9, 1902, page 6

    J. Court Hall, of Gold Hill, has rented the saloon room which is to be put up on the corner of Seventh and D streets by Palm & Bodge. Mr. Hall aims to have the best-appointed saloon in Oregon south of Portland.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 4, 1902, page 6

    Palm & Bodge will commence the construction of their proposed brick block during the present month. We are informed that Court Hall has rented the lower corner room and will fit [it] up handsomely for a saloon.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 10, 1902, page 5

    J. Court Hall and C. F. Young, of Gold Hill, have leased the corner room of the first floor of the Palm-Bodge Block, now being built, and will open up in it one of the finest saloons in Southern Oregon. Messrs. Hall & Young were in Medford Tuesday taking measurements from the plans of their room so as to order their fixtures of the right length, and that evening they left for San Francisco to make their purchases.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 25, 1902, page 7

    The bar fixtures and partitions for the saloon which J. Court Hall will conduct in the corner room of the Palm-Bodge building arrived this week. They are of polished walnut and up-to-date in style and finish.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 19, 1902, page 7

    J. Court Hall and family have again taken up their residence in Medford, having moved here last week. They are occupying the Lumsden residence on North C Street, between Sixth and Seventh.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, October 3, 1902, page 6

    J. C. Hall and his family are again residents of Medford. He is making preparations for the opening of a handsome saloon in Palm & Bodge's brick block.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 16, 1902, page 2

Notice of Request for Liquor License.
    Notice is hereby given that the undersigned will make application to the city council, at its next regular meeting, November 4, 1902, for a license to sell spirituous, vinous and malt liquors in the city of Medford. Place of business will be on the corner of Seventh and North D streets, Medford, Jackson County, Oregon.
YOUNG & HALL.       
Medford Mail, October 17, 1902, page 2

    Palm & Bodge's big and handsome brick block is nearing completion. Young & Hall, who have leased the corner rooms, will open their saloon inside of two weeks. It will be called The Medford, and will be second to no resort of the kind in the state.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 19, 1902, page 1

    Seventh and D Street corner, to be occupied by Young & Hall, is done and J. Court is now busily engaged in getting his bar fixtures, etc., in shape for the opening, which will occur in a few days. When finished it will be one of the handsomest saloons in the state outside of the large cities.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 28, 1902, page 7

    Young & Hall's new saloon, "The Medford," in the Palm-Bodge building, will be opened to the public on Saturday, December 6th. This is one of the finest saloons in the state and is worthy of inspection.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 5, 1902, page 7

Chas. F.  Young of Gold Hill, who is interested in The Medford with J. C. Hall, has been in town recently.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 10, 1902, page 4

"The Medford" Opening.
    The first business place to open its doors to the public in the new Palm-Bodge block was "The Medford," Young & Hall, proprietors. This saloon is undoubtedly one of the finest fitted up of any business place of the kind in the state south of Portland, and there are few in that city which excel it. The bar is of solid mahogany, eighteen feet long, and the back bar contains three large plate glass mirrors, the center one being 8½x5 feet and the two end ones 3x4 feet in size. The partition between the barroom and the card room in the rear is also of mahogany and strictly up-to-date in style and finish. The walls are papered with heavy paper of artistic design and color, and several handsome pictures help out the general effect. The rooms are lighted with electricity throughout. In the center back bar is a handsome chandelier and a corresponding one in the center of the room. At each end of the back bar are frosted globes, giving a soft, mellow light, and other lights placed at convenient intervals. The windows are screened with heavy portieres of a rich style. The floor of the barroom is of tile, inlaid in a handsome pattern, while the card room floor is covered with linoleum.
    On Saturday the house was thrown open for business, and, during the day and night, an appetizing luncheon was served the many patrons who came in to assist Young & Hall in their housewarming.
    Young & Hall have been at great expense to fit up this place to make it second to none between Portland and San Francisco, and to give Medford a first-class saloon in every sense of the word.
    They will handle nothing but staple goods and have taken great pains in selecting, so as to have nothing but the very best to serve their patrons. Their stock of glassware is the handsomest and most up-to-date selection in Southern Oregon, and all the latest devices for serving liquors are at hand. Their beer is kept in a cellar built especially for that purpose, and the newest things in drawing and keeping it are employed.
    The attendants will be in keeping with the place; none but the very best men in the business will be employed. B. I. Stoner will officiate as chief day mixologist, and J. Court Hall will attend to the night shift. Mr. Hall will look after the Medford business, while his partner takes care of the Gold Hill end of the line.
Medford Mail, December 12, 1902, page 2

    Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Hall are visiting Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Hall, Sr., are from Myrtle Creek and are the parents of J. C. Hall. They expect to remain during the holidays.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 26, 1902, page 6

    Mrs. A. O. Heatherly of Central Point has been the guest of her sister, Mrs, J. C. Hall of Medford.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 4, 1903, page 3

    Court Hall this week received a short visit from his cousin, Dr. A. C. Seely, who is surgeon of the Gleneagle, a big steamer running between Tacoma and Hong Kong.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 6, 1903, page 3

    Court Hall is in Medford this week packing his household goods preparatory to moving his family to Gold Hill.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, May 11, 1903, page 6

    J. Court Hall:--"Did you see those automatic decoys I received this week? No? I'll tell you about them. They are as nearly alive as possible. They are just exackly like a mallard duck, and their 'quack' cannot be distinguished from the real things. The mode of procedure is to anchor them in a place frequented by ducks, near enough to the 'blind' to afford the person controlling them a fair shot. They will swim around, as far as the line attached to the anchor will allow them, in the most natural way--that is the great danger in using this kind of decoy, some fellow is likely to come along and shoot them for genuine ducks, their movements are so natural. A band of ducks flying over are attracted by the sight of the decoys and their very natural 'quacking.' The flying ducks circle, make ready to alight by the decoys, the gunner rises from behind the blind--and it is up to him--he may get ducks and he may not, it depends on his ability to shoot."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, November 13, 1903, page 4

    J. Court Hall:--"Did you know that I came pretty near going back to Pennsylvania a few days ago? It's so, and if I had been wise I might have taken an eastern trip. It was this way: A fellow by the name of Court Hall got into trouble in Pennsylvania several years ago and then skipped. A reward of $2500 was offered for his capture, but he seemed to have disappeared. Some way or another a Pinkerton man found out a Court Hall was in business in Southern Oregon, and jumped to the conclusion that he had located the man he wanted. He came down here, met me, found out that my build, complexion and general description didn't fit and then left. He had a kind of a notion to take me anyway, and if I had been a little bit offish about giving him my past history, I might have had a free ride east--and then had a chance to walk back."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, October 27, 1905, page 4

    Miss Pearl Diebert, niece of Dr. T. V. and Miss Pearl Hall, will arrive in Lakeview soon from Medford, where she has been visiting her uncle, Court Hall, and family. Miss Diebert is from Minot, S.D. Miss Pearl will assume the duties of librarian of the Lakeview Public Library, to succeed Mrs. Rolla McDonald, who resigned.

"Lakeview and Vicinity," Lake County Examiner, Lakeview, February 14, 1907, page 8

(From Thursday's daily.)
    Miss Pearl Dibert, a niece of J. C. Hall, who has been a resident of this section for the past two years, left yesterday for North Dakota. She will stop en route at Myrtle Creek for a couple of weeks' visit with relatives.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, October 9, 1908, page 5

J. Court Hall, April 15, 1909 Oregonian
April 15, 1909 Oregonian

    J. Court Hall left for San Francisco Monday morning on a business trip. He will remain and take in the Nelson-Wolgast fight on the 22nd.
"Social and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, February 14, 1910, page 10

June 12, 1910 Sunday Oregonian
June 12, 1910 Sunday Oregonian

Medford Promoter Declares Team Is Losing Proposition.
    MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 21--(Special.)--"No more baseball for me," declares Court Hall, Medford baseball promoter, who nearly went "broke" financing the Medford "Invincibles" this season. "It you put on good baseball it costs so much that there is always a loss, and if you employ cheap players no one will come to the games."
    Jack McGlynn, who purchased the "Invincibles" from Hall, has gone to Salem to take a job in the commissary department, and. with the refusal of the former owner to have anything more to do with the sport, the outlook for baseball in Medford is poor.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 22, 1911, page 10

Curtiss Machine Gets Away with Him and Up He Goes--
Has Splendid Ride for Some Seventy-Five Feet--Doesn't Like It.
    Court Hall, baseball magnate, billiard shark and automobilist, has added one more pursuit to his vocations in life. He is now a manbird, aviator, aeronaut or aerial chauffeur. It may be that he, and not Eugene Ely, will cavort among the clouds Saturday afternoon for the delight of Medford people.
    [omission] day. While it was only some 75 feet in distance it demonstrated his wonderful skill. It happened thusly:
    Court climbed into the aeroplane at the aviation grounds to see where world-renowned men sit. No sooner had he settled there than a brisk wind caught the machine and started it down the cinders. Thinking he was grasping a brake, Court pulled hard on a lever and lo! the machine started to climb. For seventy-five feet he was carried before the breeze died and he came down with a bump.
    He says Ely may like to fly, but he doesn't.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 2, 1911, page 6

    J. Court Hall is at the office of the Medford Taxi Company again, after a short visit in
San Francisco.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, October 29, 1912, page 3

    Ed Wilkinson, Shorty Miles, Court Hall, George Merriman, and Charles Young are among the Medford men who will be at the ringside when Bud Anderson fights Sammy Trott next Saturday afternoon. Horace Dudley of Los Angeles will join the local contingent at Vernon.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, January 20, 1913, page 2

    Word has been received at Lakeview that Dr. T. V. Hall, who has been actively engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Lake County for several years, and who recently left for New York to take a postgraduate course, had his ankle broken while leaving a streetcar and has become insane. Dr. Hall is well known in this valley and is a brother of J. Court Hall.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 11, 1913, page 2

    The Hall Taxi Company will have charge of the auto part of the Crater Lake excursions this year in connection with the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, taking the excursionists from Derby to the lake and return. They have also arranged to take people from Medford to the lake and return for $15 for the round trip.
    A regular schedule will be arranged to leave Medford three times a week, but people will be taken any day not on the regular schedule. You can also make the trip from Medford to the lake and return via Derby and from there by rail or vice versa.
    Court Hall, proprietor of the taxi company, says he thinks the season will be open about July 10.
    The Southern Pacific will sell tickets from the San Francisco, Portland or intermediate points to Crater Lake via Medford this year for the first time. The Pacific & Eastern will also sell tickets to the lake and return.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1913, page 4

    Seely Hall, in his 1913 Cadillac Six, made a record run from Bend, Or., to Medford, covering the distance of 215 miles in fourteen hours, leaving Bend at 1:30 a.m. Saturday and arriving in Medford at 3:30 p.m. In all this distance the engine was not stopped once or water put in the radiator.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 6, 1913, page 6

Hall Cadillac ad, November 3, 1913, Medford Mail
 November 3, 1913 Medford Mail

    C. E. Gates, Court Hall and Seely Hall returned Friday from Portland where they attended the Northwest Auto Show. Seely reports seeing a number of former Medfordites, some prosperous, and others privates in the rear ranks of the army of the unemployed. All three proclaim the auto show as a success and a great educational factor to buyers and sellers of machines.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, January 31, 1914, page 2

Crater Lake Motors ad, February 7, 1914 Medford Mail Tribune
 February 7, 1914 Medford Mail Tribune

Medford Ranch Brings $12,250.
    MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 15.--(Special.)--Gain Robinson, of Springfield, Mass., today purchased 35 acres of the Young & Hall orchard tract for $12,250, an average of $250 an acre. The trees are half pear and half apple, from 4 to 8 years old. Mr. Robinson will build a modern bungalow on the property and make his home there.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, August 16, 1914, page 49

Hall Taxi Co. ad 1914
 September 5, 1914 Medford Mail Tribune

    Court Hall will send a Dodge car up to Crater Lake about the first of May to see how the roads are and to give the car a thorough test.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, April 22, 1915, page 6

To leave Medford on Monday, July 21, to work on government road.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1916, page 3

    Captain Jasper N. Hall, father of Court Hall of this city, died at Sacred Heart Hospital last night, the indirect cause of death being injuries received when he was thrown from a jitney during fair week.
    Captain Hall was born near Urbana, O., October 1, 1835.
    Captain Hall, who was an officer in the 113th Regiment, O.V.I., was taken prisoner at the battle of Chickamauga, September 20, 1863, and was confined in both Andersonville and Libby prisons. While confined in these prisons he made three attempts to escape, being captured and returned to prison each time.
    In 1880 Captain Hall wrote a history of his wartime experiences, entitled Our Knapsack. The book enjoyed a large sale, and only a few copies can be had at the present time.
    In 1887 Captain Hall came to Oregon and settled at Myrtle Creek. In 1889 he returned to Dayton, O., to take an official position at the Dayton Military Home, which position he held until 1906, when he retired to private life. July 5, 1916 he returned to Medford to make his home with his son, Court Hall.
    Captain Hall was a well-educated man and for many years taught school in both Jackson and Douglas counties. He also had charge of the Indian school at Klamath agency.
    Funeral services will be held at the Weeks & McGowan chapel Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m., Rev. Hamilton officiating. Interment will be in the I.O.O.F. cemetery, Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 11, 1916, page 6.  J. N. Hall wrote only the first chapter in Our Knapsack, about his experience in the battle of Chickamauga, his imprisonment in Libby Prison, his escape and recapture. The book contains an engraving of Hall.

    Court Hall won the final block and game last night in the billiard match with Maru, scoring 266 points to Maru's 186. Final score Hall 1000, Maru 728.
    Maru played a beautiful game on the start and looked like a sure winner, scoring 135 points to Hall's 70. Hall, however, soon settled down and clicked the ivories off for almost consecutive runs of 30,27, 24 and 21, overcoming his large handicap and winning with 72 points to the good. A match game is being arranged between Chris Gottlieb and Court Hall for 1200 points, to be played off next week.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 16, 1917, page 7

    Mrs. Florence Hall and John Hall of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, mother and uncle of Court Hall, who have been visiting Mr.and Mrs. Hall, left for their home this morning. Miss Pearl Hall of Lakeview, Ore. is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Hall and will return in about a week to resume her teaching in the public schools.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 24, 1917, page 2

    A sale of interest in the business district transpired this week when
Court Hall sold his half interest in the large two-story Young & Hall brick building on North Front Street, in which Moose Hall and the Optimo Cafe are located, for $12,500. The purchaser was Mr. Hall's sister, Miss Pearl Hall, the well-known Lakeview, Ore., school teacher who had been visiting here for some time and is now visiting relatives at Myrtle Creek. The building has a 75-foot frontage on Front Street.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 22, 1918, page 2

    Court Hal and his uncle, John Hall of Lakeview, arrived home last night from Klamath Falls, to which city they were accompanied by Court's sister, Miss Pearl Hall, who was en route to Lakeview to resume teaching in the public schools of that city.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, September 6, 1918, page 2

    Court Hall and son have sold their interest In the Crater Lake Motor Co. to E. E. Waters of Oklahoma, for $6500.
    In buying the Crater Lake Motor Company Mr. Waters has purchased the largest automobile repair business between Portland and Sacramento. No change will be made in the present mechanics, and Seely V. Hall will be retained as foreman and chief mechanic. Several other mechanics will be added within the next few days, one of them being Wm. Sullivan, a former Medford man, who has left the Packard agency at Boise, Idaho, to report to the Crater Lake Motor Company.
    Mr. Waters is an experienced garage man, and will endeavor to keep a sufficient force of mechanics to turn out work promptly.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 11, 1919, page 8

Court Hall Sells Crater Lake Garage
    Court Hall and son have sold their interest in the Crater Lake Motor Co. to E. E. Waters of Oklahoma, for $6,500.
    In buying the Crater Lake Motor Company Mr. Waters has purchased the largest automobile repair business between Portland and Sacramento. No change will be made in the present mechanics, and Seely V. Hall will be retained as foreman and chief mechanic. Several other mechanics will be added within the next few days, one of them being Wm. Sullivan, a former Medford man, who has left the Packard agency at Boise, Idaho, to report to the Crater Lake Motor Company.
    Mr. Waters is an experienced garage man, and will endeavor to keep a sufficient force of mechanics to turn out work properly.
Ashland Tidings, June 13, 1919, page 1

    Court Hall has accepted the local agency and management for leading booking firms in the East to handle their tourist trade to Crater Lake for the 1919 season. Mr. Hall's duties will consist of handling all telegrams and letters, meeting the tourists at trains and hotels, and arranging tours either by private autos or regular auto stage.
    Mr. Hall has arranged six different sets of tours for the Crater Lake travel this season. These tours are from two to five days duration, each one different and attractive. Mr. Hall is so well acquainted with the scenic attractions on Crater Lake tours that the eastern booking firms had him arrange their itineraries.
    The road is now open up over the mountain, and autos can get within one mile of Crater Lake. By July 1st autos can get to [the] Crater Lake hotel. Indications are that there will be a big travel to Crater Lake this season.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 24, 1919, page 2

    Medford's baseball park at Second and North Holly streets will soon be but a memory, as Court Hall announced today that Young & Hall, who own the property, would at once begin to tear down the park grandstand and fence and remove the lumber to their orchard there to be reconstructed into a packing house.
    The passing of this amusement park, where many hard-fought local baseball games have been played during Medford's history, as well as football games, and where most of the circuses have exhibited for years, will be generally regretted. It was not only the largest enclosed plot of ground in the city but one of the largest pieces of unused ground.
    The owners are still hesitating whether to cut the tract up into building lots or to sell it intact, but one thing is sure and that is that just as soon as they find a contractor the fence and grandstand will be razed and removed to the Young-Hall orchard.
    The location is an advantageous and central one, and efforts will probably be made to sell the land to the board of education for use as the site of a new high school building, which it is generally known must be erected within the next few years.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 6, 1919, page 4

    While having Mrs. W. Bucher Fonda, Mrs. Oliver Crocker Stevens and their niece, Miss Winifred Mackay, a Raymond Whitcomb party from Boston, for an outing on the Rogue River yesterday Court Hall had a narrow escape from drowning. The recent rains have swelled the river several inches. Wearing heavy canvas waders, Court endeavored to wade out to one of his favorite places just above the lone pine. The current swept him off his feet and carried him down the river 100 feet before he regained his balance at a more shallow place, waist deep in the center of the river, where he remained with great difficulty, with deep, swift current on either side. Being unable to swim in the swift current with heavy waders on, he called for help. The women in the party responded nobly. Mrs. Stevens ran up the river for three-eighths of a mile for Walter Hawk, who had accompanied the party as chauffeur.
    Mrs. Fonda grabbed a rope from the automobile, and here Miss Mackay proved herself a heroine. She tied the rope to the root of a tree, pulled off her shoes, and endeavored to swim to Court with the rope. The current, however, carried her immediately into the bank. After several attempts this method of rescue had to be given up. Court managed to cast his line to Miss Mackay, but the rope was too short to reach the desired spot. In the meantime Mrs. Stevens had made Walter Hawk understand that something was wrong, and he hurried to the rescue. After getting the baggage straps and a pair of weed chains from the car, he and Miss Mackay managed to get the rope to Court; after tying the rope around his body they dragged him out through the swift current. The cold water had benumbed Court so that he could only have held out a few minutes longer if help had not reached him.
    Court presented Miss Mackay with a very fine gold quartz stickpin for the bravery she displayed and says in all the rest of his life never will he forget the heroism of this girl, to whom he owes his life.

Medford Mail Tribune,
September 9, 1919, page 8

Wealthy Heroine from Boston Ties Rope to Tree
on Bank and Plunges into River.

    MEDFORD, Or., Sept. 8.--(Special.)--Miss Winnifred Mackay, a wealthy society girl from Boston, Mass., was the heroine late yesterday in the rescue of Court Hall, proprietor of the Crater Lake stage line, from drowning in Rogue River.
    Hall, who is a veteran sportsman and experienced fisherman, took Miss Mackay and her two aunts, Mrs. W. Bercher Fonda and Mrs. Oliver Crocker Stevens of Boston, to Rogue River after their return from Crater Lake. Record rains have raised the river several inches, and Hall was swept off his feet and carried downstream several hundred feet. Seeing his predicament, Miss Mackay, who is skilled in sports, seized a rope from the car, tied it to a root on the bank and, taking off her shoes, plunged into the stream, attempting to swim to the rescue. She could make little headway, however.
    Hall, meanwhile, had been swept into a shallow place and managed to cast his line to the young woman, who, with the aid of the chauffeur and her companions, tied a rope, reinforced by mud chains, to the line, and Hall was pulled ashore.
    "A few minutes more," said Mr. Hall, "and I would have been swept from the shoal. I was completely exhausted and could make no headway with heavy waders on. I cannot praise Miss Mackay too highly." In gratitude to Miss Mackay, Hall presented a valuable gold quartz stickpin, which he had worn for many years, to the young woman.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 10, 1919, page 1

    Not for many months has so much pleasurable anticipation been caused in the city as was promulgated by the announcement that as a feature of the Elks lodge meeting tomorrow night an old-fashioned spelling bee would be held, 20 men on each side to be chosen by the leaders, those two former well-known school teachers of this county, Court Hall and Gus Newbury.
    The rivalry between the two spelling leaders has reached an intense stage, and the battle cudgel has been taken up by their ardent followers. This morning the Mail Tribune received the following from Mr. Hall under the heading:
"Attention My Brother Elks:
    "Brother Elks who years ago were former pupils of mine are requested to attend the Elks lodge tomorrow night.
    "Your presence is earnestly desired in order for me to win a contest in a spelling match with an opponent who has been taking legal advantage of me for the past twenty-five years.
    The news of the above slander reached Gus Newbury this noon and provoked the following characteristic reply:
    "I have been advised that one J. Court Hall, who is a broken-down school teacher of prehistoric times and was compelled, after 'teaching' one term of school, to get out of the profession because of the advancements which were being made in the profession and with which he could not keep pace, is circulating some slanderous reports about me because I have unfortunately been selected to he pitted against him in a spelling match at the Elks Lodge for Thursday night; and I am informed that he is calling upon all his former pupils to assist him in defeating me in this spelling contest.
Hall Scholars in Pen
    "I wish to advise my brother Elks that I have no fear of the result if he can obtain assistance from no other source in the unfair methods he is pursuing, excepting from his former pupils, for if my recollection serves me correctly, owing to the baneful example set by the said J. Court Hall while he was engaged in the profession of teaching, most of his pupils have served, or are serving, terms in the penitentiary and, therefore, could  not possibly be members of the Elks lodge. It is my purpose to rely upon the patriotic members of the Elks order and not upon any such pernicious outside influences as this man Hall is calling upon.
    "I remember that I took a teachers' examination once upon a time at the same time this man Hall was admitted to teach in the public schools of Jackson County, and at said time I was privately informed by Bill Colvig, who was then the county school superintendent, that the only reason he granted a certificate to this man, J. Court Hall, was because of the temporary respectability that said Hall had acquired because he sat at the same table with me while we were undergoing this examination.
    "And I beg to say that had it not been for the prestige which I gave him upon that occasion that he could not have succeeded in getting a certificate, and now that he is making these slanderous attacks upon me I wish to advise all my brother Elks that frequently during the examination, in order to pull this man Hall through and so that he would not be embarrassed by a failure, I assisted him in solving the problems which were presented and giving him the necessary information in grammar, history, etc., and ever since said time I have had great compunctions of conscience and have repeatedly, upon my bended knees, asked forgiveness for this sin which I committed against the rising generation of youth in this county who happened to be so unfortunate as to be required to attend school to this man, J. Court Hall.
    "I wish it understood that I have no feelings of vengeance in my makeup and wish to say that I have diligently all my life left the vengeance matter to the Lord, but now that the jealousy of this man has manifested itself in the attacks which he has made, I deem it my duty to the citizenship of Medford to make the foregoing disclosures.
"Very respectfully submitted,
    Mr. Hall never batted an eye when he learned of the above attack, but smiled confidently and after hesitating a moment said:
    "Why the poor old long-legged ignorant boob. He's dead from the Adams apple up, as will be plainly seen at Thursday night's contest."
Medford Mail Tribune, December 10, 1919, page 5 Click here for more on extreme spelling in Medford.

    Court Hall of Medford filed today his declaration for the office of county commissioner on the Republican ticket subject to the primary, May 21. Mr. Hall is one of Jackson County's best-known citizens, a pioneer resident and a good roads booster from way back. He has been directly identified with the business interest of the city and county and is now engaged in the automobile business. Mr. Hull says he was not asked to run by anybody, but just decided to be a candidate and will not be under obligations to anyone.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 9, 1920, page 2

    I think it only fair to the voters and people of Jackson County to give an idea before the primary is held as to what my policy would be should I be nominated and elected as county commissioner.
    I wish it emphatically understood that no politicians, clique, party, nor friends, induced me to run for this office. It looked early in the campaign as if no one wanted the office of county commissioner--or at least until I filed my candidacy, so I cast my hat into the ring.
    There is not a more beautiful valley in the West than ours. We have the soil and the climate. All that is needed to bring the homeseeker here is good roads and judicious advertising. One's property is only worth what is derived from its income, or the cash it will sell for. We have already this spring had quite a few homeseekers come here and invest in our lands and this has been the means of stimulating land values. If we continue to attract homeseekers the property values will continue stimulated.
    Now about good roads. All of our cities are taken care of by the Pacific Highway, therefore all the roads to be built from now on will be built in the country. A farmer who voted against a good roads measure now is simply voting against his own interests. You are paying taxes that gave the cities and towns good roads. Now that the cities and towns are willing, let them pay taxes to give you good roads. Good roads will increase our taxes, of course, but we will get the money thus paid out back in many ways.
    I am for good roads first, last and all the time. I want to build them just as fast as bonds are voted and our wealth justifies it. I think the opportune time has come.
    What has the farmer ever got by other methods? Supposing you are out $25 per year for taxes on good roads. Don't you get it back by time saving and saving wear on vehicles? Besides, good roads increase the valuation of your farms. With good roads your farm will become a suburb to the cities and towns.
    Did you ever see a calamity howler get anywhere? Such a person is a detriment to himself and the community he lives in. A pessimist never wants to do anything. An optimist wants to do something but wants someone else to do it. A peptomist does something. I believe in the peptomist.
    Remember, farmers, that your vote for good roads will help bring to this county new people, more wealth and increase the valuation of your farms. Why? Because today real estate is about the only article worth one hundred cents on the dollar. And with our climate, southern Oregon is sure to attract the homeseeker.
    I met a farmer the other day who said: "I am paying more than double the taxes that I did fifteen years ago. The cities are trying to run everything." This man is against advancement and progress. He wants the good old days of twenty years ago, when land was worth fifty dollars per acre and wheat fifty cents per bushel. He lives on the Pacific Highway and don't want to pay any taxes for other farmers to have good roads. His land is worth three hundred and fifty dollars per acre. He is making more money than he ever made before. But he can't appreciate the live wires in the cities have been putting up money for years to advertise this county to the homeseeker. He don't realize that many people in the cities are paying nearly as much taxes as he, for the privilege of living in their residence, and the same people are willing to pay more taxes to give the farmer good roads.
    I will vote for any measure that I think will be for the good of the county and people.
    I am for progression always.
    Now, voters, you have my sentiments. If you approve of them I would appreciate your votes. If you disapprove, there are two other candidates, both good men, to make a choice from.
    I do not intend to make a personal campaign for this office, as the duties of county commissioner are as much as the people should expect without running up extra costs on campaign expenses.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1920, page 3

County Commissioner
    I announce my candidacy for the office of county commissioner on the Republican ticket, subject to the will of the voters at the primaries, May 21, 1920. If elected I promise an economical, fair and impartial administration of the duties of the office. I have always been for good roads.
(Adv.)                                                                                            COURT HALL.
Ashland Tidings, May 19, 1920, page 4

    So far as the dark men at the
[Hotel] Oregon are concerned, Court Hall of Medford is a prominent citizen, chiefly distinguished by the fact that every time he asks for his key he hands the clerk or bellhop or anybody else who is handy an apple or a pear or some seasonable fruit from Jackson County. Mr. Hall runs a garage as an occupation and cultivates apples as an avocation.
"Those Who Come and Go," Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 24, 1920, page 8

J. Court Hall
    When I was a boy in Ohio I earned my first dollar. I ran away from home to come to Oregon and was going to peddle my way here. I had fifty cents. I bought four pair of nickel socks and some suspenders and started out. I doubled my money on the transaction. I stocked up again and started out anew, but grew homesick in a couple of days, and went back home at Troy, Ohio, to get something to eat, and start right for Oregon. I started out with my Sunday clothes under my arm, and when a mile or two from home took off my everyday clothes and hid them. I was never able to find them again. I was warmly welcomed on my return. I really think that most of the rheumatism I have every winter is nothing but lingering pain from it.
"How I Earned My First Dollar," Medford Mail Tribune, October 20, 1921, page 4

    Whether the subject is apples or automobiles, Court Hall of Medford is interested. There is a reason for this, as Mr. Hall is an orchardist in the famous Rogue River country, and he is also in the garage business at Medford, the garage being strategically situated where it can be reached by the tourists over the Pacific Highway. Mr. Hall is at the Hotel Oregon for a few days.
"Those Who Come and Go," Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 23, 1922, page 10

    "I really had the best time of my life while gone," said Court Hall, who with Mrs. Hall has just returned from a five week's sojourn in Hollywood, Calif., "and that is saying a large mouthful, as I have had many happy times in past years.
    "It was my pleasure to take in all the big athletic events in that section and places worth seeing--such peaches of prize fights, the New Year's Day and other big college football games, the moving picture studios, etc. Why, it was wonderful.
    "I also saw many famous people and rode in the same street car with one Fatty Arbuckle until a fellow passenger tipped me off that his reputation was not any too good. Then I got off at the next stop. One cannot be too careful, you know, when away from home."
    Mr. Hall, always of a scientific turn of mind, also feasted on some educational and other worthwhile features of Southern California, including a peanut roasting machine with a whistle attachment, at the Los Angeles street corner where he got his daily noon lunch. It seemed all the more marvelous to the Medford man after he was informed on his third visit to the stand by the Italian gentleman in charge that the constant whistling from the little spout was caused from steam generated by the roasting peanuts.
    "While you were in Hollywood and around the studios, did you see Theda Bara," interrupted a man, overhearing the above interview in the post office lobby.
    "Naw, they were all dressed," replied Mr. Hall.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 26, 1926, page 8

    The annual Elks lodge spelling match, with the members divided into two sides under Gus Newbury and Court Hall as the respective captains, is expected to draw forth the full resident membership and provide lots of fun at the lodge meeting tomorrow night.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, January 27, 1926, page 2

    J. Court Hall, orchardist and sport authority, baseball magnate and fisherman, is suffering from his annual touch of the rheumatism, and while applying poultices and liniment evolved the following snappy poem on the airport election, entitled: Medford's a Go-Getter":

If airships over Medford sailed
    With no landing place to stop,
Other towns would say we failed
    And laugh about our flop!

The Medford spirit always wins
    In business, athletics, and all--
So let the airships spin
    Around the field this fall.

Want it? Of course we do;
    Business and working men and all
Will help to build one new--
    The old one is too small!

Fruit mail all goes by air
    The fastest it can be tote;
Tuesday we will all be there
    In the little booth to vote.

Vote to get the airfield through--
    Don't mind about the dollar;
When finding it makes you two,
    You'll never make a holler!

Then our little town will grow,
    And business will be better
For all the world will know
Medford Mail Tribune, March 30, 1929, page 2

Leonard Woodford Shaped Stage Route to Crater Lake, and It Was Rough and Rocky Jaunt--1910 Travel Trying.
    The very blue and very keen eyes of Leonard (Woody) Woodford, orchardist of Gold Hill, flash apprehension yet when he recalls that pioneer trip of his, establishing the first stage route into Crater Lake in 1910.
    Accompanying him over the rocky course was Alfred Parkhurst, who built the first hotel at the lake--yes, and somebody with a camera, for Woody still has some old snaps taken along the way.
    There were streams to be forded, brush forests to be combated and rocky grades to be overcome, in an old model Studebaker car with uncertain brakes. It took more than seven hours to reach the final grade then, and that was "some speed" for the stages of 1910. Extra gasoline and oil, two or three spare tires and food supplies were taken along, as well as sand, gravel and materials that went into the foundation of the first hotel.
    Back in 1910, the bridges that covered the various creeks encountered on the way to the lake were taken up and stored away during the winter. Sometime in the late spring, they were put back again either by the park superintendent or county workers.
    Tourist quarters in 1910 were located Anna Springs, to which point most of the travelers look as a welcome destination until they were sufficiently rested to make the last lap of the journey to the lake. There, they were satisfied to linger long enough for a good look and then return to Anna Springs, where they remained until sufficiently recuperated to make the return trip home.
    Supplies for the hotel were carried by touring car from Medford to Chiloquin during the second year, one stage line running to each place and return during the regime of Mr. Parkhurst, according to Woody. Work on the lake resort hotel was slow, and three consecutive winter snows caved in the roof, which necessitated a brand-new program of rebuilding and remodeling each following spring.
    In addition to putting up with an erratic road and the various and sundry problems of a pioneer auto stage driver, Woody also had to make the best of human temperament at its worst during those early days.
    He vividly remembers one group who were "hell-bent for the lake," and no other destination would temporarily satisfy them. Told that there were as yet no lodgings at the rim, they insisted on bringing along their mattresses and bedding with the object of camping out. Loaded down with the heavy supplies, the good-natured stage driver was the target for outbursts of anger, scorn, and quantities of both masculine and feminine advice on the way to the final grade.
    Here the Studebaker refused to go any further, so with set determination the party of four women and three men got out, loaded their heavy mattresses, bedding and food supplies on their backs and started up the steep mile and a quarter grade on foot.
    Before many yards had been reached, the former display of strong-mindedness was robbed of its complexion by human frailty, and the party agreed to pitch camp on the grade, half-way up to the rim.
    In 1911, according to Mr. Woodford, Court Hall owned the stage line from Medford to Crater Lake, and the former drove on the other side, bringing tourists from Chiloquin, where they were loaded onto the stage from the train.
    Most of the touring cars which made the trip in those days, as well as the best cars on the stage line were covered on the outside with canvas to spare them the marring and scratching which invariably resulted from the necessary winding in and out between tall, heavy brush along the way.
    Mr. Parkhurst kept two Locomobiles as extra cars at the lake. These were supplied with double chain drives and equipped for heavy pulling up the grades. During the later years, these met the tourist cars at the beginning of the final grade and transported them on the last lap of the journey to the rim.
    And strange to say--Woody, who doesn't drive a stage now--looks back upon those nerve-wracking, back-breaking days as some of the happiest of his life.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 2, 1930, page B1

    Court Hall, directing supervisor of the Merchants baseball team, has completed arrangements for the game next Sunday at the fairgrounds with the Ashland team of the Southern Oregon League. It will be the official opening for the Medford team. The game last Sunday was postponed on account of wet grounds and rain.
    The Elks band, under the direction of Wilson Waite, will furnish the sweet notes for the occasion, and the objective--outside of winning the game--is to outdo Klamath Falls in attendance.
    Cliff Best will do the pitching and looks better than he did two years ago, and the team as a whole looks faster than that season. Ivan Harrington, catcher, and Jack Caldwell, pitcher, have been annexed from the high school for development.
    The team has been practicing all week, with Chester at third, the Dunn brother at short and second and Valencia on first.
    The game will start at 2:30 o'clock.
    Medford fans can reach the fairgrounds by traveling Stewart Avenue from the end of Holly and Oakdale to the S.O.S. plant. Fans from the south end of the valley follow the same route after leaving Kings Highway on the Pacific Highway detour.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 1, 1930, page 6

Razing of  Beall Mansion Built in 1872 Recalls Pioneer Days in Rogue Valley Scene of School and Social Gatherings
By Eva Nealon
    Suns, rains and snows failed to weather its boards of sugar pine as season after season resigned to give place to another, completing the cycle of each new year dating down from 1872. March winds that blew through the sturdy maples and walnuts, lashing their branches across the high roof, preparing it for the coming tattoo of April rains, left few scars on the old Beall house, constructed 58 years ago as home of Thomas Fletcher and Anne Beall, former pioneers of Jackson County.
    Today the stately old house of southern colonial design surrenders to human hands. Rafters and beams that knew the echoes of pioneer children's voices, the clatter of horses' hoofs hurrying down Beall Lane, the road that leads by the house through one of the richest farming areas of Southern Oregon, are yielding to the hammers and hatchets of wreckers.
Modern Home to Rise
    They are tearing down the old Beall house in order that John C. Thorson, who recently purchased the farm from Asbury Beall of the West Side district, son of Thomas Fletcher and Anne, may replace it with a modern bungalow.
    The rafters and beams will learn new echoes. They will be utilized in the construction of the bungalow. For while styles in architecture, dress and travel have changed and its owners died, the sugar pine lumber has retained its youth. Today the timbers, scattered about the grounds where lilacs bloomed before long white columns in springtime, are better than those used in most present-day houses, according to carpenters who are wrecking the structure.
    Motorists who in future drive through the lane which lies between highways will miss the friendly lights that used to twinkle at travelers through old-fashioned window panes. But to pioneers of Southern Oregon, who attended the first winter school ever held in the region of Central Point, and what is now Medford, conducted in the "east room," the old Beall house will always be standing protected by maples and walnuts. For the memories, of which it is the foundation, will never surrender to wreckers.
Pioneer School
    Prof. J. N. Hall, father of Court Hall of this city and brother of the former Mrs. Anne Beall, taught the school before the "east room" fireplace, one of the three that warmed the eight-room house.
    His son Court, the Bealls, the Merrimans and Plymales attended the classes and were later rewarded for flights in mental arithmetic, when the house was thrown open for dancing parties and "Old Man" Beery, father of Wilkes Beery, tuned up his fiddle.
    The children who went to the school were: Bell Merriman (Mrs. Fronk of Portland), Effie Merriman (Mrs. Mill of Seattle), Cassie Plymale (Mrs. John Curry of San Francisco), Tyson, Lee, Tom and Clara Beall, children of Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Fletcher Beall and Mamie Beall (Mrs. Chas. Strang of Medford), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. V. Beall, whose house, constructed on the adjoining farm in 1865, is still standing and owned by their son, Vinton Beall.
Remembers Teacher
    Mrs. Ed Strohmeier of Central Point (Lulu Beall), the youngest of the eight children, was not admitted to the classes in the "east room" for educational purposes, she stated a few days ago when reminiscing, but frequently sauntered up the long, winding stairway to bring down the fire shovel. The school and the school master in particular stood out clearly in her memory because on one of these occasions he gave her several energetic raps on the legs as she loitered from step to step, crying out in singsong fashion, "Bring me the shobel, bring me the shobel."
    Court Hall's cousins, who lived at Myrtle Creek and came down to attend summer school at Central Point each year, did not participate in the spelling and arithmetic matches in the "east room" but were frequent visitors at the Beall house and enjoyed sliding down the long, polished banister of the stairway, which led into the downstairs hall.
Death a Visitor
    Even as people with character, the old house has known sorrow. Death visited it almost frequently, taking from the family three children, Carrie, Tom and Ben Beall. The three deaths are compensated in its record by three births. Tyson, Lee and Lulu Beall were born there.
    The house was not completed when Tom was born at the R. V. Beall home, due to the fact that his father was called to Rancheria, which was then owned by Mr. Beall and his brother. Work was discontinued for a while and Tom, who was expected to be the first son born in the big white house, arrived at the home of his aunt and uncle. His brothers and sisters, who are still living, are: Asbury Beall of Medford, Mrs. I. M. Lewis of Reno, Nev.; Lee Beall of Lakeview, Ore.; Tyson Beall of Willow Creek, Calif., and Mrs. Ed Strohmeier of Central Point.
Recall Gala Events
    Rides on spirited horses down the lane and across the fields are also recalled with happy days by Mrs. Strang. The horses are not so vivid in the mind of Court Hall as the famous old jack, who ruled the barn lot at the Beall ranch and left the imprint of his teeth in several chunks of flesh. He lists among the moments of greatest suspense in his life the few seconds he lay limp in the jack's stall one afternoon after falling through the hay loft, where he had been gathering eggs. The jack, for the first time equally frightened, did not show his long teeth at Court or give out his terrifying bray. On another day, however, when he was watering the domineering beast, belonging to his uncle, he was knocked down and was staring into a mouth full of ugly teeth, which were approaching his throat, when the slamming of the house door caused the jack to bolt and run.
    More pleasant events at the Beall home in Court Hall's memories are the mental arithmetic contests inspired by his father at winter classes and the big dance given 44 years ago in celebration of his birthday.
    The "visit" in the valley of John Chapman of Red Lodge, Mont., a cousin of the Bealls, and a handsome beau brummell, was always the inspiration for a big party, Mrs. Strang and Mrs. Ed Strohmeier say. The latchstring of the Beall house was out to friends from all sections of Southern Oregon, and though the nails that fastened the extra candle holders on the walls to light the big house were all that Mrs. Strohmeier, little sister, saw of the parties, she remembers them as gala events.
    Mr. Chapman is now a capitalist in Red Lodge but remembers with Mrs. Strang the sheet and pillow case masquerade, with the grotesque shadows cast by the weird costumes on the hearths while flames roared up the chimneys built by Mr. Priddy, father of George Priddy, who also did the plastering of the house.
Storehouse of Memories
    Seasoned with these memories, the house has endured, each of the eight rooms contributing something of romance to the lives of Southern Oregon's early settlers and their descendants. The "dark room" upstairs, which was lighted only by a transom, the spacious pantry downstairs, with a cookie jar, always filled, the "east room" facing snow-capped Mt. Pitt, the two big rooms downstairs with fireplaces voicing hospitality through crackling logs, withstood all trials but the insistent and destructive tools of the wreckers.
    The shingles, hand shaved by Joe Geppert in the early '90s to replace those made by Dave Dunlap when the house was built, fall to the ground to exhibit firm textures, through which the most ambitious rains have not penetrated.
    The beams and rafters, dovetailed in the manner of those in King Solomon's temple, along with the hand-dressed lumber, still bear the penciled lines drawn by thorough carpenters of the past century.
    They will soon resign themselves to the markings of the modern carpenter's pencil, even as they have fallen before the wreckers. They will be sawed and planed and nailed into a "modern bungalow," where there will be no corner plaques beneath the roof reading "1872."
Medford Mail Tribune, August 3, 1930, page B3

To the Editor:
    I see in a late issue of your valuable paper that one Gus Newbury is getting rather bombastic in regard to a spelling match with Court Hall at the Elks club Thursday night.
    I am a resident of Applegate and have known both Gus Newbury and Court Hall for the past 47 years, and I know considerable about these gentlemen when they were boys struggling for educational supremacy in the early history of Southern Oregon.
    I taught school for more than 20 years in Jackson County and happened to be in attendance at the first examination these boys had under Superintendent Mitchell in the year of 1885. How well I remember that event. Neither of the boys could have been more than 17 years of age. Now here is where I want to show the people just how Gus got his first certificate to teach school. I am going to prove that Gus, outside of a few Applegate friends, never would have been heard of except through the kindness of Court Hall.
    When examination began I could see that young Hall had the coolness and confidence of an old-time veteran, while Newbury seemed nervous and ill at ease. However, Gus managed to get along fairly well until it came to spelling. About that time Superintendent Mitchell had occasion to leave the room. Gus immediately appealed to Court for help. Court at first shook his head. Then I saw a sorrowful look come over his face, and he leaned toward Gus and whispered rapidly for a few moments.
    Many years afterwards Gus confessed to me that he would not have passed his first examination for a teacher's certificate if Court Hall had not helped him out in his spelling.
    I have been a member of the Elks lodge for many years, and have attended all the spelling contests held in the Elks club room, and personally know that Court has won two more contests than Gus.
    Gus went down on his first word in their last contest, the word "chauffeur," a simple word that every automobile owner knows how to spell. Gus was not considered in Court's class during the big spelling matches held at Jacksonville in the early days. In fact, he was such a poor speller that he was rarely chosen by either captain. On the other hand, Hall was generally the first one chosen and always managed to be one of the last to go down.
    Gus has been in the law business for many years and has had the opportunity of increasing his knowledge in spelling, while Court, for the past 30 years, has been looking after his orchard interests with practically no training except in reading the daily papers.
    However, after a lapse of all these years, Gus has just about had time enough to catch up with Court in his spelling. This fact, no doubt, will make the contest quite interesting next Thursday night. And, by gosh, you can bet your Uncle Dudley is doing to be there.
OLD TIMER.           
    Applegate, Oregon
Medford Mail Tribune, May 13, 1931, page 5  
Click here for more on extreme spelling in Medford.

Court Will Be There.
To the Editor:
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to answer Gus Newbury's vilification of my spelling. However, I will be at the Elks temple Thursday evening to give the usual account of myself, and no doubt will be quite leg-weary before the contest is over.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 13, 1931, page 8

    Seely Hall, general manager of the United Air Lines and son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Court Hall of Medford, was visiting here this week. The elder Mr. Hall has been engaged in the fruit brokerage business here for the past decade.
"Medford, Ore. News Notes," The Chicago Packer, June 4, 1938, page 13

    Court Hall, pioneer resident of southern Oregon, passed away at his home, 315 South Central, early Monday morning. He had been in failing health for some time.
    Mr. Hall was born in Carysville, Ohio, November 7, 1866. At the age of two years he came to Oregon with his parents, Jasper N. and Florence D. Hall, by way of Panama. They settled at Myrtle Creek, returning to Ohio during the Modoc War. In 1881, at the age of 15, he returned to Oregon. This time he came to Central Point, where he lived with an uncle. For a time he was employed on the Southern Pacific Railroad, working in the Cow Creek Canyon.
    From 1900 to 1906 he taught school in what was then known as the Lone Pine School, which was near what is now Medford. In 1889 he was united in marriage to Mabel C. Owen of Central Point. Three years later they moved to Medford, where they have lived continuously since. For the last 30 years he has been engaged in the orchard business, known as the Young & Hall Orchard.
    Mr. Hall operated the first automobile stage between Medford and Crater Lake. He also brought the first airplane to this valley.
    He was a charter member of the BPOE of Medford, being one of those active in its formation. He was active in the order up until failing health kept him at home.
    He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mabel C. Hall; one son, Seely V. Hall of Piedmont, Cal., and one sister, Miss Pearl Hall of Lakeview.
    Complete funeral arrangement will be announced later by the Conger Funeral Parlors.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 2, 1940, page 6

Court Hall death certificate, September 2, 1940

Court Hall, 74, to Last Reward
    Court Hall, pioneer resident of southern Oregon, passed away at his home, 315 South Central, early Monday morning. He had been in failing health for some time.
    Mr. Hall was born in Carysville, Ohio, November 7, 1866. At the age of two years he came to Oregon with his parents, Jasper N. and Florence D. Hall, by way of Panama. They settled at Myrtle Creek, returning to Ohio during the Modoc War. In 1881, at the age of 15, he returned to Oregon. This time he came to Central Point, where he lived with an uncle. For a time he was employed on the Southern Pacific Railroad, working in the Cow Creek Canyon.
    From 1900 to 1906 he taught school in what was then known as the Lone Pine School, which was near what is now Medford. In 1889 he was united in marriage to Mabel C. Owen of Central Point, sister of Mrs. W. J. Freeman. Three years later they moved to Medford, where they have lived continuously since. For the last 30 years he has been engaged in the orchard business, known as the Young & Hall Orchard.
    Mr. Hall operated the first automobile stage between Medford and Crater Lake. He also brought the first airplane to this valley.
    He was a charter member of the BPOE of Medford, being one of those active in its formation. He was active in the order up until failing health kept him at home.
    He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mabel C. Hall; one son, Seely V. Hall of Piedmont, Cal., and one sister, Miss Pearl Hall of Lakeview.
    Funeral services for Court Hall, who passed away Monday morning, were held in the temple of the Medford Lodge B. P. O. Elks No. 1168 Wednesday at 2 p.m. Porter J. Neff delivered the eulogy.
    Honorary pallbearers were Leon B. Haskins, C. E. Gates, Harry H. Holmes, Gus Newbury, Frank Isaacs and Lawson Bradley. Active pallbearers were E. P. (Ned) Vilas, Geo. T. Frey, Geary E. Garrett, Raymond R. Reter, Clarence Pankey and Carl. Y. Tengwald.
    The committal services was also conducted by the Elks Lodge in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery.
    Arrangements were in care of the Conger Funeral Parlors.
Central Point American, September 5, 1940, page 3

Court Hall Passes On
    Court Hall, one of Jackson County's best-known citizens, and a man prominent in orchard and real estate activities here for two decades, died Monday morning, and funeral services were held at the Elks Temple Wednesday afternoon. Hall was a charter member of the Medford lodge.
    Surviving him are his wife, Mrs. Mabel C. Hall, one son, Seely V. Hall and one sister, Miss Pearl hall of Lakeview.
    He had lived in Jackson County steadily for almost 60 years. He married Mabel C. Owens of Central Point in 1889, taught school from 1900 to 1906, operated the first stage line to Crater Lake, and for the past 30 years had operated the Young and Hall orchard.
Medford News, September 6, 1940, page 1

Last revised January 25, 2024