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The Hall Family of Orwell, Ohio and Hersey, Michigan

Updated May 24, 2003

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The family story says that the family originally came from Georgia as descendants of Lyman Hall who signed the Declaration of Independance as a delegate from Georgia, and lived out his life in that state. Supposedly there was a quarrel before the Civil War, ending with one brother leaving in anger after being called a thief, and moving north. I haven't been able to substantiate this, but I've traced the Hall family back to a Benjamin Hall who married an Elizabeth Newby, and originally came from Randolph, North Carolina. They were Quakers, and migrated to Indiana, where they are buried.
Their grandson, Peter A. Hall was born in Preble County, Ohio on May 24, 1842, to Chockley Hall and Mary Ferbrache. He is known to have married Margaret J. Powers in 1866 in Indiana. In the 1870 census they were living in Big Rapids Twp. Mecosta Co. Mich. The 1880 census shows them living in Green Twp. Mecosta Co. with 5 children. The children are listed as Margaret, William, Minnie, Mary, and Anna (or Rosanna). William died young, unknown how old. The 1900 census shows them living in the same area having had 8 children, with 7 living. The son who became my grandfather, Frank Chockley Hall, was born in 1881, and the remaining children are Lottie, John, and Gladys.
Records show that after the Civil War started, Peter A. was living in Lacon, Illinois either with or near his mother's brother Peter Ferbrache, who was a dentist. In 1861 he enlisted in Company B, 11th Illinois Infantry, also Company M, 11th Illinois Cavalry. He enlisted three different times. The first time he was discharged with pneumonia, then re-enlisted and got his trigger finger shot off, then re-enlisted for the third time in the Cavalry.He certainly must have been determined to fight. His widow later applied for a Civil War widow's pension, filed in Michigan on October 25, 1910. Since the 1910 census shows them living in Hersey Twp., Osceola Co. as a retired farmer in a rented house, he must have died in that year. He is buried in a small cemetary near a forgotten town once named Crepo, with his grave marked with a Civil War Plaque engraved with the 11th Illinois Regiment.
The story of how Frank Chockley Hall met Abilene Lois Rawdon is rather romantic. He was working on a construction crew that came to build a bridge over the Grand River which bordered the Rawdon farm outside Orwell, Ohio in Ashtabula County. The entire Rawdon family was prominent in that area, and Abilene lived there with her parents, Rollin and Rogene Harper Rawdon. Apparently Frank, and his brother John, boarded at the Rawdon farm. Abilene was the first person to walk over the bridge when it was finished. They fell in love and married there, and their honeymoon trip was on a train to Hersey Michigan to meet his parents, accompanied by his brother John. The 1910 Census shows them living at the Rawdon Farm, Rogene having died in 1909, with their oldest child, Frank Stanley, along with Frank's brother John and his fiancee, Nettie Stevens. John and Nettie were married in Orwell, also. Frank and Abilene must have traveled back and forth to Michigan several times, because the three oldest sons were born in Hersey, and their three younger children were born at the farm in Orwell. The third son, Eugene Fayette, who became my father, was named after both of his great-uncles, Eugene and Fayette Rawdon. Abilene inherited the farm when Rollin died, and they lived there the rest of their lives.

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