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Jerry R. Hall (1830-?)
Native of New Brunswick, and prominent lumberman of Essexville.

1892 historical biography. (Added Mar., 2009)

Portrait and Biographical Record of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Michigan, 1892


Jerry R. Hall, shingle and salt manufacturer of Bay City, was born January 2, 1830, in the province of New Brunswick, where his parents were temporarily residing while his father was engaged in lumbering.Neal Hall, the father of our subject, was born in Brunswick, Me., and was descended from John Hall, one earlier pioneers of Massachusetts, who emigrated from England early in the eighteenth century. Alice (Stone) Hall, the mother of our subject was born in Calais, Me., and was descended from one of the pioneer families of that State.

The early tastes of Mr. Hall were decidedly for mechanical pursuits and inventions, and these inclinations he has retained through life. His first years, from the age of two and one-half until he was thirty, were spent in Brunswick, Me., and his business was lumbering from very early manhood until the last named age. In 1860 he removed to Salem, Ohio, and engaged in the manufacture of a patent shingle machine of his own invention which is said to be the best in use. In 1871 he established a mill for the manufacture of shingles and in 1876 began the production of salt in Bay City, or rather Essexville, an adjoining village. His family was removed to his new scene of operation in 1876.

Here for over twenty years Mr. Hall has carried on a flourishing business. His shingle mill is probably the largest and best equipped for the purpose in the Saginaw Valley, and his salt works produce forty thousand barrels of salt yearly. The following is taken from the “Industries of the Bay Cities”:

“Within an area of ten acres in extent, about one mile in an easterly direction from Bay City, is located the shingle and salt manufactory of J. R. Hall, which is the largest shingle industry in the valley, and in every particular one of the most complete and attractive of buildings, modern in construction and equipment, handsomely located with a splendid river frontage, fine docks and superior shipping facilities. The entire establishment is a model of its kind.

Mr. Hall began the shingle business in 1871, and has since progressed and prospered. The shingle mill proper is a commodious two-story structure 112x48 with a wing 24x65 feet in dimensions, supplied with all the latest patterns of machinery, including two drag-saws for cutting logs into blocks of the required length, one bolting saw, two sappers for sapping blocks and six Hall shingle machines of the largest capacity, with other accessory tools and implements required in the manufacture of his products. The shingle machines are the invention of Mr. Hall and for the perfection of the work accomplished are the best in use.

“The mill machinery is run by a powerful engine of 20x24 inch cylinder, fed from forty-five to fifty million shingles and fifty thousand sets of heading. Mr. Hall also operates three salt wells, each supplied with drill house and pony engine equipments, an extensive salt block or evaporation house, packing and storage department, with other appurtenances and conveniences, and manufactures forty thousand barrels of salt yearly whihc are disposed of through the Michigan Salt Association, in which he enjoys the privilege of membership. He employs about one hundred hands in his business and the annual returns represent a large valuation.”

In politics, Mr. Hall is a Republican, but has not been an aspirant for office, although for thee years after the incorporation of Essexville, in 1884, he held the office of President of that village. He was married November 2, 1853, to Judith L. Gilbert, of South Leeds, Me., by whom he had three children, of whom two are now living – Fred E. and Alice L., (Mrs. Cupit.) Mrs. Hall dying in 1878, he was married again January 20, 1879, to Susan C. Macomber, of West Union, Iowa.

Mr. Hall has recently invented a superior reciprocating knife shingle jointer which he finds advantageous in the class of work done, in the saving of material and in many other ways. He has also invented a band saw for sawing shingles which he is now completing; and tests already made indicate that it will be the coming shingle machine and largely increase the product from a given amount of timber. A man of cordial and genial disposition, he stands very high in the esteem of his fellow-citizens.

In all business transactions the word of Mr. Hall is as good as his bond. He is honest, candid and very straightforward, and all business men think well of him. His employes are attached to him also, and during the great strike in the Saginaw Valley a few years ago, no disturbance occurred on his premises through the action of his own employes. It does not detract at all from his good qualities but enhances his merits to say that he is very modest man, and while doubtless enjoying his success in life is heartily averse to all ostentations and notoriety. He is a man, in short, whom to know thoroughly is to be made better by that knowledge.

Additional Notes.

    1870 - Census: Columbiana, Salem, Ohio.

  • Hall, Jerry - age 40, b. Maine.
  • Judith, wife - age 37, b. Maine.
  • Frederic, son - age 16, b. Maine.
  • Alice, daughter - age 12, b. Maine.

    1880 - Census: Hampton, Bay, Mich.

  • Hall, Jerry R. - b. 1830, Maine.
  • Susan C., wife - b. 1851, Canada.
  • John, son - b. 1875, Mass.
  • Macomber, Clara L., sister-in-law - b. 1859, Iowa.

    1894 - Census: Essexville, Bay, Mich.

  • Hall, Jerry R. - age 64.
  • Susan C., wife - age 43.
  • James M., adopted son - age 12.
  • Eva H., adopted daughter - age 16.

    1910 - Census: Madison, Madison, Florida.

  • Hall, Jerry R. - age 80, b. Maine.
  • Susan, wife - age 59, b. Canada.
  • James M., adopted son, age 28, b. Iowa.
  • Hall, Lucy, daughter-in-law, age 22, b. Florida.
Related Pages/Notes

Jerry R. Hall

J.R. Hall mill

Related pages:
Cotter, John R.
Cupit, John W.
Cupit, John W.
Garber John & Family
People Referenced
Cupit, John W.
Gilbert, Judith L. (1-wife)
Hall, Alice (dau.)
Hall, Eva H. (adopted dau.)
Hall, Fred (son)
Hall, James M. (adopted son)
Hall, Jerry R. (subject)
Hall, John (adopted son)
Hall, John (g-father)
Hall, Lucy Mrs. (dau-inlaw)
Hall, Neal (father)
Macomber, Clara L. (sis-inlaw)
Macomber, Susan (2-wife)
Stone, Alice (mother)
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, Mi
Bay Co., MI
Brunswick, ME
Columbiana, OH
Essexville, MI
Hampton Twp., MI
Madison, FL
Mich. Salt Assoc.
Salem, OH
Saginaw Valley, MI
Western Union, Iowa
Directory Essexville, 1877
A village of about 600 inhabitants, is located at the mouth of the Saginaw River, in the township of Hampton, Bay County. It is two miles below Bay City with which it is connected by street railway and of which it is in fact a suburb. Lumber, shingles and salt are largely manufactured here. The establishment of Mr. J. R. Hall, the principal operator, turns out 24,000 barrels of salt during the season of six months and twenty five million shingles per annum. Mail is received daily. John W. Jack, postmaster.
  • Burgess, James, grocer.
  • Carrier & Company, lumber & salt.
  • Carsons, George, blacksmith.
  • Duplanty, Santange, saloon.
  • Hall, Jerry R., shingle & salt.
  • Hall, Sidney A., grocer.
  • Harris, Augustus J., druggist.
  • Hembling,Noah, blacksmith.
  • LaLone, Joseph, livery stable.
  • Riechle, C. Fred, meat market.
  • Rouse, James M., lumber.
  • Sovey, Mrs. Frances, propr. Sovey House.
  • Stevenson, Russell, groceries, provisions, oil, etc.
  • Walraven, Anthony, propr. Center House.
  • WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.