Biography of J. C. Hall

J. C. Hall, a prominent agriculturist, merchant, and grain dealer in Brown County, South Dakota, has achieved remarkable success in various ventures, including his breeding of full-blooded Shropshire sheep. With an exceptional farm and a flock of one hundred and seventy-five prized sheep, he has gained a reputation for excellence in the industry. Alongside his agricultural pursuits, Hall manages a large elevator and actively participates in politics as a leader of the Republican Party. His contributions to legislation and organizational skills have been highly regarded. Hall’s dedication to the development of South Dakota as a flourishing state underscores his visionary outlook and commitment to the well-being of his community.

J. C. HALL, one of the representative agriculturists of Brown County, also a merchant and grain dealer and a breeder of full-blooded Shropshire sheep, has been an honored resident of South Dakota since July 1880, at which time he located on a homestead near the present town of Bath and lived on the same until converting it into one of the finest farms in that part of the country. His success during the interim has been marked, and all of his undertakings appear to have prospered, even surpassing his most ardent expectations. After living where he originally settled until the year 1897, Mr. Hall moved to his present home on Elm River, eight miles north of Aberdeen, where he owns a beautiful place of one hundred and sixty acres, which he devotes chiefly to the raising of highly prized Shropshire breed of sheep. In connection with this, he also carries on agriculture, buys and ships grain, and runs a large general store in the town of Ordway. As a sheep raiser, he has a wide reputation, with many of his animals having been exhibited at different fairs throughout the state. The result is that they have invariably been awarded the highest premiums wherever entered for competition. His flock at this time consists of one hundred and seventy-five head, all registered and of the highest grade of excellence, their unmixed blood and general supremacy over the best animals of other breeds creating a great demand far in excess of the owner’s inclination or ability to supply. Mr. Hall began breeding sheep in 1878 and, since that time, has given his attention exclusively to the Shropshire variety, which he finds superior in every respect to any other species and which he hopes to see generally introduced among the farmers and stockmen of Dakota in the near future. Through his instrumentality, a number of people have been induced to improve their flock, and he is certainly entitled to great credit for his interest in behalf of one of the large and rapidly growing industries of the West, which is destined to become more important with each recurring year.

As already stated, Mr. Hall’s attention is by no means confined to one line of business. His mercantile interests at Ordway are large and steadily growing, and his grain dealing at the same place has given him marked prestige in the business circles of South Dakota and other states. He manages a large elevator with a capacity sufficient to handle all the grain in his part of the country, and he buys and ships an average of fifty thousand bushels a year, much of which he grows, all coming from farms in the vicinity of his place of business. Essentially a progressive man of affairs and as such ranking with the most enterprising and successful of his contemporaries, Mr. Hall has also been prominently before the public in other than business capacities. He is a politician of much more than local repute and a leader of the Republican Party in Brown County. He took an active and vigorous part in the first election ever held in the county, the one to decide upon the location of the seat of justice, and in 1893, he was elected to a seat in the general assembly. This being the third session of the legislature after Dakota’s admission to the Union as a state. Mr. Hall’s record as a lawmaker was not only creditable to himself and satisfactory to the constituency he represented but proved eminently honorable to the state. He was instrumental in bringing about legislation which had an important bearing on the commonwealth and proved greatly beneficial to the people. As a member of the committee on railroads, he introduced the first bill relating to the railway interests of the state, but strong opposition prevented its passage at that time, although the wisdom of the measure was recognized by every member of the body, and the people, with few exceptions, were decidedly of the opinion that it should become a law. Mr. Hall was chairman of the county central committee in 1898 when the Populists sustained such a severe defeat. The Republican victory of that year was directly attributed to the complete organization which he perfected and his skillful leadership in the campaign that followed.

Mr. Hall has an abiding faith in South Dakota and believes that it is destined in the near future to become one of the greatest of western commonwealths and second to few states in the Union. He is laboring hard and using his influence to the end that this high ideal may be realized. Few men in this part of the county are as enterprising and public-spirited, and none are doing more to promote the general welfare. He is a western man in the full sense of the term, broad-minded, generous in thought and deed, inflexible in his honesty and integrity, and a symmetrically developed American whose ideas of citizenship transcend the narrow limits of community and self-interest, encompassing larger bounds within which the good of the people as a whole is to be considered.

Mr. Hall was born on October 18, 1857, in Hillsdale County, Michigan, and the first twenty-one years of his life were spent there, in Erie County, New York, and in Shelby County, Missouri. He came from the latter place to Dakota in March 1879. Mr. Hall was married in Shelby County, Missouri, on March 8, 1881, to Miss Annie M. Cox, of that county. The union resulted in the birth of three children: Mono M., Moro O., and John B.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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