Leonidas B. Hall 

 

 

 

 


LEONIDAS R. HALL. As president of the Pittsburg National Bank for many years and otherwise identified with the commercial life of this city for something like a third of a century, Leonidas B. Hall 's strenuous and altogether useful life has been visibly reflected in the material growth of the city and in the intimate trade relations he has maintained with it through all these years. In recent years banks and banking have held the almost undivided interest of Mr. Hall, and he is widely and favorably known throughout this section of the state in financial circles, no less than three of the leading banks of the district having been founded by him.

Coming of a typically southern family, Leonidas F. Hall was born in Coosa county, Alabama, on March 24, 1854, and is the son of Boling Hall and his wife, Carrie E. Graham, the latter a daughter of John L. Graham and a sister of Ex-Congressman M. D. Graham, who served in the lower house at Washington, both from Alabama and Texas, representing the Nacogdoehes district in the state last named. In 1858, Boling Hall removed his family from Alabama to Texas, settling first near Knox- ville in Cherokee county, where he died in 1859, when he was about forty years of age. He was a farmer and his life was an uneventful one, his chief interests being within his family circle. The wife and mother died in 1898. To them were born twelve children, concerning whom brief mention is made at this point. Eliza married Col. James H. Jones, who served in Congress from the Third Congressional District of Texas and maintained his residence at Henderson, Texas, where Mrs. Jones died. Margaret married Tip Likens, also a Henderson man, and in widowhood she married Dr. Alexander, her death finally occurring at Henderson where she had long made her home. John G. is a resident of Pittsburg, Texas, Dixon B. served in the Confederate army and died in Rusk county. Mary J. married Finley Jones and is now deceased. Emma E. became the wife of Dr. A. D. Stroud of. Henderson, and there she died. Ella died unmarried. Ellen E. married Judge S. J. Hendricks of Henderson and died in Rusk county. Smith was killed in the battle of Mansfield as a Confederate soldier. Alice V. resides in Alexandria, Louisiana, the wife of A. Wettermark. William M. died in Henderson, Texas, unmarried. Leonidas R., the youngest of the twelve, is he whose name heads this review.

Leonidas Hall up to the age of fourteen years was employed at his books in such schools as his community provided. At that age he entered the high school at Gilmer, and he was not yet of legal age when he entered the employ of the County Clerk of Upshur county, remaining a deputy until 1881, when he removed from Gilmer and permanently identified himself with Pittsburg. Here he secured a clerkship in the establishment of W. H. Gillian, where he served for two years, and then put to the test the experience he had garnered by opening a grocery store on his own responsibility. After some few years of successful operation he formed a partnership with a Mr. Wylie and the firm of Hall & Wylie continued for a time when Mr. Hall retired from the concern and purchased a half interest in J. M. Holman's hardware and furniture business. The new firm of Holman & Hall existed thereafter until 1900, when Mr. Hall sold out to his partner and engaged in the banking business at Gilmer. He purchased the old Gilmer bank in 1901 and proceeded to organize the First National Bank, converting the private bank into a National institution and changing the name to indicate the same. He held much of the stock, became cashier of the concern and directed its affairs successfully for three years, when h disposed of his interest in the bank and abandoned the field. He then returned to Pittsburg and here he entered the financial field, beginning his activities by organizing the Pittsburg National Bank, of which he straightway became president. The bank was chartered in 1904 with a capital of $25,000, later increased to $50,000. Within two years from the date of its organization the increase in capitalization was made, indicating something of the place the bank readily assumed in the community. The surplus of the bank today is almost one-half the amount of its capital stock. Associated with the management of this well known institution are the leading business men of Pittsburg and Camp county. Its active vice president is E. B. Greer; its first vice president is W. L. Garrett and its cashier Baby L. Hopkins. The directorate includes Mr. Hall, Mr. Garrett, E. P. Grammer, W. A. Smith, J. M. Holman, W. T. Euford, J. W. Taylor and H. H. Luedecke. The bank is on a firm and dependable foundation, and its deposits lead all other institutions of its kind in Pittsburg. 

Another of the financial concerns of which Mr. Hall is the founder and a present day director is the Naples National Bank, of Naples, Texas, organized in 1906. Mr. Hall was for a time its vice president, and is still a member of its board of directors. He also organized the First Guaranty State of Leesburg in 1911, and is vice president of the Pittsburg Fair Association, which he helped to bring into existence and encouraged to become one of the successful fair associations of the state. 

While a member of the firm of Holman & Hall, Mr. Hall contributed much in a material way to the permanence and beauty of the streets of Pittsburg by the erection of many of its brick buildings. With Mr. Holman he erected their store block and probably a dozen of the brick business houses of the place have been reared as a result of his activities in the building movement of the city. He built the Pittsburg National Bank Building in 1911, the chief and most attractive business house here, and two other houses of imposing appearance adjacent to the bank building came up under his direction and the expenditure of his capital. His fine home, elegant in its every appointment and of attractive design, stands upon an eminence commanding a pleasing view of the city, surrounded by native forest trees that add much to the attractiveness of the place. In building this home it was the ambition of Mr. Hall to rear a structure that would be a real home, with all the comfort and conveniences thereof, and at the same time add something to the architectural beauty of the city. It is undeniable that Mr. Hall was peculiarly successful in both his plans. 

The sturdy devotion that Mr. Hall has ever given to his business activities has had the effect of withholding him from any participation in political movements. But he is a Democrat and his' views are usually coincident with those of the party upon economic and financial questions of the day. A member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he is a steward of the same, and fraternizes with the Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Hall was married at Giliner, Texas, on July 17, 1873, to Miss Julia A. Derrick, a daughter of James A. Derrick, whose life story is bound up in the history of Upshur county, in which he settled as a pioneer from Alabama, and in which he gave long and faithful public service. He was county clerk for many years, as well as district clerk for a correspondingly long period, and in many ways left his mark upon the records of the county. He married Delia Stewart, a lady of Arkansas birth, and their children numbered two: Mrs. Hall and J. O. Derrick, of Gilmer. To Mr. and Mrs. Hall have been born three children. James B. is a grocer of Colorado City, Texas, and he is married to Miss Sallie, the daughter of A. D. Martin, of Pitts burg. Carrie E. married W. E. Berry, of Pittsburg, and has one daughter, Christell. Alfred A. is a student at Bingham Military School, in North Carolina.
Mr. Hall is a man of the most worthy character, and for his splendid integrity he is widely known in business and other circles of this section of the state. A genial and kindly man, he is one who readily makes friends and has the power to retain them, although he is of a quiet nature and not inclined to take the initiative in his acquaintances with new people. The family is one that has long enjoyed the confidence and friendship of the best people of the community and its various members have taken their places in the leading social activities of the city and wherever they have been found.

A History of Texas and Texans
by Francis White Johnson, Frank W Johnson, Eugene Campbell Barker, Ernest William Winkler  - 1914

 

 

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