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Biographies H-J

Hall, Edwin B

Dying in the evening of Friday Sept 11th, Mr. Hall had almost arrived at the venerable age of four scored years and three.  He would have been 83 years of age Oct 25th.  These late years were in pathetic evidence to the Psalmist’s plaint”

“The days of our years are three score years and ten,

Or even by reason of strength four score years.

Yet is their pride but labor and sorrow;

For it is soon gone and we fly away.”

He was born at Bridgeport Conn.,  of the best New England stock, and there is no better in the world.  The name Bradford in his Christian name indicates that on his mother’s side he was a direct descendant of Governor William Bradford, the second governor of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.

Recognizing the opportunities offered by the opening of the Erie Railroad in 1852, Mr. Hall, then a young man of 27 years, came to Wellsville and started the drug store that has been so well and favorable known for more than half a century.

On the fifth of June 1860, he was married to Antoinette Farnum, the daughter of the late Hon. E. J. Farnum.  Miss Farnum, intelligent and beautiful, was a worthy bride to a worthy bridegroom.  As husband and wife in the sacramental unity of marriage, their lives have been happy and blessed.  Their only child was a daughter, the present Mrs. Fannie Hall Carpenter.

Intelligent and well educated, Mr. Hall’s life naturally made itself known and felt in several sphere of experience.  His life was a long one and useful in many ways.  As a citizen he was quietly patriotic.  Retiring and modest in disposition he did not come forward and take an active part in civic or national political affairs.  Socially in those early years of Wellsville, when there was such a lively circle of young people, when everybody knew everybody, Mr. Hall was beloved by all.

He was known prominently as a Free Mason from the beginning.  He was a member of Lodge and Chapter when he came from Bridgeport and he became a member of Lodge and Chapter here by affiliation when he first came, and has since then been most faithful in every Masonic duty.  At his request he was buried with due Masonic honors by Wellsville Lodge F & A.M. No 239, William F. Spargur, Worshipful Master.

In his family relations he was singularly and worthily most happy.  He was a congenial addition to the family circle to which his wife belongs, and was like another welcome son and brother.  In the beautiful home he prepared he was a faithful and loving husband and father, and he leaves with the family the benediction of a beautiful memory.

In business matters Mr. Hall was honorably known by all, not only as scrupulously honest and upright, but also as invariable kind and courteous in all his dealings.  He was trained in the drug business and started a drug store on the ground where the present brick store now stands.  He was twice burned out.  After the first fire he started his store on the opposite side of Main street.  When that was burned he erected the brick store on the present site.   Even here the building was again scorched, when the store on the south was burned.

Religiously Mr. Hall was a member of the Episcopal Church.  He was baptized and trained in that church and never lost his appreciation and love of its beautiful service.  But when he came to Wellsville there was no Episcopal Church organized, and he became an attendant of religious services in the Congregational church, of which for family reasons he was a supporter until his death, tho he never became a member of it.

That there were strong forces on the esthetic side of his nature is evidenced in the attention and care bestowed in the building of the mansion and the laying out of the grounds of his late beautiful residence.  He was also a great lover of beautiful things of nature, of trees, shrubs, flowers and birds.

There is still another side of his nature that made his name known and honored among Geologists in all the world.  He has a special name and place of honor in the Geological work of New York State.

The special story of Mr. Hall’s geological work is an interesting one, but is too long to give in this brief sketch.  Suffice it to say, now that he was the finder of over eighty new and distinct species of the order of Dictyospongidea.  These are fossils of siliceous sponges, Paleozoic forms of an extinct group of organisms, representing the “glass sponges” of the existing seas. Later some account of this interesting work of Mr. Hall’s may be given.

In the few later years Mr. Hall’s growing infirmities have kept him mostly retired in his hone; but at last came the expected release.  He leaves the stage of active life and steps behind the curtain into the unknown and uncharted land of the spiritual life.  With due religious service, and honorable carefulness, his body was gently restored to the bosom of mother earth.  Where he is, released from the body of flesh, we may not now know, only we may believe him with the Lord Christ and with his own loved ones gone before.

 

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