This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

My Hall family as seen through the eyes of Esther (Hall) Owens

I had just started on my genealogy when I met Esther (Hall) Owens. She was the granddaughter of one of the sons of my ggg Grandfather Elisha Hall. I guess that makes her an aunt of mine, or a cousin, I'm not really sure. What I do know is that without her I wouldn't have been able to figure out my Hall family of Fairmont, Minnesota, and identify the photos that I had found.

Hall Lake in Fairmont was named by Elisha Banks Hall. There's a historical society there that can tell you all about that. But I was interested in the rest of the story, especially my grandfather, Robert Clyde Hall.

If you've done much genealogy work, you know that all families have people whose names just make the old-timers shake their heads, and try to say something nice. Describing a man as a *drunken fool* just isn't nice, and you rarely see that in the description of someone in a family tree. But my grandfather wasn't a good husband, or father. He seems to have had a wild streak in him that lasted all of his long life.

Robert Clyde Hall
Esther knew Clyde. She remembered him as dashingly handsome, and quite often intoxicated. The stories about him that I remembered from being a kid is that he had killed a man. And yes, he had. He crashed his car while drunk, and killed a friend. Not exactly the story I expected, but I'm interested in the truth, even if it hurts bit. Clyde left my grandmother during the The Great Depression. A lot of men did, I understand. It was called a *Depression Divorce*. Being single again freed her up to become a teacher (married women weren't allowed to be teachers), and she eventually became Superintendent of Schools in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

I was very fortunate to have met Esther. My original idea, when I first visited Fairmont to try to figure out my genealogy for that part of the family, was to just stay with a cousin of mine and drive around aimlessly. And that's all I would have done, if it hadn't been for Esther. When I saw it through her eyes, it all made sense. Thank you, Aunt Esther!

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