Samuel Hall family early area settlers

The Hall family of Ramsey Township was part of the group that first came to Illinois in 1816, settling in Saline County where they lived for two years before moving near Lebanon in St. Clair County.
Malaria proved to be so bad there that the following year they moved again, with Joseph settling at Vandalia and Samuel on the east side of Mitchell Creek, opposite what was afterward old Williamsburg, about 12 miles south of Shelbyville.
Shelby County was at that time inhabited by the Delaware, Kickapoo and Pottawatomie Indians, who were friendly to the few whites scattered through the dense wilderness.
Samuel Hall had a rather large family,  consisting of an equal number of sons and daughters. His oldest son was Jehu and his second son was John Pyle Hall, father of George P. Hall, whose memories of those early days provide an insight into the trials and dangers faced by the early settlers.
Jehu was about 13 years of age and John was 11 when their father settled on Mitchell Creek, named for Uncle Jimmy Mitchell who kept a still-house here. The boys soon became expert hunters, and would be absent for days on their hunting trips. Many are the stories I heard around my father’s fireside about the encounters with wolves, panthers and bears. Their companions in the chase were the Indian boys and such few whites as happened to live near enough to be able to join them.
The Indians with whom they fraternized were the Delaware tribe. My father used to say that the Delaware Indians were high class. One Indian of whom my father spoke was White Buffalo; another was Joe Munson;  and another He Looks Like A Catfish. The Delaware chiefs used to visit or spend the night at my grandfather’s house, and all were the best of friends.
At one time, relations between the Kickapoo and Pottawatomie tribes became strained and war seemed imminent. During this time, two of the young Delaware Indians who had wandered far from their own camp and who had sought refuge for the night at the Kickapoo camp, were mistaken in the darkness for the enemy and slain.  
The chiefs of each tribe held a council,  which lasted for several days, and finally war was avoided by the Kickapoos paying the Delawares an indemnity of 40 ponies. The Delaware chief afterward told my grandfather that the 40 ponies did not pay for the lives of the two young men, but neither would a useless war.
I think it was around 1822 when my father was 15 years old that he was janitor in the statehouse at Vandalia, which at that time was the capital of Illinois. I have heard him say that the Legislature Hall was well appointed for the day and time, and that an open fire furnished heat for the room.
Many of the legislators arrived on horseback, and some came on foot. Many wore homespun clothes and a few homemade coon skin caps. But for all their rustic attire,  they were men of sterling worth and tried to formulate laws for the best interests of the people of the young state.
Samuel and Nancy Steele Hall’s family consisted of Jehu and John, mentioned above, as well as Susan, born 1810; Thomas Dow, born 1814; Serena, born 1816; Mary,  born 1819; Samuel Jr., born June 11, 1824 (said to be the first white child born in Shelby County); Nancy, born 1825; and William, born 1827.
Samuel and Joseph Hall were both sons of John and Mary Pyle Hall. Joseph married Sarah Hinds and settled in what became Ramsey Township. Their children included Adeline, John, Franklin, Sarah Elizabeth and Emily.
Their brother, John Hall, a soldier in the Black Hawk War of 1832, married Sarah’s sister, Eleanor Hinds. John operated the stone quarry on Ramsey Creek, and provided the stone for the abutments for bridges spanning the Kaskaskia River on the National Road at Vandalia.
In 1836, this stone stockpiled near the river was "borrowed" from the federal government and used in the foundation of the Vandalia Statehouse.
At the time of John’s premature death, he owned 18 yoke of oxen and property valued at $2,773.86. His grave marker in Bolyard (formerly Hall) Cemetery in Ramsey Township, has a death date of Dec. 28, 1836.
His wife, Eleanor, survived him by 20 years.

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