Woodbury K. Hall, Prairie

Three parts


Woodbury K. Hall, aged 81, Succumbs

Mount Vernon Herald, Dec. 31, 1938

            Woodbury K. Hall, 81, a resident of this district for the past fifty-four years, died at his farm home at Thornwood, just north of this city, Thursday night. Mr. Hall, who was born in Maine on Oct. 24, 1857, came here in 1884 [actually 1883].

            Funeral services will be held in the Lemley chapel on Tuesday afternoon with the Rev. E.E. Beckman in charge, and burial will be in the Union cemetery.

            Mrs. Hall preceded her husband in death in April 1936. Surviving are one son, Roy C. Hall, Thornwood, a grandson, a brother, Fred Hall of Chico, Calif. A nephew, [Glenn] Hall, is a member of the Sedro-Woolley high school faculty.


Profile by Marilyn Morrison

A Kalloch family descendant

            Woodbury K. Hall was born at South Thomaston, Knox County, Maine, October 24, 1857.  He was the son of Ezekial D. Hall and Caroline Kalloch (Amariah III's sister).  The family came west to Kansas by 1866 and were there in Franklin County for the 1880 U.S. Census.  The parents and Woodbury, his younger siblings, Jennie E. and Fred O., were listed.

            The Halls would later push further west to California.  I.S. Kalloch and E.D. Hall witnessed Amariah Kalloch III's claim for disability in San Francisco, January 11, 1882.  Some of the Halls took the City of Mexico steamer from San Francisco, Dec. 1, 1883, for Washington Territory, reaching Victoria, B.C., December 24.  Included were the family of Amariah Kalloch III and his half-brother Isaac S. Kalloch.  Harriet and "Uncle Zeke" were the only passengers who did not get seasick, she wrote.

            Woodbury and his brother, Fred, would pioneer in Washington Territory, with Amariah, and later apply for their land grants.

            After Mary died, he married one of her sisters, Ellen (Heck) Broyles, on June 23, 1909.  (J.B. Broyles died November 10, 1904, and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, Douglas County, Kansas.)  The Halls are both buried in Union Cemetery in Sedro-Woolley, Skagit County, Washington.  Ellen died in 1936, and Woodbury is listed in The Pioneer Book of Skagit County, Washington as Hall, Woodbury K., place of death, Thornwood; 1938, Dec. 29.


Skagit River Journal research: Woodbury K. Hall

            Woodbury K. Hall was one of the three earliest pioneers of what we now call Prairie, but was originally called Thornwood. At the time that he and his brother Fred homesteaded here in 1884, their only white neighbors were George and Sarah (Polk) Hathaway and Amariah Kalloch III, Woodbury's uncle who had preceded them in 1883 and homesteaded adjacent to the brothers, about five miles north of the future town of Woolley.

            His uncle's half-brother, Isaac S. Kalloch, was from the same town in Maine. He was one of the most controversial abolitionist preachers in Boston before the Civil War and controversy followed him everywhere he preached, from Maine to Boston to New York City and then to Kansas. In Kansas, he became a hotel-and-saloon owner, newspaper publsiher, founder of a college and railroad magnate. Many of the Halls and Kallochs followed him there, including Woodbury and his father, Ezekial, and Amariah Kalloch III. Isaac moved to San Francisco in 1875, ostensibly to preach, but he wound up running for mayor in 1879 and was shot during the campaign by Charles De Young, co-founder of the San Francisco Chronicle. He survived but his son Isaac Milton Kalloch took umbrage and a few months later he shot De Young and killed him. One of the great ironies of this family is that Milton was acquitted of the murder and left his calling as preacher, and when his father moved with other Kallochs and Halls to Washington territory in 1883, Milton also moved with them and became one of the two first attorneys to pass the bar in the new county of Skagit in January 1884. Father Isaac invested in railroads in Whatcom county and died there in 1887. Milton became a successful lawyer in California and at one time he was the district attorney for Stanislaus County and briefly owned a newspaper in Sonora, the county seat. We are finalizing an entire section in the Subscribers Edition for this winter about this amazing family.

            Woodbury's mother was Caroline Kalloch, Amariah III's older sister by a year. They were children of Amariah Sr. and his second of third wives, Harriet Sleeper. Seven years after marrying the third time, he traveled alone to California to preach in the wicked gold camps that sprouted up for the '49ers and he died there on June 16, 1850. Amariah was a teenager at the time and he wound up in Kansas later in that decade, joining his older half-brother, Isaac, who was the only child born to the first wife.

            While his Uncle Amariah homesteaded north of Cranberry Lake and near what is now Highway 9, Woodbury settled first at the town of Whatcom on Bellingham Bay, where Isaac, father and son, also moved when they first moved to the territory in 1883. In the book, Centennial Farms, we learn that Woodbury soon found a job as a teamster  — wagon driver, along with various jobs using horses on Whatcom county farms. Glenn Hall is now 93 and is a retired teacher from Sedro-Woolley high school. He recalls that Woodbury staked his claim between Cranberry Lake and the town of Thornwood that Woodbury J. Thorne and his wife started as a post office after moving from Maine in 1886. For the first few years he camped out at Cranberry Lake when he walked through the dense forest from Whatcom to Prairie. Sometime in that period, his brother Fred O. Hall — younger by nine years, joined Woodbury and homesteaded an adjoining claim. By 1888, they were harvesting hay and raising beef cattle and in 1889 they added a few sheep and cleared enough land for a garden that sustained them.

            On Oct. 2, 1888, a year before Washington territory became a state, Woodbury's father, Ezekial, died [also spelled Ezekiel]. A year later in November, just days after statehood was announced, Uncle Amariah stepped onto the sternwheeler Cascade but lost his footing and his head struck the dock. He did not drown but he was taken to the relatively new Sisters of Providence hospital where he later died of a cerebral concussion. That left Mary Elizabeth Kalloch a widow with three children still at home. Kalloch descendant Marilyn Morrison, who has been a tremendous resource for both the Kalloch and Hall families, discovered that in 1896, widow Mary Elizabeth Kalloch claimed 120.6 acres of land near Thornburn under the Homestead Act.  She had lived on the property for ten years, cultivating five acres for fruit-bearing trees, tame cranberries, and other small truck [farm products].  Besides the log house, 22x26, she had a barn, woodhouse and chickenhouse.

            Then, on Nov. 6, 1897, Mary married Woodbury K. Hall, which some people have called her nephew. Actually, the relationship is much more complicated. As you read above, Amariah III was the younger brother of Caroline E. Kalloch who married Woodbury's father, Ezekiel. This kind of conundrum drives genealogists crazy, but it got even more complicated, as you will soon read. The family prefers to call Woodbury the nephew of Amariah, and some use the term nephew-in-law. We will let you sort all that out. Mary and Woodbury soon moved back to Baldwin City, Douglas County, Kansas, where her Heck family was still living. She died there on Nove. 13, 1900, at age 52. As far as we know thus far, Woodbury stayed back in Kansas for some time before returning to Prairie, where he lived the rest of his life and where he died. We hope that a family member will find records that determine when Woodbury returned to Washington. Since his son was born back there in 1910, we assume he returned after that.

            J.B. Broyles died on Nov. 10, 1904, leaving Mary's sister, Ellen (Heck) Broyles, a widow. Five years later, on June 23, 1909, Woodbury married Ellen. Their only child together, Roy Clinton Hall, was born back in Kansas on Aug. 29, 1910. Roy died on Nov. 22, 1987, and his widow, Nina (Norris) Hall still lives on part of the original Hall property, southwest of the town of Prairie, on a fork of the Samish river. We have not yet established when Woodbury and Ellen returned to Skagit county. They are both buried in Sedro-Woolley Union Cemetery. Ellen preceded Woodbury in death on April 25, 1936.


Noel V. Bourasaw

Skagit River Journal of History & Folklore




Woodbury's obituary, Woodbury's photo page

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