Wilber and Manie Hall and their children crossed the plains to Washington in 1894 and settled in Clark County, thereby starting a legal tradition that is continuing after more than 80 years.
The Halls settled on a timbered homestead near Yacolt with their four sons, two of whom were to carve out distinguished careers as attorneys and jurists here. They were Charles W. Hall and Joseph E. Hall.
The Halls lived on their Yacolt ranch for eight years, but operated a candy store in Vancouver during the winter months to help pay for the schooling of their children. Wilber Hall later opened a general merchandise store in Brush Prairie and was that community’s postmaster for several years.
Charles, born Dec. 17, 1878, near Andover, Ohio, fought in The Philippines during the Spanish-American War, then returned to Vancouver to finish his schooling. After receiving his diploma from Vancouver High School, he taught Latin and mathematics for several years there, saving enough money to enter the University of Washington for his law degree.
Earning his degree in 1906, Charles returned to Vancouver to practice with A.L. Miller and Donald McMaster.
Hall was elected to the Vancouver School Board in 1916 and was board president from 1918 until 1926. In 1924, he was elected to the state Legislature, serving two terms as a representative and two as a senator.
He first was appointed judge of Clark County Superior Court in 1937 and served 18 years, resigning because of ill health prior to his death in 1955. Until 1946, when a second department of Clark County Superior Court was created, Hall was the county’s only judge and his court handled all the major litigation, both criminal and civil, during the hectic years of World War II.
His son, Ned Hall, continues the legal tradition as an attorney in Vancouver today.
Joseph E. Hall, who was born in Cleveland No. 11, 1883, also attended public schools in Vancouver, graduating in 1904. He attended one year at the University of Washington, then returned to Vancouver to study under his uncle, G.A. Percival, Vancouver mayor.
Joseph entered into partnership in his father’s business, W.A. Hall and Son, until the firm was sold in 1915. He continued his law studies and was admitted to the bar in 1919.
During his long career here, Joseph Hall also served as a state legislator, as well as county clerk and prosecuting attorney. He served on the Vancouver School Board for 15 years and in 1941 was selected as Vancouver’s senior citizen of the year in acknowledgement of his community leadership.
Joseph Hall died in 1974 at age 90.