Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


James A. Hall, one of the veteran lawyers of California, a practitioner in this state for more than forty years, now and for many years engaged in practice in Watsonville, former mayor of that city, a former representative of this district in the state legislature, former district attorney of Santa Cruz county, for the past twenty years and more a member of the local board of education and in other ways one of the most active participants in the general development of the cultural influences that have been so effective in this section of the state, is a native son of California and has been a resident of this state all his life. He was born on a farm in the Watsonville neighborhood, over the line in Monterey county, November 9, 1857, and is a son of Richard F. and Maria L. (Stinson) Hall, natives of Virginia, who came to California in 1849, following their marriage, and who presently settled in Monterey county, in the vicinity of Watsonville, where R. F. Hall became a substantial farmer and landowner.

Reared on the home farm, James A. Hall finished his early education in the Watsonville schools and early took up the study of law. After a course of preparatory study in the University of California, he went to San Francisco and in the Hastings College of Law completed this course and was admitted to the bar in 1880, then being in his twenty-third year. In the next year (1881) Mr. Hall became engaged in practice in Watsonville and has since been practicing law in that city, one of the best known lawyers in this section of California. For ten years he was a representative member of the law firm of Cross, Hall, Ford & Kelly, with general offices in San Francisco.

In 1882, the year after he had opened his office for practice in Watsonville, Mr. Hall was elected to the office of district attorney for Santa Cruz county and in that capacity rendered public service for one term. In 1888 he was elected to represent his district in the lower house of the state legislature and thus extended his acquaintance in general political and civic circles. Later and for one term (1911-13) he served as mayor of the city of Watsonville, during that incumbency doing much to advance the general interests of his home town. Mr. Hall has ever been an ardent advocate of the best obtainable in the way of local schools and for about twenty years has rendered efficient service as a member of the Watsonville school board. His wife formerly was a teacher in the schools of Monterey county and she has been an enthusiastic and effective aid to him in his service in that connection, as well as a valued helpmate in the exacting duties of his professional life.

In 1902 James A. Hall was united in marriage to Miss Louise M. McCarthy, who was born in San Jose, daughter of Joseph McCarthy. To Mr. and Mrs. Hall three children have been born: A son, Warren J., and two daughters, Alice M. and Hazel, the last named of whom died in infancy. Miss Alice M. Hall was graduated from the Watsonville high school with the class of 1925 and is at home; Warren J. Hall was graduated in 1920 and is now on the staff of the Examiner in San Francisco. The Halls are democrats and for many years Mr. Hall has been recognized as one of the leaders of that party in this section of the state, for more than twenty years, rendering effective service in behalf of his party as a member of the county central committee of that party, thus coming to be known as one of the real "wheel-horses" of democracy hereabout.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.