|Birth: ||Mar. 12, 1883|
|Death: ||Aug. 17, 1967|
Tribute written by W. A. Bradfield:
W. Claude Hall, 84, educator, minister, and former president of Freed-Hardeman College, died Friday, August 18, at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital after a heart attack. The funeral was conducted at Henderson, Tennessee, August 20. Brother Hall's teaching career began early. He began teaching in Lake County, Tennessee, before he was twenty. He then went to Missouri and taught one year near Caruthersville. He attended Hall-Moody Institute at Martin, Tennessee, in which he taught penmanship as a student teacher and graduated with a B.S. degree. He became impressed with the idea of counteracting some of the teachings which he knew to be false. With his most trusted friends, the late W. L. Denton and W. E. Morgan, he decided to preach the truth. He began his preaching at the old Antioch church building near Dresden, Tenn. Since then his labors were scattered over many states from California to South Carolina. Brother Hall served as president of Freed-Hardeman College from 1923-25, after which he went to Cordell, Oklahoma, to serve as president of Cordell Christian College. In 1933, he returned to Henderson, where he had been serving as teacher of English and Bible and sponsor of the Preachers Club until his retirement in 1966. The Hall family was blessed with three children-a son and two daughters. The son, John M. Hall, lives in Henderson, Tenn. The daughters are Mrs. Howard Flinn of Acapulco, Mexico, and Mrs. David Kirby, Jr., of Sentinel, Okla. Mrs. Kirby has four children; the son has three. -W. A. Bradfield, Firm Foundation, Sept. 19, 1967, 606.
Tribute by Loyd W. Smith:
W. Claude Hall, a great preacher and a great teacher of preachers, was born March 12, 1883 at Yorkville, in West Tennessee. His parents were John R. and Fannie Hall, a farm couple of Yorkville. Four sons and four daughters were born to them. Brother Hall attended the available public schools, and when he was ready for college, he enrolled in Hall-Moody College, a Baptist school in nearby Martin, Tennessee. Later he attended Peabody College in Nashville, and earned the B.A. and M.A. degrees. While in Hall-Moody he met Miss Lelia Conner. They came to love one another and were married on August 17, 1908 in Fulton, Kentucky, by a Brother Phillips. She was the daughter of Sam and Hutoka Conner of Weakley County Tennessee near Fulton, Kentucky. She became a Christian after they met, and he was instrumental in bringing his parents, as well as hers to the Lord. Three children were born to them, two of whom are still living. Geneva, the oldest, passed away some years ago. Mary Kathryn (Owings) and John M. We do not know exactly when he obeyed the gospel, but it had to be fairly early in life, for he preached his first sermon about 1918. He began to teach School when he was sixteen years old, teaching in Lake County Tennessee. As a teacher he served a number of places, including Dyer, Clarksburg, and Bells, all in Tennessee, serving as Principal and Superintendent. In 1923 he became President of Freed-Hardeman College in Henderson and so served for two years when he went to Cordell, Oklahoma to assume a like position in Oklahoma Christian College. Through all these years he was also preaching in places he could reach on Sunday and in meeting work in the summer time. He did some writing for the Gospel Advocate, and also wrote some tracts. Mary Kathryn sent me a tract he wrote on the subject, God and Man. This tract sets forth the difference between the New Testament Church and those churches built by men. (It would be refreshing to see such a work from a present-day President of one of "our" schools.) He spent two years in the Cordell school, and it happens that I did the first two years of my college work while he was there, so I remember him quite well. He was a very capable and forceful teacher, always holding to the very highest standards. He had a class for young preachers that I managed to join, along with such ones as Wilburn Hill, Homer Bryant, I.G. Ricketts, John Lee Dykes, W.B. Andrews Ellis Williams, and others whose names now escape me. He was an exceptionally good English teacher, and I remember that about him from Cordell, and have heard many of his Henderson students speak of this phase of his work. Perhaps most of his students remember him best for a class he he taught for many years at Freed-Hardeman, called Spoken English. No student ever took that course without becoming more proficient in the English language. While in Cordell he preached much for the Cordell church, especially the first year. He held many meetings in the area and was held in high esteem by the brethren in that area. At the end of two years he moved to Altus, where he worked with the Hudson and Elm Street church as local evangelist, the only time in his life that he did such work. This continued for six years. While in Tennessee he had preached for rather long periods for a certain church, but being there only for the Sunday services. While in Altus Brother N.B. Hardeman, President of Freed- Hardeman, invited him to return to the school. The salary offered was less than he was making at Altus, but he loved Freed-Hardeman, teaching, and young people, so he went. The rest of his life was spent at Freed-Hardeman. All students there remember him for his English classes and for his chapel talks, one chapel talk in particular. He abhorred the use of tobacco, and I remember a speech he made in Cordell chapel about it. He was able to give a very vivid word picture of anything he wished, and he did the tobacco thing up in grand style. He talked about the growing of it, the tobacco worms, the curing and packing of it, how it was packed in big barrels by workmen packing it down as they walked on it. He described the heat and the sweat that poured from these men as they worked — and of course it went down into the tobacco. Then the dust from it would irritate the nasal passages, causing one no end of nasal drainage — that went right into the tobacco — he could make it really gruesome. Enough so that one hardly had any desire to use it. I do not remember whether he gave that speech both years he was at Cordell, but those from Freed-Hardeman have told me he made that speech in chapel there every winter. He would not allow anyone to smoke in his house or car. (It does make things STINK!) Through the years he often helped students when they had financial problems. These loans were usually repaid in due time. He loved The Church, the school, and of course, his family. He tried to buy the things he needed from Christian business men. Once he was holding a meeting where there was quite a bit of gossiping. He got tired of it, and began to carry a small book. When someone started talking about others, he would get the little book and make notes in it. The last night of the meeting, he produced the little book, and told them what he had been writing in it, and he thought he should read it to them. He had talked with one of the elders about it, and he arose and suggested that perhaps this would not he THE time to do that. They talked it over, and he postponed it, but one can easily imagine the state of mind of those guilty. My information does not reveal the final effect of this treatment. His son, John, tells of the great love his parents had for each other. His mother would sometime forget her purse, and they would have to return to the house for it. John said, ". . .I cannot recall that he was ever critical of her, even made any comment, other than, "Ah, Wife." Brother Hall retired from his teaching work in 1965, but retained his office in the school. He continued to be active in preaching, but in August, 1967 he had a stroke and heart failure and died in the Jackson hospital on August 17th., his fifty ninth wedding anniversary. The funeral was conducted by two of his life-time friends and brethren, H.A. Dixon and C.P. Roland. His body was laid to rest in the Henderson City Cemetery. After his death Sister Hall had little, or no desire to live, and in just a few months, on March 6, 1968 she joined him in the better world. Brethren Dixon and Roland again conducted the service, being assisted by Thomas Scott and Phil Hefley. The Henderson meeting house was used for these services, and Sister Hall was laid by his side to await the resurrection. Perhaps it is impossible to fully evaluate the life of such a man as Claude Hall. Certainly, he was no ordinary man! His influence on his students was always good, and he always knew what he was teaching and the students knew that. He reached for high standards for himself, and thus was able to effectively hold out such standards before his students. His kind is never plentiful upon the earth, but such are always a blessing to their fellow man, and W. Claude Hall was such a blessing to his generation. Loyd W. Smith. Gospel Preachers of Yesteryear (1986) 1-165.
Jonathan Randolph Hall (1843 - 1923)
Lelia Elinor Connor Hall (1885 - 1968)
Mary Katherine Hall Kirby (1912 - 2001)*
Henderson City Cemetery
Created by: Tom Childers
Record added: Mar 20, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87101309