The Jarvis Family and Other Relatives

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James M. Hall, Wilkes County, NC

James M. Hall left his wife Clementine Whitley Hall one week after the birth of their only child Jesse Daniel Hall. Jesse was born in February 1879. Legend has it that Willis Whitley who was Clementine's father paid money to James to leave Wilkes County forever. As the story goes, Clementine didn't know about this little transaction and James told her he "was going over the mountain" to find work and he would send for her. Willis Whitley was dead before the census was taken in June 1880. That fact alone, makes me want to put a different spin on this story that is different than the one passed down. I don't believe it was Willis Whitely who paid James the money to leave, I think it was Matilda Whitley, Clementine's mother. Why? As said, Willis died before 1880, so that could mean that Matilda realized that her husband was dying, her grown son needed constant care and a watchful eye and then her daughter was going to go off and marry James Hall and leave her? I think if money changed hands then it was Matilda who set it up. On the other hand, if Willis Whitley knew he was dying, maybe he wanted to get rid of James Hall because he didn't want James to inherit any of his land. He was a large land owner at the time. Within ten years Matilda Whitley was dead and Clementine was left with the additional responsibility of taking care of her brother George, who was "not quite right." Whoever did the arranging and paid the money - it worked - because it was at least 35 years before Clementine saw James Hall again. Clementine gave birth to my grandfather Jesse Daniel Hall in February 1879, raised him by herself and from all accounts adored him. But Jesse left Clementine too, running away from home "to see the world" when he was about 14 years of age. It is said that after Jesse left their mountain home, Clementine went crazy. My Mother who was born in 1919 remembered seeing Clementine only once. Clementine was tied to a bed and tried to pull my mother's hair. A child would remember such a thing.

While Clementine was struggling in Wilkes County, James M. Hall was out West. By 1880 James was living in a hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. His occupation was 3rd cook. It is not known if he was employed by the hotel as a cook, if he was just passing through, if he was with a wagon train or if he was in the Army. By 1898 James was in the US Army and on his way to fighting in the Spanish-American War. James joined the Army in Cripple Creek, Colorado. In the 1890s Cripple Creek was a booming gold mining town. James gave his address as 3rd and Myers Ave. Myers Avenue in those days was part of the red light district which was also booming in Cripple Creek.

James M. Hall was assigned to Company E, 23rd Infantry. His Regiment sailed from San Francisco for the Philippine Islands arriving in July, 1898 and assisted in the capture of Manila. In August 1900, Private James M. Hall was in Camp Gregg which was on Siasse Island in the Philippines. On the trip back to the US in 1901, his regiment travelled through the Suez Canal, making the 23rd the first Regiment to completely circumnavigate the globe.

It is not known if Clementine was lucid enough to realize that Jim had returned home. From some documents we found and family legend it appears that James either lost (by gambling) or sold the Whitley land where Clementine was living. After Clementine's death James Hall moved to Forsyth County, NC where he lived with his son until his death in 1926. He is buried at Marvin United Methodist Church Cemetery in Winston Salem, NC. - Faye Jarvis Moran


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Jarvis Family and Other Relatives

, 2001-2007
Faye Jarvis Moran and Elizabeth H. Harris
faye@fmoran.com, ncgen@mindspring.com