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Rebecca Hall, got her first genealogy bug when at sixty years old she needed a birth certificate. Of course, she had eagerly retained the oral history of her family which was handed down to her, but she needed proof to submit her date of birth in order to get her social security. She had to get written statements from family who could attest to her date of birth. Her Aunt Ellen was the only one still living that was there, January 6, 1905, at her birth. She learned that Aunt Ellen was a walking history book, and thought someone should write and preserve her memory. Then she began her own research by talking to older people who were familiar with the Hall, Bible and Ellison family. Then she met a cousin, Ruth Ellison, who lived in the genealogy capitol of the U.S.A, which is argueably Utah. Ruth loved genealogy, and the two of them began a extensive research of the family history. There was no internet, and they covered many miles visiting libraries, writing for records, posting in newspapers, and visiting other relatives. They gathered pictures and news clippings, and all the other methods of gathering data. They developed a lasting relationship with each other, and met many cousins along the way. Momma and her siblings each contributed their memories of something or someone dear to them. They passed the "bug" to their children, and now with the internet, we are finding new info and new cousins all over again. They would just love the internet.----------Iris Dale

A story about Rebecca Hall and her sister Rachel begins with two sisters , both married with children. They lived in the upper 15th district of Cocke County, Tn in the late 1920`s when they heard the news of a family stricken with Typhoid fever. They decided to go and help when no one else would. They cared for this family, cooked, cleaned, and chopped wood and nursed them all back to health while praying all along not to get this dreaded disease. Although, many died, if the person could overcome their fever they stood a chance of full recovery. Rebecca did contract Typhoid fever and was in bed for a year and had to learn to walk again. Rachel did not contract Typhoid. Momma always said she would do it all over again because it was the right thing to do. She lived to be 93 years old and that`s the kind of values they were shown as Hall children.

Another story. When Rebecca Hall was 5 years old in 1910 her Daddy woke her up on a cold, snowy morning to fetch a bucket of water from the spring for her mother to cook. On the way back the bucket had frozen to her hand. She said when she got to the house they had to pry her little hand off the bucket and she cried and said she would never go back to the spring again, but of course she did as everyone had chores to do. As she grew it was her job to watch her little brothers and sisters. One day while returning from the field alone, a herd of cattle went on a stampede and she saw a big log and laid down beside the log and the cattle jumped over her. It ripped her dress but she was unhurt. She knew God was watching over her and always would. In her mind when Jesus returned, he would return to Bell Hill first as it was the most beautiful place in the world.

Another Story: As told by Iris Dale, Once on a family reunion outing, on our way to Bell Hill in 1991, mother told me and my husband David that her cousin mailed her 3 little sprigs of Kudzoo, which at the time she thought was pretty, so she planted it. She said it was in the 1930`s. Kudzoo in 1991 had just about encompassed everything in site along the way to Bell Hill. We all laughed at her true story of Kudzoo and really wondered if what she had planted was responsible for all the mess of Kudzoo we saw that day.

Another Story, As told by Iris Dale, As a child growing up, it was a given to make jelly, so as usual Momma bought, what looked to me like a hundred gallons of strawberries, It really wasn`t that much but since I was the capper it looked like that many. After working diligently the jelly was ready to boil. Mother picked up a 10 gallon pot and started to the stove with it. It was filled to the brim with sugar and pureed strawberries. With a slip of the foot, Momma fell, throwing strawberry jam all over me and everybody there. We were laughing so hard, she tried to get up but fell again. We thought we would never get it cleaned up and continued to find remnants for the next two weeks it seemed. Momma was mad and laughing that day at the same time. That winter when we ate strawberry jam we would all laugh.

Another Story, Rebecca (Momma) was known for good cooking and people would come from far and near to eat with her. Her nephew, Dane Baxter, said once of Rebecca`s cooking," she was the only one he knew that could be cooking in the kitchen and sling flour in the back yard".

Another Story: In the early 1900`s the Hall family was poor in money but rich in family. They lived in a log cabin in Hartford, Tn near Bell Hill. The children would sleep 3 and 4 to a bed consisting of a rope support with a feather tick. My mother Rebecca said in the wintertime there was no insulation and she would wake up with blowing snow which would come through the rafters and on to the quilt. She could hear the wind blowing. They would jump out of the bed into their wool bloomers quickly and make their way to the warm fire. Then the day of chores would begin. No matter how small, if you could walk and talk, you had a chore. Momma never spoke well of log cabins and held steadfast, when grown, that she would never have one for for herself.

Another Story: As told by Iris Dale, On August 3, 1924 Grandmother Emaline persuaded Momma to go to church that morning because Pat Davis was holding a revival at New Prospect. There was a handsome man there named Talmadge Freeman and it was love at first sight for Rebecca. She was 19 years old and apparently he felt the same way as they courted that same night. Their desires in life were mutual as they both dreamed of a better life. They were married on May 25, 1925.

Another Story: Rebecca wrote this in her bible and lived by these words: " I shall pass but through this world but once, therefore, if there be any kindness I can show or anything I can do, let me do it now. Let me not defer it nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again".

Another Story: Rebecca also wrote in her bible that " The things we obtain so easily, we esteem too lightly".

Another Story: Rebecca also wrote in her bible that " Someone once made the remark that I was very wise in matters pertaining to life, if that is true, I`ve paid a great price for that wisdom with many dissapointments and heartaches".

talmadge.jpg    Beyond the Sunset   
   Should you go first and I remain, to walk the road alone. I live in memories garden dear, with happy days we`ve known. In spring I`ll wait roses red, when faded the lilacs blue, in early fall when brown leaves fall, I`ll catch a glimpse of you. Should you go first and I remain for battles to be fought, each thing you`ve touched along the way will be a hallowed spot. I`ll hear your voice, I`ll see your smile, tho' blindly I may grope. The memory of your helping hand will buoy me on with hope. Should you go first and I remain, one thing I`ll have to do: walk slowly down that long long path, for soon I`ll follow you. Rebecca Hall`s favorite poem.    
Another Story: As told by Iris Dale, Singing was a great part of the Hall family in happiness or sadness. These are a few of their favorite songs. 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus. On September 3 1931, Jake Hall, while on his death bed sang to Momma~We`ll Work To Jesus Comes. A favorite song of `Singing Sam Hall, Momma wrote in 1914 that her dad sang to her~I Will Arise And Go To Jesus. My great- grandmother, Emaline Bible Hall, loved the song~ Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone~. On November 19 1938, at Allie Simmons Hall funeral, Effie Hall, Joel Hall, James Robert and Rebecca sang~Shall We Gather At The River~. At Bell Hill in 1924, Effie, Frank, Viola, Rachel, Jake, Jim, Allen, Rebecca and their daddy Singing Sam Hall sang together at church~When We All Get To Heaven~. Emaline Ellison Hall favorite song~God Be With You~.

Another Story: As told by Iris Dale, My grandfather Singing Sam Hall never drove a car a day in his life. He lived to 1959. My mother owned a furniture store in downtown Newport and she always kept a piano there. It was also a gathering place for many people who love to come to sing and hear old time gospel music. They would go and get granddaddy and bring him to town. My mothers brothers and sisters would bring their family to sing all day long. It`s one of my fondest memories~tear~and their voices could be heard to the end of the block.

Another Story: As told by Bea Hall Good, Aunt Rebecca (Hall-Freeman-Glenn) had a furniture store in Newport.  Uncle Allen Hall worked with her.  First cousin, Mac Hall, son of Uncle Robert,  had been away for quite some time serving in World War II.  He received a severe head injury, and it took months to recover.  Aunt Rebecca said that she, Uncle Allen and a couple were gathered around the piano singing in the store.  Mac unexpectedly arrived in Newport by train and walked to the store to see his cousins.  The cousins were in the middle of a song.  Mac just walked up to them and  put his arms around them,  and joined in the singing.  They hadn't seen him since before he left for the war.  Aunt Rebecca said no one missed a note and the singing continued.  When the song ended, they all had a shouting and hugging reunion.  Everyone was so thankful that Mac was home.

Another Story: As told by Iris Dale, Momma`s store was on Main Street in Newport facing the main line of the railroad track. During World War 2 , train load after train load, would come through carrying soldiers. If the train stopped, everyone would go out and greet the soldiers with well wishes and cheers. They offered words of encouragement as well as mailing their letter`s home for them and sometimes offered them a small care package to those who needed one. This continued until the end of the war. Momma`s nephew, Milburn Hall, was killed in action at the Battle of the Bulge. When his body was returned home, she paid for his funeral and burial and laid him to rest at Union Cemetary beside his Grandfather Singing Sam Hall.

Another Story: As told by Dan Freeman, Talmadge and Rebecca Freeman had never had indoor plumbing and Talmadge paid someone to bring supplies from Waterville, NC. to build their first bathroom. After it was finished, Momma`s Granddaddy Allen Hall came to visit. They showed him the bathroom, as he had never seen indoor plumbing. When he looked at the bathroom and saw the toilet, he exclaimed, "Your not get gonna get me to "expletive" in that thing. They all laughed but Allen was serious about not using the toilet.

Another Story: As told by Iris Dale, My mother bought a building on Main Street in the 1930`s that used to be the town funeral home. Where they used to embalm people, you could see the imprint left by the barrels containing embalming fluid etched in the concrete. It had a huge wooden elevator that was pulled by ropes and pulleys. I had great joy riding that elevator. There was a large safe left in that store that was so big it remains there today 2001 and the building is still owned by the family. The only heat available back then was a coal stove that sat at the back of the store. In the summertime the cool breeze off the Pigeon River kept it very comfortable. From the time I was born, I went to work with my mother. My father, Allen Turner Glenn Jr., enjoyed photography, and hung family pictures all over the store. One was roughly an 8 foot by 8 foot picture he had blown up of me standing at Swanns bridge at the age of 4. It remains there today. This building was used as a furniture store in the 1930`s until the mid 1980`s and is now a warehouse for Freemans furnitue.

Another Story: As told by Iris Dale, The day my mother and Talmadge married, she and Talmadge decided to move to Detroit, Michigan to find work at the Ford automobile plant and boarded a train in Knoxville at the L&N railroad terminal. They were both scared to death not knowing what lie ahead. On the train ride, momma said it was hot and the windows were down, and the coal cinders blew in and burnt her dress. They rented a flat in Detroit for 2 dollars a week. The only entertainment they ever allowed themselves was to ride the trolley ,which cost a nickel, uptown to see a talkie (movie). She said Talmadge worked very hard and carried a tin lunch bucket. Here she honed some of her cooking skills and made new friends. At the end of their first year, a letter came from home, saying they needed to return as her mother Emaline Ellison Hall was dying. They didn`t know why but later would learn it was throat cancer. They gathered their belongings and began the long journey home. Mother was pregnant with their first born child, Warren, and momma couldn`t wait to get home to tell her mother. At home, Emaline was on her death bed, and was so pleased to see momma. She whispered to momma of the joy of seeing her one more time and how well she looked. She said she was glad momma wasn`t pregnant. Momma never told her of her pregnancy as not to worry her and Emaline died the next day. Mother said a part of her died that day. Emaline was a tiny woman and after having all those children you could see the hardships in the lines of her face. Momma and Talmadge remained to stay in Newport. Six months later, Warren was born.

Another Story: As told by Iris Dale, We can never know of the hardships our early heritage that they faced fully, except by the stories of the people who lived them. My mother said, that when Warren was born she cut up rags to make diapers and that they would freeze when hung out to dry. She said that he was the prettiest baby of her children. There were many happy moments in the old 15th district of Hartford. All her children were born at home, including me, when my mother was 46 in 1949. I was born at home in the Clifton Heights community. My mother went to the doctor (Doc Nease) one time during her pregnancy with me and he said,"Miss Rebecca, when the time comes, call me". My mother went into labor and instead of calling Doc Nease she called her sister Rachel. Aunt Rachel never learned to drive, so they sent for her by way of Billy Evans who worked for my mother at the furniture store. Aunt Rachel came and prepared the birthing bed as she had done this many times before. The whole family gathered, my 5 brothers, 2 sister-in-laws , mommas 3 grandchildren and my father. I was born at 5:30 a.m. at 6 pounds. No one went to work or school on the 12 December 1949. Aunt Rachel gave me a bath that morning, she said she knew I would always be dear to her. She was like a mother always to me and we carried a special bond to her death. She was soft-spoken and one of the kindness people I have ever known.

A Poem: submitted by Belinda Hall Hilliard
Family Tree
Many many years ago
when I was twenty three,

I got married to a widow
who was pretty as could be.

This widow had a grown-up daughter
who had hair of red.

My father fell in love with her,
and soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life.

My daughter was my mother,
For she was my father's wife.

To complicate the matters worse,
Although it brought me joy,

I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became
A brother-in-law to dad.

And so became my uncle,
Though it made me very sad.

For if he was my uncle,
Then that also made him brother

To the widow's grown-up daughter
Who, of course, was my step-mother.

Father's wife then had a son,
Who kept them on the run.

And he became my grandson,
For he was my daughter's son.

My wife is now my mother's mother
And it makes me blue.

Because, although she is my wife,
She is my grandma too.

If my wife is my grandmother,
Then I am her grandchild.

And every time I think of it,
It simply drives me wild.

For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw.

As the husband of my grandmother,
I am my own grandpa.

  Another Story: As told by Iris Dale, When Paul Freeman was born, Momma was recovering in bed. She was so weak. Warren was 18 months old and she begged him to go and get her a drink out of the water bucket, as no one else was there, so Warren climbed up on the stool and poured the water, then got nearly back to the bed, and turned up the ladle just a few feet from his momma, and drank it, and never would go back and get his mother a drink. Momma always laughed while telling the story, even 70 years later.

Another Story:A Tribute to Sam Hall

Another Story: Told by Rebecca Hall

More Family Stories

Graphics from Castleberry Arts