William "Willie" Leighton Hall was born on February 13, 1881 in Marion County, Florida to James Edward Beaumont Hall and Elizabeth Jane "Janie" Martin. William was the younger brother to Dora Ann, John Eason Allen, Henry Thomas, Charles Clinton, Joel Emanuel and James Harmon and the older brother to James Edward Beaumont.
His World War I Draft Card places Joel Emanuel Hall, William Leighton's older brother, in Lauderdale County, Mississippi between 1917-1918 and also states that his nearest relative is Octavia Sarah Hall.
At age 19, in the year 1900 Willie married Alice Virginia "Virgie" Coker (I presume in Mississippi). Virgie, a Mississippi native, was the younger sister of Octavia Sarah Coker who was married to Joel Emanuel Hall. To avoid panic and confusion, this means two Hall brothers married two Coker sisters.
1910 United States Census (April 19) - Lauderdale County, Mississippi
Just six months after this census was taken, October 18, 1910 Virgie died in Mississippi. She and her infant son William "Willie" Leighton Hall, Jr. were buried at Coker's Chapel United Methodist Cemetery in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Also buried there are Joel Emanuel and Octavia Coker Hall as well as other members of their family.
Jimmie and Miriam Hall
1920 United States Census (January 27) - Orlando, Orange County, Florida
Everyone in our family knows that if they receive a card or letter from my grandpa, it will always be signed, "Your Friend, Bill Hall." The origin of this is from his father who sent out these post cards as a nurseryman.
Willie and Erna had two more children, Robert "Bobby" Edward born on December 6, 1922 and Alan Lincoln on September 27, 1924.
Miriam, Bill, Charlie and Bobby Hall
1930 United States Census (April 21) - Orlando, Orange County, Florida
William Leigton Hall lost his mother, Janie Martin Hall on June 1, 1931 and at age 50, just four months later he died on October 8, 1931 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Orlando, Orange County, Florida. My grandpa, William Andrews Hall, was 13 years old when his grandmother and father died. He remembers that his cousin, Leighton Hall, was the one who told him the news of his father. Also, many years later, a lady named MacDonald went to Hall's Nursery to tell him that his daddy had worked at her house in Mount Dora the day before he died. Willie died of chronic myocarditis. Myocarditis is inflamation or degeneration of the heart muscle. He was attended by the doctor for eight days before his death at 3pm on the 8th.
Erna did experience the joys of being a grandmother and great-grandmother numerous times and at some point she even remarried, a gentleman named O C Thomas. Her happiness was interrupted again by the unimaginable some time around 1960 when her youngest son died around age 36. My great-grandma lived another 17 years after burying her second child. What a strong woman she was must have been to have endured such tragedies in life.
Nanny Tom with Adam Jerger and Karen Calhoun (me) her great-grandchildren
1 Corithians 10:13 of the King James Bible reads:
I am not sure if my great-grandma was a spiritual person, but I can only imagine that at some point in her life she must have turned to the Lord for comfort. I am not sure how you could push through such difficult times without faith.
"Nanny Tom" as she was referred to by her grandchildren (from her new last name, Thomas) lived until December 28, 1977, just 22 days shy of her 85th birthday. She died from terminal multiple myeloma or cancer of the plasma cells.