Benjamin Hall

Submitted by Nancy Hauser

BENJAMIN HALL, of Utica, for two terms a leading member in time State Assembly from the First District of Oneida County, is the son of Jason C. and Permelia Hall, who died in 1858 and 1886 respectively. He is of English descent. His father's familv consisted of two daughters and seven sons, Benjamin being the oldest boy. The youngest son was less than one year old at the time of his father's death. Five of the sons are still living, namely, Benjamin, John P., George A., Charles C., and D. Jason. 
    Mr. Hall was born in Ingham's Mills, Fulton County, N.Y., March 9, 1846, and remained on his father's farm until 1870. He was educated in the public schools of his native town. In June, 1874, he removed to Utica, where he has since resided and where he established in the same year his present hide, wool, and fur business, which since 1880 has been located on the corner of Bleecker and John Streets. Here he has successfully built up a large and profitable trade, and is one of the oldest dealers in this line in the city. He is one of Utica's enterprising business men, and is well and favorably known throughout the State. By honest dealing, strict attention to details, and continued industry he has steadily increased the business of his establishment until now it is one of the heading houses of the kind in Central New York. As a business man, and socially, he is held in high esteem, and enjoys the confidence of all. In public and political affairs Mr. Hall has 
been especially prominent. He has been for many years an active Republican and in the councils of his party is a recognized leader. 
    In 1885 he was elected to the New York State Assembly from the First District of Oneida County on the Republican ticket by a plurality of 254 over his Democratic opponent, and was re-elected in 1886 by a largely increased majority. 
    In the Legislature he was devoted to the interests of his 
constituents and the State at large, and was classed with the
working members of that body. His prudence and efficiency while in office secured for him the honor of being the first Republic in his district who was nominated and elected for two successive terms. As Assemblyman his vote and influence were always in the interests of wholesome legislation for the elevation of society and the promotion of good government. He served on many important committees, being Chairman of those on Canals and Joint Library, and he introduced about fifty bills, most of which became laws. He was well liked by his associates and his counsel was often sought by older members.
    Mr. Hall is in the broadest sense of the term a self-made man. Being the eldest son, the death of his father when he was only twelve years of age placed him at the head of the family and threw the entire charge of a large farm upon his young and inexperienced shoulders. With courage and perseverance however, he assumed the obligations which thus early devolved upon him, and from that time to the present he has followed a successful career. In the City of Utica he is prominently connected with various institutions and societies. He is a member of Oriental Lodge, No. 224, F. and A. M of Oneida Chapter No. 57 , R. A. M, of Utica Commandery No. 3, K. Y., of Utica Consistory, No. 2, A. and A S. Rite, and of Zyara Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, 32° Northern Jurisdiction.
    He is also a member of Imperial Council No. 70, R. A., and w as one of tine first members of the Arcanum Club and
one of its original Board of Governors. He is a member of of Oneida Lodge I. O.O. F., an honorary member of the Utica Citizens Corps, and a member of the Merchants and Manufacturers Exchange and one of its Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Utica Chamber of Commerce, of the Masonic Club, and of the Oneida Historical Society.
    Mr. Hall was married, February 27, 1872, to Catherine P., daughter of Hon. Archibald McDonald Harrison, of
Cressy, Ontario), Canada. Mr. Harrison was distantly connected with ex-President Harrison and a cousin of the late Hon. John A. McDonald, who for many years was at the head of the Dominion government of Canada.

Source: 'The Empire State in Three Centuries' Volume 3 Century History Company