The Hall Farm has been an iconic historic site in North Ogden for many generations. Many of us have driven past the barn and brick house at some point and probably wondered who lived there? How did they get here? Who built it? What was their life like? Questions like that have popped up in my mind.
The first Halls to move here in 1883 were John Hall Sr. with his wife, Annie, and their two children, at the time, Elizabeth, 3 years old, and John Thomas, 1 year old. They moved here from London where both John and Annie grew up and had decided to relocate to Utah because Annie’s sister, Eliza Parrott Reese, had moved here some years before and encouraged them to do the same. They agreed, became Mormon converts, and made the decision to sail here. The day they arrived in Ogden it was very cold and stormy and the youngest son, John Thomas, was so sick with dysentery, a severe form of the flu, he only weighed 20 pounds.
They lived in Pleasant View for 2 years before they moved out to North Ogden and that’s around the time the family determined that the Mormon Church wasn’t for them. John and his family were very active in the community. They later became members of the First Presbyterian Church in Ogden and were very active in North Ogden City and the civic government.
In 1890, John built one of the first brick homes in the North Ogden area and later in 1905 he was able to develop just over 100 acres of orchard land near the mouth of the North Ogden canyon. He eventually sold the land and the house to his son Henry and his wife Amelia in 1915 after they joined the family farming business. To date the Hall Farm was the longest farm to survive the invading subdivisions.
Not only did John manage and take care of the farm and his family, but he was also a very skilled cabinet maker. He used his skills to build many of the finest homes in the Ogden area from 1890 to 1925. He also built the interior and exterior of the, now dismantled, Ogden Mormon tabernacle. He often had to travel to Salt Lake City to find work. While he was away, his wife and family continued working on the farm to keep things going until he got back home. Grandchildren remember being told stories of hungry Indians coming to the door looking for food and how little Grandmother fought to prevent a hungry, irate Indian from taking her baby because she didn’t have any food to give that day.
John and Annie raised six children: Elizabeth H. Layton, John T. Hall, Annie J. Hall, Elizabeth H. Higgins, Henry C. Hall, and William G. Hall.
Many remember John Sr. Hall being a loveable, typical Englishman, strict and stern, but no doubt a kindhearted family man. He stood at six feet tall despite being a little bent because of a broken leg that was never set correctly. Annie Hall was remembered as a tiny, but mighty person who stood at four feet nine inches. She was well loved and respected by her friends and neighbors not only because of her willingness to assist as a midwife and nurse, but because of her gentle, understanding nature.