Saturday, July 12, 2014

Corban HALL

Corban HALL appears to have a connection to the Halls of Sumner and Smith County.   He is the one of Bell Witch fame! 

NOTE: This is the Corban HALL of Bell Witch fame.  He appears to have been the son of Amos HALL who died at the battle of Lindley’s Mill, NC, and resided in Chatham Co. NC.    Still learning more about this interesting individual.     Please contact me at if you are researching Corban HALL.  

From Charles Bailey BELL, The Bell Witch: A Mysterious Spirit, 1972 facsimile

This statement revived the memory of a circumstance which occurred some three or four years previously, and had been entirely forgotten. The farm hands, when engaged in clearing a plot of land, discovered a small mound of graves, which father supposed to be an Indian burying ground, and worked around it without obliterating the marks. Several days later Corban Hall, a young man of the neighborhood, came to our place and was told by Drew the circumstance of finding the Indian graves. Hall thought probably the graves contained some relics which Indians commonly buried with their dead, and proposed to open one and see, to which Drew agreed, and they proceeded to disinter the bones. Finding nothing else, Hall brought the jawbone to the house, and while sitting in the passage he threw it against the opposite wall, and the jarring knocked out a loose tooth, which dropped through a crack in the floor. Father passed through the hall in the meantime and reprimanded the boys severely for their action, and made one of the negro men take the jawbone back, replacing all the disinterred bones and filling the grave. This was evidently the circumstance referred to by the "Spirit," so long forgotten, and to be reminded of the fact so mysteriously was very perplexing, and troubled father no little. He examined the floor just where the bone dropped when it struck the wall, as the boys had left it, and there was the crack referred to, and he was pestered, and decided to take up a portion of the floor and see if the tooth could be found. The dirt underneath was raked up, sifted and thoroughly examined, but the tooth was not found. The Witch then laughed at father, declaring that it was all a joke to fool "Old Jack."

25 April 1804

Corban HALL was bondsman for marriage in Sumner Co. TN of Zachariah HOGAN and Catherine BUNCEKLEY.    Kinchen CARTER was another bondsmanper website – Tennessee Marriages, 1780-1802  

Carol WELLS, Sumner County, Tennessee Court Minutes, 1787 – 1805 and 1808 – 1810, (Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1995), page 215

Original book 1787 – 1805, page 492 – Wednesday 19 Dec 1804

Henry D. ALLEN vs. Corban HALL.  Trespass.  Sept 1804 plf by Jno. C. HAMILTON; Aug 1803 plf swapd horses with Corban but horse plf received was unsound.  Dft by Thomas STUART.  Dec 1804 parties in proper person; plf dismissed suit at dfts costs. 

Joyce MARTIN MURRAY, Sumner County, Tennessee Deed Books, 1806 – 1817 (Shreveport, Louisiana: J & W Enterprises), reprinted 2003), page 1

Original Deed Book 4, page 51


___ Dec  1805

Redmond D. BARRY to Corbin HALL, $300, 200 acres on the Caney fork of W fork of Drake’s Creek of Big Barron, being part of 640 acres granted by North Carolina to sd BARRY on military Warrant.  (Signed) Red D. BARRY.  Wit: None

Joyce MARTIN MURRAY, Sumner County, Tennessee Deed Books, 1806 – 1817 (Shreveport, Louisiana: J & W Enterprises), reprinted 2003), page 68

Original Deed Book 5, page 111


19 Dec 1805

Corban HALL and wife Charlotte HALL, to Redman D. BARRY, $300, tr owned by deceased Daniel BENTHAL & being on middle fork of Station Camp Creek & adj. land of Simon KUYKENDALL. 

Joyce MARTIN MURRAY, Sumner County, Tennessee Deed Books, 1806 – 1817 (Shreveport, Louisiana: J & W Enterprises), reprinted 2003), page 41

Original Deed Book 4, page 429


21 Aug 1809

Corbin HALL, Robertson Co. TN to William BARKER, $300, tr on Caney Fork of W fork of Drake’s Creek of Big Barren.  Wit: Archer MCKINNEY, Joshua BARKER. 

10 November 1809

Robertson County, Tennessee  Deed Book I, page 201

William MORRIS to Oran D. BATTLE,

Indenture made this 10th day of November 1809 between William MORRIS of Robertson County and Oran D. BATTLE of the same county, for and in consideration of the sum of $176 to him in hand paid, for a tract of land lying on the north side of the Red River, and containing 44 acres.

Teste: Jacob FORT                                                                                                           William MORRIS

                Corban HALL

Carol WELLS, Sumner County, Tennessee Court Minutes, 1787 – 1805 and 1808 – 1810, (Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1995), page 56

Original book 1808 – 1810, page 295 – second Monday in Dec. 1809

Deed.  Corban HALL to William BARKER 200 acres proved by Archer MCKINNEY & Josia BARKER.

Carol WELLS, Sumner County, Tennessee Court Minutes, 1787 – 1805 and 1808 – 1810, (Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1995), page 65

Original book 1808 – 1810, page 343 – Tuesday, 13 March 1810

Corban HALL vs. William BARKER.  Debt.  Jury John HODGE, Jacob GILLESPIE, John DOBBINS, Wm. BARR, Thomas BEARD, David CLARK, Isaac TOWELL, Henry BUNN, John BYRN, Hugh CRAFFORD, James BUSBY, & James CLENDENING.  Plf recovers agt dft debt & damages $86.86 & 4 mills and also his costs in this behalf expended. 

Sumner County, Tennessee Loose Records, Roll A-5172, #13697

William BARKER signed a note dated 23 March 1807 promising to pay Corban HALL $116 dollars on 1st of January next.  His note was witnessed by Wm. BRACKIN. 

December Sessions 1809 – William BARKER indicated that Isaac(?) BAKER, Esquire was a material witness for him in the above cause.  He did not know of his materiality until yesterday.  Prays for a continuance. 

2 June 1809 – William BARKER, John MOODY, and William MOODY signed bond for $232 to William HALL, Sheriff of Sumner County. 

Ansearchin’ News,  Winter 1988 issue,   page 185 from Robertson County, Tennessee Will Book 1, page 408 – Corban HALL was purchaser at estate sale of Nicholas CONRAD, decd on 18 Dec. 1811.

Ansearchin’ News,  Winter 1988 issue,   page 164

1812 – Corban HALL signed a petition with residents of Robertson County, Tennessee and Logan and Christian Counties, Kentucky for the privilege of building mills on the Red River between the junction of Sulphur Fork and the Kentucky line and produce their own flour.

11 August 1812 – Robertson County, Tennessee Deed Book  J, pages 378 – 379

Epaphroditus LAWSON of Robertson County, Tennessee to Corbin HALL of Robertson Co. TN for $250 land lying on north side of red river beginning 84 poles north of William CASWELL’s corner of his tract of 274 acres runing east 111 poles to two black oaks and hickory in William CRAWFORD’s line thence south with same 144 poles to a white oak sapling in the same thence west crossing the river 111 poles to a stake in CASWELL’s line thence north with his line crossing said river to the beginning to a post oak,  100 acres granted by State to LAWSON grant 3418.                                                        Ephs. LAWSON

No witnesses listed

Acknowledged in open court and ordered to be registered August term 1812. 

Middle Tennessee’s Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1784 – 1902, page 172

11 May 1818 – Corban HALL appointed guardian of William BOON.  On 19 Feb 1820, ordered brought to investigate his treatment.  (Robertson County)

Robertson County, Tennessee Deed Book V, page 30 – 31

29 June 1829

Jacob H. FORT to Corban HALL.   For $60 borders Green(?) ROBERTSON’s corner with HALL’s line, Josiah FORT’s line, CASWELL’s line, red river.    61 acres. 

                                                                                                                Jacob H. FORT

Witnesses: Henry H. SUGG, Joseph WIMBERLEY

Acknowledge November Term 1829 by oath of Joseph WIMBERLEY and at Feb term 1830 by Henry H. SUGG. 

1830 U.S. Census, Robertson County, Tennessee, page 428, line 22

Corbin HALL

1 male under 5; 2 males 5 – 10; 2 males 10 – 15; 1 male 40 and under 50; 2 females 15 and under 20; 1 female 20 and under 30; 1 female 40 and under 50, 1 female slave 10 and under 24; total – 11

1840 U.S. Census, Robertson County, Tennessee, page 189, line 25

Corban HALL

1 male under 5; 1 male 10 and under 15; 1 male 60 and under 70; 1 female under 5; 1 female 20 and under 30; Total – 5; 1 employed in agriculture. 

Robertson County, Tennessee ??? Book, page 350 - 352

Account of Sales of Corban HALL, deceased.

Buyers included: Mrs. HALL, William R. BELL, John BELL, Jesse HALL,  W. B. PORTER, James HALL, D. HARGROVES, William A. HALL, L. FLETCHER, among others.    Entire sale was $228.68.

Robertson County Court February Term 1843. The foregoing account of the sales of Corban HALL, Deceased was by the court ordered to be recorded. 

Widow HALL – one year’s provision.

We the undersigned being called on to and set apart the one years provisions for Mrs. HALL and family have set apart about sixteen barrels of corn , one thousand pounds of pork, about nine bushels of wheat, and forty dollars of the sale money to buy some sugar, coffee, salt, any other articles, that is for the use of her and family.  ???? our hand the 29 day of Nov. 1842.

                                                                                                                                R. BARTLETT

                                                                                                                                Joseph FARMER
                                                                                                                                W. F. ROLAND

The foregoing one year provision was by the court ordered to be recorded.

Robertson County, Tennessee Inventories, Wills, 1840 – 1843, Vol. 11, page 498 – 499

                                                Corban HALL’s Will and Testament

I, Corban HALL, have this day taken into consideration that all men has once to die and think it right to make a will therefore being in good health and of sound mind, I do make and publish this my last will and Testament. 

First that all my Just debts be paid.

Second, I give to my beloved wife Neicy HALL all my property both real and personal during her natural life or widowhood only such as I may hereafter give and bequeath.  I have given unto my Daughter Mary LANGSTON one bed and furniture which is all she is to have of my estate.  I have given unto my Daughter Susan HOAGES one bed and furniture which is all she is to have of my estate.  I give unto my Daughter Martha HALL one bed and furniture any time when she calls for it which is all she is to have of my estate.  I have given unto my Daughter Elizabeth HALL one bed and furniture which is all she is to have of my estate.  I have given unto my Son William A. HALL all he is to have of my of my estate.  I give to my Son Elia L.HALL five dollars which is all he is to have of my estate.  I give to my Son Jesse B. HALL five dollars which all he is to have of me estate.  I give to my Son Robert B. HALL five Dollars which is all he is to have of my estate.  I give to my Son James H. HALL five dollars which is all he is to have of my estate.  I give to my three children by my last wife say Arminda Jane HALL, Reuben B. HALL, Alexander Danley Bourne HALL and if any children is born to my present wife in my time they are to have an equal part with this last three mentioned children.  It is well understood that Nicy HALL my beloved wife is to have all the property both real and personal during her natural life or widowhood for her support and the support of my three younger children if she has any other by me they are to have an equal part as above named and at my wife’s death or intermarriage all my property is to be sold and equally divided between children by last wife without any order of Court whatever my death such as I wish my property sold such as my wife don’t need the money bound out for the benefit of my wife and children by me.    I further appoint Reuben BARTLETT my Exector to carry ??? this my will.  Signed sealed and delivered in presence of this 6 day of May 1842. 

Test (blank)                                                                                                        Corban HALL (Seal)

Wm. A. HALL, etals.

Vs. Necy HALL, Executrix                                              Contested Will

This day came the parties by their Attorneys and thereupon came a jury of good and lawful men (to wit) Aza HENDLEY, Jesse DAVIS, R B. DAVIS, James M. PENSON, James SHAINER(?), Jeremiah B___(?), Henry FRY, Joseph JOHNSON, W. B. BRYANT, J. E. MCMURRAY, Abram HENDEY & N. B. DORRIS who being duly ?? and sworn well and truly to be the issues joined in the case & true servant under according to evidence as upon the oaths say that they find the will contested in the case to be the last will and Testament of Corban HALL, Decd as to his personal but not as authenticated as to the real estate it is thereupon considered by the Court that the Defendant recover of the plaintiff and their securities with appeal the cost in this behalf expounded & that execution issue.

Circuit Court clerks’ office, Springfield, Tennessee

I, Jesse DAVIS, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Robertson County as certify that the above is a true copy of the judgment in said cause as appears of Record in my office.  Given under my hand at office the town of Springfield, this 29 Sept. 1843.                                                                                Jesse DAVIS

So children of Corban HALL by first wife are:

1)      Mary HALL,born ca. 1804 TN, married Joseph J. LANGSTON, ca. 1803 KY – lived 1850 Logan Co. KY (Dist. 2), children William, 21, KY, Joseph, 24, KY and Martha HALL, 30, TN.  They were in Dist. 2 1860 Logan Co. KY as well.    NOT FOUND in 1870 or 1880 census.  

2)      Susan HALL, married HOAGES

3)      Martha HALL, born ca. 1820 TN, lived with Joseph J. and Mary HALL LANGSTON in 1850 Logan Co. KY.    Lived with bro Eli L. HALL in Webster Co. KY 1860.   May have married Joseph H. BRIANT in Webster Co. KY on 5 September 1861. 

4)      Elizabeth HALL

5)      William A. HALL, born ca. 1817 TN.  Married Elizabeth ROBERTSON on 13 March 1839 in Robertson Co. TN.  In 1850 lived in Dist 2, Hopkins Co. KY with wife Elizabeth, 36 TN; and children Merit, 10, Ann, 8, William, 6, Robert, 4, all born TN and Jas. ELLIOT, 21, laborer, born TN.    In 1860, they were found in New Madrid Town, New Madrid Co. MO with William

HALL, 43 TN; Elizabeth 44 TN; Merrit A., 20 TN; Mary A., 18 TN; William 14 TN; Robert 12 TN;

Bentle 10 (m) KY; Atlet (m) 6 KY, Martha 4 KY.

6)      Eli L. HALL, born ca. 1820 TN, married Margaret BENTLE WAGNER on 25 June 1840 in Hopkins Co. K; died 14 Sept 1865.  They lived in 1850 Hopkins Co. KY Dist 2 with Margaret, 22 KY; Marcus D., 7 KY ; James, 6 KY, and George W., 1, KY.   In 1860 family was found living in Webster Co. KY with Eli L., 41 TN; Margaret 37 KY; Lafayett 18 KY; Jas. 15 KY; George 11, KY; Eli, 8 KY; Charlotte 5 KY; Jenee 3/12 KY, and Martha HALL, 48, TN.   His wife and family are living in 1870 Webster Co. KY without him!   Is a death record for Margaret HALL, 52, on 22 Aug 1875 in Webster Co. KY.  

7)      Jesse B. HALL, born ca. 1822 TN.  Married Louisa WYNE on 30 July 1846 in Robertson Co. TN.  In 1850 lived in Dist 2, Hopkins Co. KY next to brother William A.  with wife Louisa, 23 TN and daughter Mary C., 3, born TN.   In 1870 Webster Co. KY family is found as Jesse HALL, 49 TN; Louisa 43 TN; Alice 16 KY; Emely 14 KY; Thomas 12 KY; John 10 KY;

Margaret 8 KY; Francis (f) 3 KY. In 1880 Webster Co. KY family is Jesse HALL, 57 TN VA TN; wife

Louisa 57, Thos. 21 KY; Emily 23; John 20; Margret 16; Fanny 12; divorced daughter Mary PATE, 30; Laura PATE, 14; N. PATE, 8; and Eva PATE, 6.   By 1900 Luizy  HALL, born July 1827, a widow, was living with some of her children in Webster Co. KY. 

8)      Robert B. HALL

9)      James H. HALL, born ca. 1827 TN, married Mary F. JAMES on 9 Dec 1849 in Robertson Co. TN.   They lived in Dist 14, Robertson Co. TN 1850 census with James H., 23, and Mary, 19.  He was a tailor. (Two houses away was David J. FORT).    Mary F. HALL was married on 30 Nov 1858 in Robertson Co. TN to James P. NAVE. 

Children of Corban HALL by second wife Neicy (Nicy) are:

1)       Arminda Jane HALL

2)      Reuben B. HALL, born Ca. 1839 TN; Co. D, 1st MO Infantry

3)      Alexander Danley Bourne HALL

1850 Census, Wayne Co. IL, Dist. 11, lines 7 – 14, page 198, Enumeration date – 21 Aug. 1850, dwelling 184, family 187

Nathan VAUGAN                             45 M      Farmer                                                 TN

Nicey                                                     46 F                                                                        TN

Sally                                                       20 F                                                                        TN          att sch

James J.                                               15 M                                                                      TN          att sch

Eliza                                                       12 F                                                                        TN          att sch

M. E.                                                      10 F                                                                        TN          att sch

A. J. HALL                                             12 F                                                                        TN          att sch

R. B.                                                       11 M                                                                      TN          att sch

Robertson County: History of Ilai METCALFE Account Book, WPA, August 9, 1938 – at TN State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. 

Page 24 Deed dated 8 September 1823 from Ilai METCALFE to Jacob H. FORT on north side of Red River and both sides of Elk Fork, granted to John GIBSON by State of NC.  Borders Josiah FORT, WIMBERLY, GIBSON, Robert NELSON, 524 ¾ acres except ½ acre  including the graveyard where said FORT’s father is buried.  Witnesses: Benj. SMITH, Corban HALL.

(Jacob HILLIARD FORT was born 29 Nov 1792, son of William FORT and Elizabeth HILLIARD and died 22 Dec 1833 in Robertson Co. TN.  William FORT was son of Elias FORT who died 1819).

The book contains a letter written by “our grandmother”  Nancy CARR FORT to her youngest daughter Huldah while she was in school in Nashville.  This was dated Meridian Hill February 20, 1860.   It says at one point “Direct the letter to Pembroke, also to your Aunt Hall”  Per internet – Nancy Carr FORT was born as Nancy Carr METCALFE on 28 January 1809 in Davidson County, Tennessee and died 26 June 1860 in Robertson County, Tennessee.    She was married to Joel Battle FORT (1805 – 1867).    Nancy Carr METCALFE was daughter of Ilai METCALFE and Susanna CARR.  She had a sister named Elizabeth “Betsey” METCALFE who married a HALL.  (Per   Other marriages were to _____ WILLIAMS and Eli L. FORT.    This website: – indicates she married James C. HALL on 28 Apr 1856 in Christian Co. KY.      She was living in 1870 census of Christian Co. KY as Elizabeth C. HALL, age 66, born KY in household of Edward F. KELLEY.

1850 census of Christian Co. KY has a James C. HALL, age 68, VA; Hulda 62 VA.; Eliza L., 31 VA; and James M. 29 KY.   (This James C. HALL married Hulda GRAVES in 1809 in Louisa Co. VA per – he died in March 1860 mortality schedule, married age 78).   Hulda had died on 7 July 1852.

A section of the Ilai METCALFE account book beginning on page 38  and going through page 42 is about Corban HALL.  Here it is:  (isn't this interesting - love finding this detail!)

                                                                                Corban HALL

Corban HALL and his impression on the generation in which he lived should not be lost and sleep with him in the lonely grave near the home in which he lived and died. 

From my father and grandfather I learned many things of this unique character who lived about one mile east of the old METCALFE home.  On pages 66 and 67 of this old book will be seen accounts he had with my great grandmother Suzannah METCALFE in 1824.  His farm of some 300 acres adjoined the METCALFE land on the east.  His house was situated on the southside of the old road leading across Red River to Adams.  It crossed the river at what was known as HALL’s Ford at a point about five or six hundred yards below the present bridge and a little below the tenant house of George MONTGOMERY at the turn in the present road.  The old road ran through on a ridge leaving the present road a little below the tobacco barn upon the right of the present road, passing on the southside of a sink hole with trees around it.  Nearly straight to the cabins on the hill occupied by the SUGG negroes and known as “hard bargain.”  To the south of this old road and about 200 yards from George MONTGOMERY’s barn on the hill Corban HALL and his wife lie buried.  It was once enclosed by a fence, but that has rotted away.  About 100 yards south of this old road stood Corban HALL’s residence.  When I first saw it, it had been long since abandoned.    It was a pretentious log house of one and one half stories and a shed room to it.  He had fine fruit, good out houses and was a well to do and prosperous farmer of his day, and for years he and his wife and negro slaves lived in that neighborhood.  He was liked by his neighbors and was one of the first to make an account with grandmother Susannah on Oct. 16, 1824 he is charged with one gallon of brandy @ 75c.  In explanation at this date and in this fast rushing and pseudo-moralistic age, it may seem strange to know my grandmother sold brandy from the still house at the old Brake Spring, the still house was a part of the plantation bought by her husband Ilai METCALFE from uncle William FORT’s heirs, Jacob FORT, and others, and had been in operation for many years by the family of William FORT, at that time alcoholic liquors were not taxed and were regarded in a different light from today’s estimate.  It was the man who abused it was condemned and the drunkard was ostracized from the social life of the community which exercised a greater influence for temperance than the prohibition laws of today. 

In order to emphasize the idiosyncrasies of Corban HALL, I will only relate one story related of him after he had long passed the Meridian of life.  His wife died and after a time he wanted another wife.  He went to William LAPRADE, a near neighbor and close friend, to get his assistance in securing a second wife.  Why not?  He was a good man, the owner of a good farm and slaves and prepared to make a good home for some spinster. 

He told Mr. LAPRADE of a family by the name of PITTMAN who lived across the river and of the oldest of five or six spinster daughters.  That they were very poor and could hardly eke out a living and that his oldest daughter was a very pretty woman and he wanted her to marry him.  He asked Mr. LAPRADE to go over and see if Susan would consent to marry him.  As was the custom of that day, Mr. LAPRADE consented to do, you see, the consent of the girl and her parents was a thing precedent to the love making.  So Mr. LAPRADE went on his mission. 

He found the large family in poverty.  He got Miss Susan and her parents apart and stated his mission.  In glowing terms he told of Mr. HALL’s good nature, his worth as a citizen and neighbor and of his wealth and means to support a wife in comfort.  Then he asked if it would be agreeable to Miss Susan and her parents for him to visit her for the purpose of consummating a marriage with Miss Susan.  The report he made to his friend Corban HALL after making the visit was in substance: Said Mr. LAPRADE: “Well Corban I talked to Mr. and Mrs. PITMAN and Susan.”  “What did they say?” said he. “Well” said Mr. LAPRADE, “ I had hardly made known my business, when Susan threw up her head with haughty air and said “Old Corban HALL marry me: Why I would see him in hell furder than a crow could fly in a hundred years before I would marry that old Corban HALL.”

In reply, Corban HALL straightened up, struck his walking cain on the floor and said: “Hugh!  I could grease the sides of my smoke house door and ketch the whole ragged family.” 

After the old HALL farm went in to the hands of M. L. KILLEBREW, all the houses abandoned, the apple trees flourished and bore their fruit in abundance.  Mr. KILLEBREW gave all his neighbors permission to go there and make cider.  Often while we made cider we boys would laugh about how the old man tried to win a bride. 


In 1850 census, Wm. W. LAPRADE, age 52, VA, was living in District 6 of Robertson Co TN. Wife Mary age 43, VA and children all born Tennessee.   Info on ancestry indicates his birth in 1798 in Goochland Co VA, son of  John LAPRADE, Jr. and Nancy HENLEY.   John LAPRADE, Jr. and Nancy HENLEY were married in 1791 in Henrico Co. Va.    Nancy HENLEY LAPRADE died in 1845 in Franklin Co. IL. She was born 1774 in Orange Co. NC.   She was daughter of Darby HENLEY and Elizabeth CHAMBERLAIN who lived in Rowan Co. NC in 1800.   Another source gives her as daughter of William HENLEY and Mary Ann SMITH of Fluvanna Co. VA.

William A. HALL

1840 U.S. Census, Robertson County, Tennessee, page 207, line 8 (line 4 is Alva D. CAGE)

1 male under 5; 1 male 15 and under 20; 1 male 20 and under 30; 1 female 15 and under 20; 1 female slave 10 and under 24; Total – 5.

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