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George E. Hall Photos

Shepherd of the Hills Country and Beyond

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Real Photo Postcards Produced by Hall Photo Co., Branson, Mo. 

George Edward Hall produced about 1,000 photos of life in the Missouri Ozarks from 1906 to about 1921-22. In 1906, when Hall was 22 years old, he moved with his parents and four younger siblings from Illinois to a small log cabin in Mutton Hollow, west of Branson, Missouri. Hall started taking pictures immediately, but from the numbers on the cards listed below it appears he didn't start selling them until after Harold Bell Wright's novel, The Shepherd of the Hills, was published in 1907. Or at least he didn't start numbering them until after the novel appeared. The Hall family named their cabin "The Jim Lane Cabin," after the father of Sammy Lane in Wright's novel, and began selling picture postcards of it to tourists eager to buy souvenirs from the area. In fact, Hall produced, and his mother sold, a series of Shepherd of the Hills cards. Almost all are numbered, and marked "Hall Photo Co."

In 2012 I received this helpful and interesting note from a relative of George Hall::

My name is Gary Hines. I live in Grand Junction, CO. I have recently been doing some genealogy work on some of my dad's family who settled in the Reeds Spring (Branson) area in Missouri back in the late 1800's. One of my genealogy contacts ... sent me a link to your George Hall photo web page several months ago. I found it quite interesting, as George Hall was married to my grandmother's sister, Vallie Sharp. I was happy to discover that your George Hall page has a photo of them on their wedding day. Growing up, I remember The Shepherd of the Hills coming up frequently in conversations amongst my Missouri relatives.
 
I am attaching a few other numbered Hall photos that I have, which do not appear on your web page, although some are referenced.  These photos, which are printed on postcard stock, came down through my dad's family. I found them recently as I was going through some of his old photo albums. I also have a few photos of some family members that were probably taken by George, although they are not identified as such.
 
The produce (onions, peaches, and pears) that George photographed came from the W. E. Sharp farm in Reeds Spring, MO. William Esau Sharp was my great grandfather. He was a pioneer, farmer, trapper, and fiddler who was well known in the Reeds Spring area. For a time, he operated a tourist camp with cabins, a gas station, etc., known as Linch Pin Camp. He passed away in 1959 at age 91.
 
 I don't know who the children are that are dressed up as Hiawatha and Minnie Haw Haw in #694. They could be relatives of the Sharps or Halls, or they could be other children that lived in the area at the time. Given that this photo has a higher number, I am guessing that it was taken later on.
 
Vallie passed away in 1937 and George died in 1954. I believe he is buried beside Vallie in the Yocum Pond Cemetery in Stone County, MO.
 
So, I would be interested in knowing what you think of these photos, and I will try to answer any questions you may have about them or my Mixsouri connections. You are welcome to post these on the Hall photo web page.
 
Kind regards,
 
Gary

   
Hall-Wed.jpg (31489 bytes) A. George Hall and Vallie Sharp Wedding, 1910.   (Not a postcard)
Hall-Cab.jpg (50596 bytes) B. George Hall's Cab Service, c.1916. (Not a postcard)             
C. George Hall in 1906 Automobile. [This card is a real photo postcard, but may not be of or by Hall. This photo postcard was from the personal collection of the early 20th century Branson tour guide, Pearl Spurlock, and has no identification attached to it. But George Hall collectors/researchers say it is obviously Hall. I believe they are correct.]
D. George Hall sitting in car. The sign on the wall probably says, "James River Repair." Courtesy Dennis Ragan (Dragan collection). While there is no identification on the front or back of the card, except for the words "Photo by George E. Hall," Dennis Ragan says "This came from a lady in Branson area whose grandfather had a drugstore and carried Hall's postcards. They were good friends with George Hall, and she told me that he ran a cab after he quit the photography business, and that this is him in his cab."

 

In 1908, George Hall left his parents' cabin but continued to produce picture postcards in the county. In 1910 he married Vallie Sharp, and the two of them moved back in with his parents and siblings. They soon bought a nearby farm of their own at Notch, next door to "Uncle Ike." In 1915, their only child, Lillian, was born. In 1916 they moved to Galena, Missouri, and in 1921 or 1922 they moved back to Illinois, where George discontinued his photography business.

Most, if not all, of Hall's photos were produced as Real Photo postcards. This means the postcards are as useful for reproduction as any other black and white or Sepia-tone photos. (*Photos below that are marked  with an asterisk, are not postcards, though all the same photos were probably also printed on cards. Photos in bold type are also on the page of George Hall photos related to Harold Bell Wright on this website.)

If you have a Hall Photo not on this list, we would be grateful if you would send a scan of the card to me at this email address (click here).  Perhaps someday we can complete the list. Information in red is from Trenton Boyd, serious Hall postcard collector from Columbia, Missouri.

Click to Enlarge

1* Jim Lane's Cabin. (Shepherd of the Hills published Sept., 1907)  (Not a postcard.)
2* Dewey Bald Mt. & Bolder Bald from Slick Rock Mt.  (Not a postcard.)
  3.  Sammys Lookout Rock
3b. Old Matt & Aunt Molly. The card pictured here is one of several cards in a postcard folder, courtesy of Dave Hadsell. It may match the following information from Trenton Boyd. Clearly there is a Real Photo card from which this ink on paper reproduction was made. [Compare with 7b, below]

3(b). Old Matt & Aunt Mollie; This is a reproduction of the Hall card by L. L. Cook Co. of Milwaukee and is # C-183 in their series.  Has the added caption of “Shepherd of the Hills”, MO. Dated 3/8/42 

4 [a]. Pete in the Cave. courtesy Larry Allen.  Postmarked  Peoria IL 3/9/19 
  4 [b]. The Signal Tree On Dewey Bald
5 [a]* The Old Trail.  (Not a postcard.)
5 [b]. "Old Matt." gc
  5 [c]. W.E. Sharp's Coon Dogs
  5 [d]. The Mill Dam, Yocum Ark.
  6.  An Old Barn Build In 1854, Yocum Ark.
7 [a]* Fall Creek Mill.  (Not a postcard, but identical to card #334.)
7 [b]* Old Matt & Aunt Mollie.  (Not a postcard.)
  7(b). Aunt Mollie 
  7 [c]. Aunt Mollie. gc Second photo courtesy Larry Allen 7[c]
  7 [d]. Jim Lane Cabin
8 [a]. Dewey Bald Mountain.
  8 [b].Yocum Ark.
  8(c). Dewey Bald Mountain. Same image as 8a except “Near Branson Mo” has been added to caption, Pub. By M.S. Porter Holden Mo has been added; #8 and Hall Photo Co. has been deleted and #51126 inserted 
9. Old Matt's Cabin, courtesy Larry Allen
9(b). Old Mat’s Cabin Near Branson Mo.  Same as card #9 except "Near Branson, MO" has been added to caption, Pub. By M. S. Porter Holden Mo has been added; Hall Photo Co. has been deleted and #5117 inserted. Photo courtesy Dave Hadsell
  9(c). Old Mat’s Cabin (cabin has concrete porch steps; enclosed back porch; rocking chair on left side of front porch 
10. The Mail Carrier.  Pictured on the left is a postcard, courtesy of Dave Hadsell. On the right is the same photo, but not as a postcard. On that photo, the #10 is plainly visible. The number seems to have been scratched off the negative of the card on the left.
10 [b]. The Old Trail
  10(c). The Old Trail  Hall Photo Co.  “Near Branson Mo” has been added to caption; Pub. By M. S. Porter Holden Mo has been added.;  #10 Hall Photo Co. has been deleted and #5118 has been inserted
11. Young Matt Fishing in Fall Creek. Courtesy Larry Allen.
  11 [b]. The Mail Carrier
  12. Dewey Bald Mt. from Old Matt’s Place or Dewey Bald Mt. & Mutton Hollow 

 

14. Mining on Dewey Bald Mt. -- Jim Lane's Cabin in Distance. Courtesy Rick Gunter. [On the reverse of this card someone has hand-written, "This is Will and Mr. Hall our neighbor prospecting on Dewey Bald. Will Moody and Mr. Hall." I suppose "Mr. Hall" could refer to either George or his father. When magnified, both men in this photo appear to me to be older than George.]  Reverse
  15. The Old Fire Place in Jim Lane's Cabin
  16. The Old Trail 
17. Sammy Lane & Her Friend Mandy Ford. It seems likely these are George Hall's two sisters. Courtesy Dave Hadsell
  18. Mutton Hollow
  19. The Old Trail On Dewey Bald Mountain
20. Dewey Bald Mountain, eb
  20.White River Dam (See below for a special collection of White River Dam cards numbered 1-14 (or 19?)
  21. White River Dam
  22. White River Dam
  22. Dewey Bald Mt. & Bolder Bald from Slick Rock Mt. 
  23. White River Dam
  24. White River Dam
025. White River Dam,  Courtesy Larry Allen (Built 1911-1913, created Lake Taneycomo)
  26. White River Dam
  28. White River Dam
  29. White River Dam
  30. White River Dam
  31. White River Dam (Postmarked  8/13//14)
  32. White River Dam
  33. White River Dam
  34. White River Dam
35. White River Dam,  Courtesy Larry Allen
  36. White River Dam
  37. White River Dam
  38. White River Dam
 

#??. White River Dam

  no #. White River Dam
00a.White River Dam,  Courtesy Larry Allen
  44. (Tressel Under Construction)
  45. (Tressel Under Construction)
   

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This Harold Bell Wright web site is written and produced by Gerry Chudleigh with the help of many friends.
Copyright © 2000-February, 2012 by Gerry Chudleigh
Last updated 02/10/12