MURRAY COUNTRY FAMILIES
From The Atlanta Journal
May 21, 1949
Believed Penniless Man Denied Aid Helps Build Hospital
By Odom Fanning, Staff Writer
Chatsworth, Ga., May 21, 1949. An Atlanta hospital refused to take him because he seemed to be a penniless mountaineer, and he was dying from an objectionable form of cancer, so when Frank Hall died, he left his greatest worldly goods—the trees on his farm—to help build a beautiful modem hospital here to serve the mountain people like himself.
That hospital, the first in Murray County, has virtually been completed. It will be a $250,000 structure, as modern as any rural hospital in the South.
Finally—and here's where the contentious old man bared his inner goodness—Mr. Hall directed that all "the merchantable timber from size eight inches at the top of the stump" and larger be sold. I will and direct that said funds be used to help build a section or ward in said hospital to be equipped for the treatment and care of the victims of cancer."
Mr. Jackson, the ranger, said that on the average acre of Georgia forest land the total net volume of saw timber is 1,606 board feet. When Mr. Hall's timberlands were "cruised," or estimated, it was found that his virgin woods would produce the fabulous amount of more than 20,000 board feet per acre.
When bids were opened, it was discovered the high bidder was a manufacturer in Tennessee who offered $100,000. To date, 300,000 board feet have been cut, and a sawmill is still working full force. Some of the pines ran more than 40 inches in diameter.
The financial foundation for the Murray County hospital had already been laid by V. C. Picketing, Chatsworth hotel owner and road contractor. He was the man who built the road across Fort Mountain from Ellijay to Chatsworth. When Mr. Pickering died in 1946 of heart disease, he left $100,000 to found and build the hospital.
When the other bequests in Mr. Hall's will are made, it is expected that $80,000 will be left for the hospital. W. A. Tatum, of Chatsworth, gave the land on which the hospital is being built. The local people, by contracting it themselves, saved considerable money. When the hospital is finished by July 1, they will have spent about $175,000, but they will have a $250,000 hospital.
It will have 64 rooms, though fewer beds. There will be a complete operating room, maternity department, dental clinic, laboratory, X-ray, health center, Negro ward, and cancer clinic.
Among the things the peculiar Mr. Hall saved, as mementos were two hand-made bricks. They were molded in 1840 by his grandfather Harris. While they were drying in the sun, a sow and her little pigs walked across them, leaving footprints in the bricks. Mr. Hall had treasured them all his life.
Mr. Bond insisted that the bricks be used in the hospital, and they were. The 109-year-old pigs' prints may still be seen.
"He was the savingest man I ever knew," said Mr. Bond in summing up J. Frank Hall's character. "The slogan that fits him best, and the one I'm going to put on a plaque in the hospital is: "He Saved for Others."
Frank Hall's parents were Horace F. and Saffrona (Harris) Hall, who were married in 1876. The 1880 Census showed Horace F. Hall, age 39, Saffrana Hall, age 33, and John F. Hall, age 8 months, living in the home of John N. and Nancy Harris, in Alaculsa, Murray County, Georgia. This was the Grandfather Harris mentioned in the above article in connection with the bricks bearing footprints of pigs.
The 1920 Census listed Frank Hall, age 40, living in the home of his mother, Mary S. Hall, then age 71. Frank was listed as being single.
The 1930 Census listed John F. Hall, age 50, head of household, living alone in Alaculsa.
John Frank Hall was born in 1879 and died in 1948.
John owned the Harris Hall Memorial Farm on Highway 411 North.
In addition to leaving the timber to be sold and the proceeds given to the hospital building fund, Frank Hall also left in trust to Sumach Cemetery, six land lots.
Murray County Families
| || || |