Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

June 24, 2014

1899: Hall executed for murder

CROSSVILLE — Rumors were still flying around Cumberland County, in February 1899, and one was that Malinda Hall would be indicted. It is claimed that while Hiram struck the fatal blow, that his mother was an accomplice in the murder, and that the prosecution had secured evidence to make a case against her. This never happened.

On March 15, 1899, word was received that Governor McMillin had given a 30-day reprieve for Hiram Hall. Many local citizens thought this was a trick to keep them away from the hanging and they went to town anyhow, just to discover there was no hanging. March 29 reports that Hiram Hall was brought from Nashville by way of Sparta, and was now in the Crossville jail. There is a description of the rope that was to be used for the execution and the fact that Sheriff Garrison would comply with every statute in minute detail.

The newspaper of April 12, 1899, contains a detailed and lengthy statement of the death of Hiram Hall, what he was wearing, the visit of his father, mother, sister and one brother, the statement of Governor McMillin, number of persons in attendance and further statements in the case. Of particular interest is the statement by Hiram that his mother wanted him to kill his father, and that he twice attempted to do the deed. Just as he was about to pull the trigger his father straightened up, put his hand where he was aiming, and uttered an audible weary sigh. Hiram said, thank God, the sigh saved his father's life, because he has spent his entire substance in trying to save the life of his son, who, on two occasions, sought to kill him. 

At 6:42 a.m., Hiram admonished that others should take warning from his fate and not violate the law. He asked all to meet him in heaven, where he said he was going, and bade all goodbye. None of his family was in attendance at the hanging. At the request of both Hiram and his father, Samuel, the hanging was completed at 6:53 a.m., with about 30-35 people in the enclosure and hallway of the jail, in order to diminish the possibility of disorderly demonstrations. Three doctors pronounced the death of Hiram Hall. By 10 a.m., the town was full of people and many were disappointed to learn the hanging was over. The remains were exposed to view in the jail yard and not less than 1,000 people viewed the body. About 11 a.m., the body was turned over to the family and taken to the home near Hales Chapel, where he was buried.

April 26, 1899, two weeks later, the Chronicle reports S. H. Hall, father of Hiram Hall, died at the home of his son-in-law, Wm. VanHoy, near Big Lick about 6 a.m. the day before of nervous prostration. He was to be buried at Hales Chapel. Never revealing further details of the murder, Melinda Wyatt Hall died Sept. 22, 1925, and is also buried at Hales Chapel.


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