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Elial F. Hall

Lawyer/Reformer

Centurion, 1866–1905

Full Name Elial Foote Hall

Born 27 July 1827 in Jamestown, New York

Died 12 October 1905 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Proposed by William Cullen Bryant and Augustus R. Macdonough

Elected 5 May 1866 at age thirty-eight

Proposer of:

Century Memorial

Elial F. Hall had been a member of The Century nearly forty years and was at all times extremely fond of its associations and constant in his attendance. Born in 1827, in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York, of an old Vermont family which on both sides had been represented in the Revolutionary struggle, he was graduated from Yale, travelled several years in Europe, and was admitted to the bar in this city in 1855. His interest in public affairs was keen and for some years he was a regular contributor to the Evening Post under Mr. Bryant. In that paper he began, in 1855, the first discussion of the merit system for the Civil Service based on the legislation in England. He was one of the founders of the Civil Service Reform League, in connection with a number of fellow Centurions, in 1877, and was untiring and efficient in the promotion of the cause until his death, bequeathing to the League a substantial fund. He was an earnest worker also in the American Geographical Society, of the Council of which he became a member in 1872, and in 1876, its Recording Secretary. He occupied an honorable position at the bar, and was engaged in many important cases, notably one in which he successfully maintained the right of a State to compel its citizens to pay taxes on personal property beyond its limits. Eager, curious, with remarkable capacity for sustained labor Mr. Hall’s recognized public service and professional success still left him time for social intercourse delightful to his friends, of whom he had many in The Century.

Edward Cary
1906 Century Association Yearbook