Julia M. Wilde Hall was born on July 6, 1833 in Deposit, New York. She was one of six daughters born to Reverend John Wilde (1802- 1868) and Julia Miranda (1804 -1878). On September 26, 1853, Julia married Andrew W. Hall (1824-1897). Julia and Andrew had three children, two sons and a daughter. However, only their son, John W. Hall, survived past childhood. When Julia became pregnant with John her health was failing. She returned to Deposit, New York to stay with her father and sisters so that she could receive better medical attention. John was born on December 4, 1859 and they remained in New York until John was four years old. When Julia returned to California, she traveled with John by boat through the Isthmus of Panama, across the Pacific Ocean, and arrived at the port of San Francisco. From San Francisco, they rode by horseback to Point Arena to reunite with Andrew. At the age of fifteen, John entered a Military Academy in Oakland and later attended two seminaries in New York. He spent several years working for his Uncle, Ellis Spear, who was the head of the United States Patent Office in Washington, D.C. When John returned to Mendocino County, he purchased a thousand acres of timberland and for several years he shipped timber from Mendocino to San Francisco. He then went to work at the Patent Office in San Francisco. During this time John met Martha Caldona "Callie" White, a teacher in Santa Rosa, and married her in 1897. After their honeymoon in San Francisco, the couple returned to Mendocino County to operate his mother's ranch. They raised and sold seed peas to Los Angeles buyers. In addition to operating the ranch, John represented citizens in trials in Justice Courts all along the northern California coast. In 1908, John and Martha moved to Livingston, California, seeking a dryer climate due to a throat affection that John suffered from. Once in Livingston, John played an active role in his community and helped organize the Livingston Farm Center, the Sweet Potato Association, and the Livingston Branch Library. Martha and Andrew had at least two children, Aileen Cronkite and Marjorie Wucher. Martha died on March 2, 1944 in Livingston, California, while John died on January 28, 1941. They are buried in the family plot in Winton cemetery. This collection also includes documents pertaining to Ellis Spear, husband of Susan Mehitable Wilde Spear and the brother-in-law to Julia. Spear was head of the United States Patent Office in Washington, D.C.
Scope and Content
The Manuscripts series is arranged chronologically and consists of diaries kept by Julia M. Wilde Hall from 1855-1859. In the diaries, Hall talks about her day-to-day activities in Sacramento, Ca. It appears that she lived in a hotel called the Orleans Hotel. She talks about household chores, church, dinner parties, the weather, and her husband Andrew. This series also includes a family records notebook which traces the ancestors of Julia's family back to 1605 in England. The notebook includes newspaper clippings and obituaries relating to the deaths of Martha C. Hall, John W. Hall, and Andrew W. Hall. Lastly, there is a eulogy of Rev. John Wilde, the father of Julia, which is about 34 pages long. The Correspondence series (1850-1941) is arranged alphabetically by author and consists largely of letters from Julia to her husband Andrew. There are a small number of letters from Julia's family including her father, mother, brother-in-law, and sisters to her and her son John. The series includes correspondence written by and to Franklin S. Farquhar to various parties inquiring after Ellis Spear and his time spent in the military and at Bowdoin College, Maine. The ephemera series contains a single sheet of paper listing the family's expenses during 1856.