A resident of Riverside from his fourteenth year until his death. July 27, 1911, Priestley Hall, the only son of
Dr. John Hall, a pioneer of Riverside, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 15, 1859.
One year later his parents located in New York City, where he was educated until fourteen years of age and in 1873
accompanied them to Riverside, Cal., where he completed his schooling in 1877, after which he engaged in horticultural
pursuits with his father.
In 1880 Mr. Hall bought one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved land of Mrs. Annie Denton Cridge located east
of his father's place. He later added another eighty acres to this and together with forty acres left him by his
father made him owner of two hundred and eighty acres within the city limits of Riverside. The first twenty acres
were subdivided in 1886, when some people were looking for property in his direction. This found ready sale and
the following spring he placed forty acres more on the market. He then planted his whole tract and a part of his
father's homestead and formed Hall's Addition to Riverside. With characteristic energy he graded avenues and street,
laid out parks and planted and cared for thousands of ornamental trees to enhance its value. Subsequently this
was all sold off with the exception of twenty acres in his home place and yielded him a handsome profit.
The Gage canal system (of which for years he was assistant engineer under C. C. Miller) being completed and able
to supply water, Mr. Hall, in 1887, incorporated Hall's Addition Water Company and was made its president. Pipe
lines were laid from their reservoir two and one half miles to the addition and branch lines laid through the principal
avenues, forming a complete supply for domestic and irrigation purposes. Sixty thousand dollars were expended in
perfecting this system, which was later sold to the Artesia Water Company. In June, 1887, he incorporated Hall's
Addition Railroad Company, was made president and general manager and built and equipped one and one half miles
of street railway, upon which were operated mule cars, from Main and Tenth streets to a central part of the tract,
thus placing the addition within easy access of the city and making this section unequalled for residence and horticultural
purposes, and for scenic beauty it was unsurpassed. This car line was afterwards consolidated with the Riverside-Arlington
Railway, in which Mr. Hall became a director. He also organized and became sole proprietor of Hall's Addition Nursery
Company, supplying stock of all kinds to Riverside and surrounding country. Other development enterprises in which
he was intensely interested were the placing of many acres of thor
oughly developed alfalfa land on the market in the vicinity of Corona, this being one of the factors in the present
prosperity of that section. He was also interested in land in the vicinity of Arch Beach extending as far as San
Juan Point. In his home place he was engaged in growing oranges with considerable success.
July 29, 1890, in Riverside, occurred the marriage of Priestley Hall and Miss Agnes Overton, who was born in Avoca,
Wis. At the time of their marriage Mr. Hall gave his wife a "deed of gift" to "Rockledge,"
which has been her home ever since. The death of Mr. Hall was a shock to his many friends in Riverside, where he
was regarded as one of her most public spirited and enterprising citizens. He was a straightforward, energetic
business man, honest and liberal in all his transactions and justly merited the success he acquired in life. In
politics he supported Republican men and measures at all times, although avowedly at heart a Prohibitionist and
working wherever practicable for the success of prohibition principles. He was a member of Second Church of Christ
Scientist of Riverside and his life was expressive of the true believers in that doctrine. In fraternal relations
he was a Mason, being a member of Evergreen Lodge, No. 259, F. & A. M., Riverside Chapter, No. 67, R. A. M.,
and Riverside Commandery, No. 28, K. T. At the occasion of his death these lodges sent resolutions to Mrs. Hall
that were very appreciative of his life and character.
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912
Riverside County, CA
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