Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 44 , page(s) 612-614


EZRA HALL, a member of the Hartford Bar, died at Hartford on the third day of November, 1877, at the age of forty-two. He was born at Marlboro in this state, and after working upon his father's farm till he was twenty years of age, he determined to acquire a liberal education, and after a course of preparatory study at the seminary at East Greenwich, R. I., he entered Wesleyan University, at Middletown, in 1858, graduating in 1862. He read law in the office of the late Thomas C. Perkins, and immediately after his admission to the bar commenced practice in the city of Hartford, pursuing his profession there until his death. He was elected to the State Senate in 1863 from the district in which his native town was situated, and was the youngest member of the body. He was again elected to the Senate in 1871, and in 1874 represented Marlboro, in which he still kept his legal residence, in the House of Representatives. In 1874 he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and argued some important cases before that tribunal. He was taken suddenly ill, and died after a few days of intense suffering. He left a widow and two children.

The death of Mr. Hall was a painful surprise to the community and a cause of deep sorrow to his professional associates and his many friends. He had been so full of energy, so enthusiastic in the pursuit of his profession, so intent on success, making himself felt as a force wherever he went, and was still so young and full of promise, that it seemed almost impossible that such a career could be so suddenly ended.

Mr. Hall had attained an honorable position at the bar and a high place in the public esteem. He was ambitious in his profession, and indefatigable in the discharge of its duties. No client ever had reason to complain of any neglect of his interests. He was always honorable in his practice and had in this respect the entire confidence of his associates at the bar. His business had become quite large and he found himself in his later years often compelled to give up to labor many hours that were required for sleep. His constant overwork undoubtedly injured his health and perhaps hastened his death.

He had a tenacious will, showing itself in his persistency in pursuing his ends and not at all in obstinacy, a vigorous and especially active and perceptive intellect, and a rare faculty for the despatch of business. He was however made for a man of affairs rather than for a great thinker, and found his most fitting place in dealing practically with business and with men. With a shrewdness and sagacity of the traditional New England type, he was unusually skillful in negotiation. In all his business relations he commanded the confidence of all who dealt with him, as a man of perfect integrity, while his agreeable manners very generally won over those whom he met in an adverse relation.

Mr. Hall was full of cheerful good nature, always hopeful and always ready to cheer others, and where he was able, to help them. His countenance was lighted up by good will and his manners were courteous and kindly. His nature was sympathetic and generous. His pastor, the Rev. W. L. Gage, said of him at his funeral " I do not know as, during the ten years I have lived in Hartford, I have seen any one who so habitually had such a radiant and pleasant countenance, or who so often had a word of good cheer for those who needed it."

During the later years of his life Mr. Hall was a specially growing man. An earnest study, not merely of the law, but of every thing that would help him to a higher development of his faculties, was showing its fruit. Professional success was still the great object of his ambition, but it seemed to gather about itself in his conceptions higher and higher moral conditions - a wider knowledge, a more thorough self-culture, a high standard of personal honor. He was thus growing in moral purpose and in all the elements of true manhood.

He had been for many years a communicant in one of the Congregational Churches of the city of Hartford and for a long time was one of the most active laborers in its Sabbath-school.

At a meeting of the Hartford County bar, held on the occasion of Mr. Hall's death, and which was very fully attended, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That we regard with profound sorrow the death of Ezra Hall, Esq., a member of this bar. Mr. Hall has been taken away in the fullness of his manhood from the active and successful pursuit of his profession, and from a general usefulness of life that made him a most valuable member of the community. With rare industry, with enthusiasm in his profession, with untiring devotion to the interests committed to his care, and with an unusual knowledge of men and tact in the management of causes, he united a high sense of professional honor and a firm allegiance to moral duty. Without a high degree of oratorical skill, but with a vigorous intellect, clear perceptions, and a thorough understanding and preparation of his cases, he was able to make effective arguments, either to the court or to the jury. His mind was practical and sagacious. His integrity was unquestioned. With a countenance indicating natural refinement, with great kindness of heart and an affable manner, he had yet a firm will, a decided judgment, and great energy of character. He was warm in his friendships, and found great happiness in serving those whom he loved. He was a man of professed and consistent Christian life. He met death with entire composure, expressing a desire to live but a readiness to die. He leaves behind him a most pleasant memory and the influence of a good life.