William Bonnell Hall

b. 3 January 1866, d. 20 February 1946

William Bonnell Hall, 1866-1946
Vice Chancellor, Sewanee, The University of the South, 1909-1914
  • William Bonnell Hall was born on 3 January 1866 in Lowndes County, Alabama.
  • William Bonnell Hall and Susan Juliet Anderson appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Lowndesboro PO, Lowndes County, Alabama. Other members of the household included William Bonnell Hall, Elizabeth A. Hall and Dora Ann Bonnell. Also in the household was cousin Ichabod Bell, who is still living with the family in 1880.
  • William Bonnell Hall and Susan Juliet Anderson appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Lowndesboro, Lowndes County, Alabama. Other members of the household included William Bonnell Hall, Arthur Bell Hall, Elizabeth A. Hall and Dorian Hall. Also in the household were cousin Ichabod Bell (age 66) and teacher Elizabeth Spruill, as well as several farm workers.
  • He married Irene Sample Ellerbe, daughter of Nicholas Cobbs Ellerbe and Charlotte Walker Cobbs, on 9 February 1888 in Hale County, Alabama.
  • William Bonnell Hall and Irene Sample Ellerbe appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Suwanee, Franklin County, Tennessee, at The University of the South. William is enumerated as head of Hoffman Dormitory, with thirty-one male students.
  • He was teaching, according to the 1900 census.
  • William Bonnell Hall, who graduated from Sewanee in 1885, received a medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1890, and in 1909 became the second physician (after Charles Todd Quintard) to serve the University as vice chancellor. During his tenure, Hall grappled with the University’s significant financial struggles, which stemmed in part from shrinking student enrollment. Hall’s diligent efforts worked to increase enrollment and to slow the growth of the University’s budget deficit.
  • William Bonnell Hall and Irene Sample Ellerbe appeared in the US federal census of 1 January 1920 in Selma, Dallas County, Alabama, at 720 Fremont Street. Other members of the household included Lucy Landon Hall and Charlotte Walker Cobbs.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1920 census.
  • William Bonnell Hall's 1925 application for SAR membership to the Board of Managers of the Louisiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, by right of lineal descent from his 2x great grandfather Dixon Hall (c1755-1813), provides some excellent family history details.
  • William Bonnell Hall and Irene Sample Ellerbe appeared in the US federal census of 1 April 1930 in Selma, Dallas County, Alabama, at 720 Pettus Street. Other members of the household included Lucy Landon Hall.
  • William Bonnell Hall and Irene Sample Ellerbe appeared in the US federal census of 1 April 1940 in Selma, Dallas County, Alabama, at 716 Pettus Street. Other members of the household included Lucy Landon Hall.
  • He was retired, according to the 1940 census.
  • William Bonnell Hall died on 20 February 1946 at age 80 in Selma, Dallas County, Alabama.
  • His wife Irene Sample Ellerbe became a widow at his death.
  • He was buried at Live Oak Cemetery in Selma, Dallas County, Alabama.
  • The following appeared in the Sewanee Alumni News: (May 1946): Dr. William Bonnell Hall, ’85, one of Sewanee’s distinguished alumni, died at his home in Selma, Alabama, on February 20, at the age of 80. “Dr. Billy” came out of retirement in 1909 to head the University, following the death of Vice-Chancellor Edward Wiggins. He remained on the Mountain until Bishop Knight became Vice3-Chancellor in 1914.
         Holder of the degrees of B.S., C.E., and M.A. from the University of the South, he served Sewanee in many positions, including those of medical officer, professor of physicis and botany, and dean of the college. He received his M.D. degree at the University of Virginia. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
         Dr. Hall was a native of Lowndes County, where his family had settled before Alabama became a state. At one time he was mayor of Selma and president of Selma Times-Journal Corporation.
         His widow, Mrs. Hall, was the former Irene Ellerbe, a granddaughter of Bishop Cobb of alabama. His daughter, Miss Landon Hall, is a teacher at Parish High School. Dr. Hall was the brother of Mrs. W. H. MacKellar of Sewanee.
  • The William Bonnell Hall Papers (Collection 01109), part of the Southern Historical Collection housed at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, include extensive genealogical correspondence and studies, containing materials on the following families: Anderson, Bland, Bolling, Bonnell, Briscoe, Childs, Cobb, Cocke, Elam, Eldridge, Ellerbe, Hill, Munford, Pegues, Poythress, Stokes, and Withers.
  • The following appeared in The Sewanee News (October 1990): Landon Hall Barker, daughter of former Vice-Chancellor (1909-1914), Regent (1914-1934), and retired teacher of science William Bonnell Hall, established a scholarship fund [William Bonnell Hall and Irene Ellerbe Hall Memorial Scholarship] in memory of her father and mother. The income from this fund, now in excess of $173,000, is to be used for scholarships to aid pre-medical students or students majoring in chemistry or biology. Landon Hall Barker, who was born in the house now known as the French House, was the wife of George Henry Barker, C'26, captain of the 1924 Sewanee football team (the last year in which Sewanee defeated Vanderbilt).
  • Last Edited: 12 Sep 2015

Family: Irene Sample Ellerbe b. 22 April 1876, d. 23 December 1965