Harry Alvan Hall
Jurist. author, and the youngest of three brothers who served in the state Senate (John Geary Hall and James Knox Polk Hall), Harry Alvan was born in Karthaus, Pa., Oct. 7, 1861, the son of Benjamin McDowell and Susannah (Geary) Hall; educated at Dickinson Seminary, University at Lewisburg (Bucknell), St. Gregory College, and Yale University, A.B. and LL.B.; admitted to the bar in June, 1881; elected to state Senate in 1890; appointed United States attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 1893; reappointed in 1897 and resigned the same year. Mustered into the United States for service in the Spanish-American War, May 10, 1898, captain, Company H, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Infantry, United States Volunteers; served as judge advocate-general of the first corps on the staff of General Wilson; promoted major for distinguished gallantry on the field at the battle of Coamo, Puerto Rico, commissioned Aug. 9, 1903, and by general orders of Lieutenant-General Miles was sent to Washington to present the Spanish flags captured in that action to President McKinley. He was vice-commander-in-chief of the National Association of Spanish-American War Veterans, and commander-in-chief of the National Commandery, Naval and Military Order of the Spanish-American War; delegate to the Democratic conventions of 1884 and 1888, and delegate-at-large in 1892 ; he was general counsel for the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy in the United States; was knighted in 1905 by Emperor Francis Joseph with the officers' cross of the Order of Francis Joseph. Harry served as general counsel for several railroads, and specialized in railroad, corporation, and international law; during his term as United States attorney was chosen by the Interstate Commerce Commission to try the test cases under that act. He was elected president judge of the twenty-fifth judicial district of Pennsylvania in 1906. Hall was a Fellow of the American Geographical Society, a member of the Authors' Club of London, England, and editor of the St. Mary’s Gazette (Elk Co.). The author, linguist and traveler married, June 10, 1886, Currin McNairy, daughter of Colonel R. C. McNairy, of Nashville, Tenn. Judge Hall died in Philadelphia during treatment of “heart trouble,” December 1, 1917.
Men of 1914: Biographical Sketches; Mary Kalinowski, Executive Director, Elk Co. Historical Society.