Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Nettie Hall, 1841-1908
By Katie Miyamoto, Undergraduate, University of California, San Diego
Nettie C. Crabb, was born in 1841 in Kentucky. After she married Robert L. Weems, a surgeon during the Civil War, Nettie was widowed in 1880. She then worked at Bird Island, Minnesota as a milliner. In 1882, Nettie settled in Wessington Springs, South Dakota where she became well-known for her knowledge of medicine. Nettie remarried to Cleveland T. Hall, a Civil War veteran, in 1884. He died two years later due to war wounds. She gave birth to one son, who was a railroad worker killed during his job, and adopted two sons, Trueman Hall and John Brewer.
Nettie's leadership and involvement within her community started in 1887 when she was elected as a school trustee in Wessington Springs. She then served as the first woman election judge. Her engagement with suffrage began in 1889, when Nettie was elected as vice president of Jerauld County Equal Suffrage Association. In this capacity, she corresponded with Susan B. Anthony and other suffragists. She was also responsible for organizing unions for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Nettie was held in high esteem by her peers and was viewed as well qualified due to her "ability, tact, and experience." In 1890, she attended the South Dakota state convention for suffrage where she served as a campaign speaker. In a letter addressed to the Executive Committee at this convention, Nettie passionately wrote "Everything hinges on the work of the women on election day. Our ONLY issue today is, the ballot in a woman's hand."
Nettie, a skilled pharmacist, was also known to be the only woman to manage a drug store in Wessington Springs in 1892. Three years later, she moved to Fitzgerald, Georgia, where she edited the Fitzgerald Enterprise. As a sign of her love for the city and an homage to her first son, Nettie met incoming trains and gave the railroad employees flowers to wear as boutonniers. On June 14, 1908, Nettie passed away at the age of 68 and was buried in Fitzgerald, Georgia. After her death, railroad workers and the WCTU erected the "Mother Enterprise" fountain in Fitzgerald where it still remains today.
Humanities, National Endowment for the. "Wessington Springs Herald. (Wessington Springs, Aurora County, Dakota [S.D.]) 1883-1891, June 28, 1889, Image 8." News about Chronicling America RSS. W.I. Bateman, C.W. McDonald. Accessed May 27, 2021. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99067997/1889-06-28/ed-1/seq-8/.
Blackwell, Alice, ed. The Woman's Column, 15 Oct 1892. Vol. 5, No.42, unnumbered pages. https://books.google.com/books?id=pStOAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP174&dq=%22Nettie+C.+Hall%22+suffrage&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwia2N6llZjcAhXhTN8KHdhpD2wQ6AEIWDAI#v=onepage&q=Nettie%20C.%20Hall&f=false
US Department of the Interior National Park Service. National Register of Historic Places Registration. PDF file. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/b9bca03b-4ce6-477e-8d51-2e6e6a7942e4
"Georgia Historic Newspapers." Weekly edition of the Waycross evening herald. (Waycross, Ga.) 190?-1908, July 07, 1906, Image 7 " Georgia Historic Newspapers. Accessed May 27, 2021. https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/lccn/sn89053268/1906-07-07/ed-1/seq-7/#index=8&rows=12&proxtext=nettie+hall&sequence=0&words=Hall+Nettie&page=1.
"Nettie Crabb Hall (1841-1908) - Find A Grave..." Find a Grave. Accessed May 27, 2021. http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/34834298/nettie-hal.
"Mother Enterprise Drinking Fountain, 1908, Fitzgerald." Vanishing South Georgia Photographs by Brian Brown, April 12, 2016. https://vanishingsouthgeorgia.com/2009/06/07/mother-enterprise-drinking-fountain-1908-fitzgerald/.
Humanities, National Endowment for the. "Wessington Springs Herald. (Wessington Springs, Aurora County, Dakota [S.D.]) 1883-1891, June 29, 1888, Image 8." News about Chronicling America RSS. W.I. Bateman, C.W. McDonald. Accessed May 27, 2021. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99067997/1888-06-29/ed-1/seq-8/.
"Nettie C. Hall." History in South Dakota, August 26, 2020. https://historysouthdakota.wordpress.com/womens-suffrage-in-sodak/biographies-of-womens-suffrage/nettie-c-hall/.
"Georgia Historic Newspapers." The Tifton gazette. (Tifton, Berrien County, Ga.) 1891-1974, June 19, 1908, Image 4 " Georgia Historic Newspapers. Accessed May 27, 2021. https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/lccn/sn89053120/1908-06-19/ed-1/seq-4/#sort=relevance&index=1&rows=12&proxtext=nettie+hall&sequence=0&words=Hall+Nettie&page=2.
Egge, Sara, Woman Suffrage and Citizenship in the Midwest, 1870-1920 (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2018)