Berean Bible Heritage Church
February 20, 2018; 9:37 pm
Jerusalem Time

J. Lincoln Hall

by Pastor Clinton Macomber

J. Lincoln Hall

Joseph Lincoln Hall was born on Nov. 4, 1866, in Philadelphia. His parents were Joseph and Barbara Hall, and were gifted musicians. He picked up his musical ability from them.

After attending the public schools, at the age of 19 he became the choir master over a 100 member choir. He led this successfully for 10 years.

He graduated with a degree and high honors from the University of Pennsylvania. He studied harmony, counterpoint, fugue and orchestration. His graduation thesis was a Mass in the Key of D, with full orchestration scores. Later he received an honorary Music Doctorate (Mus. Doc.) degree from Harriman University of which he was an alumnus.

He was a prominent figure in sacred music during his lifetime, and served as a song leader, choir conductor, composer, and music publisher. Some of the great camp meetings he directed the music for were: Chester Heights, Pennsylvania; Rawlinsville, Pennsylvania; Waterloo, Ohio; and Landisville, Pennsylvania. He led large choirs at Pitman grove and conducted the music at the Gainesville Bible Conference in Florida. He conducted large choruses in various parts of the country and was in demand for his services for large choruses and congregations throughout the country. He led the singing for the 1910 Ocean Grove camp meeting.

His music composition is varied and extensive. He produced several popular compositions, oratorios, cantatas, anthems, gospel songs, Sunday School songs, etc. He edited a number of hymn books, and his work has seen extensive sales.

Hymns he contributed were:


He founded the Hall-Mack Publishing Company of Philadelphia with Irvin Mack. It did a thriving business. It was later sold to the Rodeheaver Publishing Company of Winona Lake, Indiana.

He had a beautiful tenor voice, and served as a music theorist, teacher, organist, and was in the front rank of those in demand for his ability and skills.

He died on November 29, 1930 in Pennsylvania.


Ernest K. Emurian, Forty Stories of Famous Gospel Songs (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1959), pp. 22-25.

Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 More Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1985), p. 77.

George W. Sanville, Forty Gospel Hymn Stories (Winona Lake, Illinois: Rodeheaver-Hall Mack Co., 1943), p. 74.

Richard W. Adams, The Cyber Hymnal, “hymn” (1996-2012)

Jacob Henry Hall, Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1914), “J. Lincoln Hall,” pages 388-391. Photo and information source.

Family History

His mother was born in Baden, Germany and was named Barbara. His father, M. Joseph Hall was born in Prussia, Germany.

On Jun 1, 1870, his parents and siblings were living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  M. Joseph Hall was 37 and Barbara was 31. He worked as a painter, and they had $6000 in real estate and $1500 in personal assets. In 2011 these amounts were equal to about $1,500,000 and $374,000. The three older boys were attending school. George W. was 10, John E. was 9, William was 7, Joseph L. was 3, and Walter B. was 2. They had a boarder named Susan, who was 61.

On Jun 1, 1880, his mother was earning a living by keeping a boarding house in Philadelphia. Her name was Barbra, and she was 40 years old. A brother, John E. Hall, was 18 and working as a clerk in a store. A second brother, William D. Hall, was 16 and working as a student doctor. Joseph was 14 and employed in card stamping. Younger brother, Walter B. Hall was 12 and going to school. The last brother, Phillip H. Hall, was six years old. There were 18 others in their boarding home.

On Jun 17, 1896, he married Eva Victoria Withington at the Methodist Midtown Parish of Philadelphia. She was born in Pennsylvania, and her father was born in Ireland and her mother in England.

On Jun 1, 1900, Joseph L. Hall was 33 and Eva was 31. He was a music publisher and they were living in a rented house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (possibly what was 2222 N. 7th Street). They had been married for four years. They had given birth to two children and one was still living. Their son was Lincoln and he was 2 years old. They had a servant, Margaret Dolan, 25 years old.

On Jun 1, 1910, Joseph L. Hall was 43 and Eva was 40. He was working as a music publisher. They had been married for 14 years and they had given birth to four children, and three were living. They owned a house with a mortgage and were living at 2427 N. 7th St. (now an empty lot, but had contained two story houses). Their children: Lincoln W. was 12 years old, Ralph was 6, and Philip R. was a year and a half old. Lincoln was going to school. Their servant was a 48 year old widow, Catherine McAnalend.

On Jan 1, 1920, J. Lincoln Hall was 53 and Eva E. W. was 50. He was working as a self-employed music publisher. They owned the house with a mortgage at 2427 N. 7th St. in Philadelphia. Their boys were: Lincoln W., 22; Ralph Leigh, 15; Philip R., 14. The younger two boys were attending school, and the son, Lincoln, was a student of finance.


1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. We used a first and second enumeration of the family.

Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 643

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