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Dr. A. S. Hall To Observe 81st Birthday

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Distinguished Graduate Of University Keeps Youthful Interests

The third student to receive the degree of doctor of philosophy from the University, Dr. Abram Sager Hall of Saline, who will be 81 years old tomorrow, keeps a youthful interest in life in a variety of lines of activity.

His special study has been biology, a subject which he taught for many years, and his hobbies, related to this, are collecting wild flowers and collecting and mounting birds. He delights also in his home, one of the large old houses of the village, in which he has two huge cases of mounted birds, numbering about 300, and many specimens placed about the rooms. By no means a small interest in Dr. Hall’s day, is his comradeship with his grandchildren, Phyllis Ann and Daniel Sager Hall, of Saline, aged five and seven years respectively.

Credits Dr. Steere

He credits much of his interest in nature and knowledge of it, to Dr. Joseph B. Steere of Ann Arbor, former professor of Zoology here and Curator of the museum. Dr. Hall learned taxidermy when attending the University and was a member of the class that saw the unpacking of the collection made by Dr. Steere in South America for the University museum.

The collection of thousands of specimens of wild flowers, especially those native to Michigan and Maryland, still is increasing and Dr. Hall seldom has made a visit to a new place without his portable press.

Dr. Hall was born at Saline, where his parents, Dr. Daniel Hall and Samantha Wood Hall, lived above the drug store of Mial Mason. The building is occupied now by the Saline Observer. The family moved to Pittsford in Hillsdale, county, where his father started in the practice of medicine, but returned to Saline in 1862, and bought the house in which Dr. Hall lives. His parents had been married in 1854 at Lodi Plains, by Rev. Rufus Nutting, who founded old Nutting academy once located there.

Career Distinguished

Both the education and the teaching career of Dr. Hall are distinguished. He entered the University when he was 17 years old; received his bachelor’s degree in 1876 when less than 21, and his doctor of philosophy degree when he was not yet 23 years old

Starting his teaching as instructor in mathematics and chemistry in Albion college in 1878, he served later in government research work on sugar and textiles, returning to teaching in 1884 as professor of science at St. John’s college in Maryland from 1884 to 1888, and at Goucher college in Baltimore, 1888 to 1893. He was offered a position as instructor in the University by the late President James B. Angell, in 1878, but had accepted already his appointment to Albion college, and he had engaged to teach in the Grand Rapids Central High school in 1894 when offered an instructorship in biology here on completing a year of research study.

Retired In 1927

Dr. Hall served as professor of science in Washington college at Chestertown, Md., from 1896 to his retirement in 1927, when he returned to Saline to live.

The American branch of the family of Dr. Hall’s mother, Samantha Wood, originated in this country with Dr. Samuel Wood who came to Danbury, Conn., from England in 1685. By marriage the Wood family is connected with the Bryants, descendants of Anneke Jans, one of the early Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam.

A German strain was introduced in the family through Johannes Kohler and John Jacob Zimmer, emigrants from the German provinces driven out because of religious persecution of the Lutherans in the 1730’s. This branch of the family and the Halls, then spelled “Haal,” came about the same time and settled in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Hall’s father received his degree in medicine from the University in 1854, and studied under Dr. Abram Sager, professor of obstetrics. The latter was also the physician of Dr. Hall’s mother’s family, and for him the son was named.

PHOTO CAPTION: WILL BE 81 TOMORROW: Dr. Abram Sager Hall of Saline (left) will observe his eighty-first birthday tomorrow, and his grandson, Daniel Sager Hall (right), son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Hersey Hall of Saline, will be seven years old tomorrow. Daniel’s sister, Phyllis Ann (center) was five years old on Aug. 26.