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Local History 

Dr. William K. Hall

 Dr. William K. Hall in 1982This October will mark the 91st birthday of William K. Hall.  Dr. Hall began indexing Springfield newspaper items of genealogical interest while still in high school and has continued to do so since.  He would cut and paste articles into old magazines and then index the items in the back and have photocopies made and bound into books, which he then gave to the library.  This set of books are the most used books in the Springfield-Greene County Library system.  Often patrons from near and far will fill several carts full of books in a day, especially during a holiday week.  People use the books to find birth announcements, marriage or engagement announcements and divorce notices.

The most popular use of the indexes is to look up obituaries.  While it may sound morbid, obituaries can be a gold mine of information for genealogists.  Dr. Hall has also indexed Springfield newspapers from the 1800’s forward into the 1940’s.  An on going program to digitize his books and indexes has begun and can be found at Missouri Digital Heritage. This website is still under construction and only a few years are available.  In addition to the indexes, Dr. Hall has also authored the following books:

 Some of Dr. Hall's Index bookDr. Hall is the son of Edward B. and Mary Kearney Hall.  His mother's father was Michael Kearney, master mechanic with the Frisco Railroad.  Dr. Hall attended Boyd, Pipkin Junior High and Central High schools here in Springfield.  He graduated from Yale in 1939 and received his medical degree from Harvard in 1942.  He was an officer in the Navy during World War II.


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