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J. Frank Hall

American poet James Russell Lowell once said, "The wisest man could ask no more of fate than to be simple, modest, manly, (and) true." This quote seems a perfect reflection of a simple mountain man, J. Frank Hall.

The story begins in March, 1948, when Mr. Hall went with Mr. P.H. Bond, administrator of the Hall estate, to an Atlanta hospital seeking treatment for throat cancer. Mr. Hall was denied admittance to the hospital and never once named the hospital that refused him treatment. It was presumed based on his physical appearance that he was a penniless mountain man and could not afford the services offered by the hospital. Little did the administrators of this hospital know how financially well off Mr. Hall was.

Mr. Hall returned to Chattanooga to seek treatment for his illness. He died there on April 2, 1948 but not before he bestowed to the city of Chatsworth a gift. Mr. Hall owned 470 acres, 12 miles north of Chatsworth on GA Hwy 411. This land had previously been owned by his grandfather, the late J.N. Harris. Mr. Hall was a bachelor and had no descendants. Ten days before he died, he drew up a will that left $1,000 each to Sumach Cumberland Presbyterian Church and to the Sumach Lodge. He asked that the home place be left as a memorial to his parents and grandparents. Finally, the remainder of the estate which was virtually timber land was to be sold.

His worldly possessions were to be used to build a hospital so that no one else would be denied treatment as he had. It was found that his lumber produced some 20,000 feet of lumber per acre and was sold at a cost of $100,000. The ultimate donation was $80,000 given to Murray County. This donation was enough to help build a $250,000 state of the art hospital with additional funds that had previously been made by Mr. V.C. Pickering and Mr. W.A. Tatum.

It is often said "Do not judge a book by its cover." The same can well be said of individuals as in the case of Mr. Hall. Don't judge a person by physical appearance without taking time to learn the person or learn about them. Only in hindsight do we sometimes recognize those diamonds in the rough.

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