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Old News Stories
Hall's Trees to Pay for Hospital, 1949

From The Atlanta Journal
May 21, 1949

Believed Penniless
Man Denied Aid Helps Build
By Odom Fanning, Staff Writer

Chatsworth, Ga., May 21, 1949.

An Atlanta hospital refused to take him because he seemed to be a penniless mountaineer, and he was dying from an objectionable form of cancer, so when Frank Hall died, he left his greatest worldly goods—the trees on his farm—to help build a beautiful modem hospital here to serve the mountain people like himself.

That hospital, the first in Murray County, has virtually been completed. It will be a $250,000 structure, as modern as any rural hospital in the South.

Goodness Bared

Finally—and here's where the contentious old man bared his inner goodness—Mr. Hall directed that all "the merchantable timber from size eight inches at the top of the stump" and larger be sold. I will and direct that said funds be used to help build a section or ward in said hospital to be equipped for the treatment and care of the victims of cancer."

Mr. Jackson, the ranger, said that on the average acre of Georgia forest land the total net volume of saw timber is 1,606 board feet. When Mr. Hall's timberlands were "cruised," or estimated, it was found that his virgin woods would produce the fabulous amount of more than 20,000 board feet per acre.

When bids were opened, it was discovered the high bidder was a manufacturer in Tennessee who offered $100,000. To date, 300,000 board feet have been cut, and a sawmill is still working full force. Some of the pines ran more than 40 inches in diameter.

Foundation Laid

The financial foundation for the Murray County hospital had already been laid by V. C. Picketing, Chatsworth hotel owner and road contractor. He was the man who built the road across Fort Mountain from Ellijay to Chatsworth. When Mr. Pickering died in 1946 of heart disease, he left $100,000 to found and build the hospital.

When the other bequests in Mr. Hall's will are made, it is expected that $80,000 will be left for the hospital. W. A. Tatum, of Chatsworth, gave the land on which the hospital is being built. The local people, by contracting it themselves, saved considerable money. When the hospital is finished by July 1, they will have spent about $175,000, but they will have a $250,000 hospital.

It will have 64 rooms, though fewer beds. There will be a complete operating room, maternity department, dental clinic, laboratory, X-ray, health center, Negro ward, and cancer clinic.

Among the things the peculiar Mr. Hall saved, as mementos were two hand-made bricks. They were molded in 1840 by his grandfather Harris. While they were drying in the sun, a sow and her little pigs walked across them, leaving footprints in the bricks. Mr. Hall had treasured them all his life.

Mr. Bond insisted that the bricks be used in the hospital, and they were. The 109-year-old pigs' prints may still be seen.

"He was the savingest man I ever knew," said Mr. Bond in summing up J. Frank Hall's character. "The slogan that fits him best, and the one I'm going to put on a plaque in the hospital is: "He Saved for Others."

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