The collection primarily documents the personal life and medical career of Dr. Joseph Underwood Hall Jr. Hall who was among the first to use the new X-ray technology and built his own X-ray machine.
Scope and Contents:
Collection primarily documents the personal life and medical career of Dr. Joseph Underwood Hall Jr. There is a substantial amount of material relating to both his paternal and maternal families. The collection is arranged into two series. Series one contains the personal papers of Dr. Joseph Underwood Hall Jr. Series two consists of the personal papers of his family.
The collection is arranged into two series.
Series 1: Dr. Joseph Underwood Hall Jr., 1868-1967, undated
Series 2: Hall, White and Montague Families, 1780-1976, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. Joseph Underwood Hall Jr. was born on February 9, 1868 at Gold Hill, Story County, Nevada, the second child of Dr. Joseph Underwood Hall Sr. (1822-1898) and Katherine Bess White (1844-1918). Hall received his primary education at Gold Hill High School where he graduated in 1883 at the age of fifteen. Upon graduation, he left Nevada and traveled to San Francisco, California where he worked at a drug store while pursuing an education at the University of California School of Pharmacy. Following this phase of his education, he acquired a position at the Quicksilver Mining Company in New Almaden, California as a clerk and druggist for the Miners Fund Dispensary. In 1886, Hall studied medicine under Dr. S. E. Winn and assisted him in visiting patients, prescribing treatments, and performing surgical procedures. In 1887, Hall attended Cooper Medical College and served as chief assistant at Dr. L. C. Lane's private clinic. Upon completion of this course of study, he moved to Philadelphia to attend Jefferson Medical College where he received his medical degree in April 1889.
Dr. Hall returned to California, in the summer of 1889, and served as resident physician to the Quicksilver Mining Company in New Almaden, California, remaining there until 1894. He then pursued more medical training in Chicago and New York before returning to San Jose, California. He married Grace May Spencer (1871-1954), the daughter of Judge Francis Elias Spencer (1835-1898) and Mary Catherine Pray (1838-1903) on December 27, 1894 and opened a medical practice. To this union four children were born: Francis Spencer Hall (1896-1998), Joseph Underwood Hall III (1906-1907), Marshall Spencer Hall (1908-1990), and Marian Catherine Hall (1910-2003).
It was during this time Hall began working with the O'Connor Sanitarium and remained a valuable employee for twenty-five years. On September 17, 1917, the United States Army appointed him Captain in the medical section of the Officer's Reserve Corps. He served on active duty at Fort Riley, Kansas until December 15, 1918. Upon his discharge, he opened a medical office in San Francisco, California. He continued to open offices throughout California during his medical career serving the local communities well. Dr. Hall's significance to the medical profession is his use of the new X-ray technology and the creation of his own X-ray machine, which is documented in this collection.
Dr. Joseph Underwood Hall Jr. died on October 25, 1946 at the age of seventy-eight in San Francisco, California as the result of a rare type of bone cancer. He had attended the medical needs of others for fifty-seven years.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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The collection was donated to the Archives Center in 2014 by Dr. Hall's granddaughter, Darian Downs.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.