Former Sheriffs

Ezekiel Hall

Hall, Ezekiel

Appointed: 1878 – 1883

Ezekiel Hall was born on May 27, 1847, in Crawford County, Georgia to Samuel and Sarah Hall. Hall remained with his family until he was sixteen years old, when he left home and enlisted as a private with "I" Company, Fourth Georgia Regiment, Army of Northern Virginia, Confederate States of America.

Hall was mustered out after the Civil War and moved to Texas where he resided until 1868. Hall came to California in 1869, settled in Township Two of Fresno County and became involved in farming.

Hall was elected Justice of the Peace for the Second Township on October 15, 1873 and served until 1877. Ezekiel Hall was then elected Sheriff–Tax Collector on September 5, 1877 and served until 1883.

As an executive officer, Sheriff Hall had "few equals and no superiors in this or any State." Hall, "who has made himself a terror to evil-doers" was "determined, prompt and efficient," during his service to the people of Fresno County. Sheriff Hall was at home in the field; pursuing lawbreakers with his deputies, making arrests, transporting convicts to San Quentin State Prison, and visiting the rural county communities by buggy, horseback, or train. Sheriff Hall as Tax Collector took on the Southern Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads in a lawsuit since they refused to pay their property taxes. Sheriff Hall utilized the technological advances available to him in the performance of his duties. Hall carried a self-cocking pistol instead of the standard single action pistol. He also made extensive use of the telegraph to communicate with his deputies throughout Fresno County, and often rode the train. The newspapers of the day portray Sheriff Hall and his deputies as always being engaged in the fight against lawlessness. During Hall's term of office, Fresno County was entirely unincorporated with Fresno Town, which was the largest population center. The number of murders, robberies, theft of livestock, trips to San Quentin and such that were reported leaves little doubt as to the level of activity of the Sheriff's Office. The jail, located in the basement of the courthouse was often near to capacity. Hall commented to the press that with 13 inmates in his jail and the frequency with which the jail was full, he might need to expand.

Hall died on January 25, 1889 in Albany, Georgia while visiting his family. Hall was survived by his wife and two children.

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