[various places, including Fresno and Seattle:=, [ca. 1904-1953.]. The earliest item is dated June 1904 (three men seated at a table) and the latest is dated February 1953 (the envelope), with the bulk of the items dating from the 1920s-40s. The earliest item that indicates Salvation Army involvement is the 1924 certificate indicating Alexander Hall’s promotion. Most of the manuscript notes specify locations of Fresno and Seattle, Washington, with a few others noting locations of Aberdeen, WA and San Jose, CA. One photograph was taken in Phoenix, Arizona and another in Reno, Nevada. Fifty-seven photographs: thirty-two large photographs (8 x 10” or larger); three oblong photographs (6 x 10 ” or larger); twenty-two smaller photographs (3 x 4” to 5 x 7”). With multiple copies of some photos: two copies each of five photos, three copies of one photo, and four copies of one photo. Plus, an official Salvation Army certificate of achievement (10 x 11 ”), dated 1924 in Fresno, California, noting the promotion of Alexander Hall to the position of Adjutant; and an envelope addressed to Mrs. Major Alexander Hall (Elsie Hall), which encloses four of the photos. A very good set. Some black-and-white and some sepia photographs. Nine photographs are matted or mounted on board, and some have manuscript ink notes (dates, locations, and/or names of subjects) photographer’s ink stamps on versos. Item #17561
The original owner of this archive was Alexander Hall (1876 – 1954). He was born in Ontario, Canada but lived most of his life in California and died in Seattle. His wife, Elsie Alberta, née Brown (1887 – 1980), also appears in many of the photos present in this archive. Elsie was born in Manitoba, Canada and died in Seattle. She is shown in her Salvation Army uniform on a parade float, holding babies, posing amongst food donations with her husband, and attending Salvation Army events (conferences, picnics, fundraisers, and more). From 1934-35, Alexander commanded the local Corps in Bellingham, Washington, and he eventually rose to the rank of Major. Perhaps the most impressive items in the collection are the group photos of Salvation Army members, both men and women, in their uniforms. One large sepia photo (13 x 6 ”) captures a group of dozens of members posed in front of an unnamed Salvation Army headquarters, and another, taken in Fresno, California in 1944, captures a similarly large group in front of a mural of the globe with the text “Christ for the World.”.
The Salvation Army was founded in London in 1865 by William Booth (1829 – 1912) and his wife, Catherine Mumford (1829 – 1890). Booth, a Methodist minister, was incensed by the poverty and squalor of residents in the poorer parts of London and wanted to ameliorate their lives while strengthening their belief in evangelical Christianity. His work was extremely influential, and his book In Darkest England (1890) earned a space in Printing and the Mind of Man as one of the books with the greatest impact on the evolution of Western civilization (item 373). In 1880, Booth’s longtime secretary, George Scott Railton, brought the organization to the United States, where it quickly thrived. In 1882, the first branch was established in Canada, in Toronto. It is unclear whether the Halls, who were Canadian by birth, joined the Salvation Army in Canada or in the United States. They moved to the United States probably sometime in the 1910s, however, and would have been involved in the Salvation Army USA Western Territory branch, which was formed in 1882 in the California Bay Area (as the Salvation Army Pacific Coast Division).