Major Henry Stephenson Hale
May 4, 1836-July 24, 1922
Major Henry Stephenson Hale was born in Bowling Green, Warren county, Kentucky, on May 4, 1836. In 1844 his family moved to Arkansas, but two years later returned to Kentucky and settled in the southern part of Graves county. Here he grew to manhood and obtained a fair education. For a period of time just before the outbreak of the Civil war he clerked in a store at Lynnville, Kentucky.
In the fall of 1861 he entered the Confederate army as Captain of company "H" in the 7th Kentucky Infantry. After the death of Major Welborn at Shiloh, Captain Hale was elected Major of the regiment. He fought with the 7th at numerous battles and even commanded at some including the brilliant victory at Brice's Crossroads. He was severely wounded in the left hip at the battle of Harrisburg, Mississippi. He was later made Lieutenant Colonel of the 3rd and 7th Kentucky Consolidated Regiment, but it was very short lived as the war soon ended.
The following description of Major Hale as a soldier, which appeared in the Mayfield newspaper, is worthy of reproduction.
"Major Hale was a young man of about twenty-four years of age. He was as full of zeal and chivalry as the fine climate and good soil of Southern Kentucky could make one. He was a live wide-awake officer, a man for emergencies, and would undertake anything he was commanded to do by his superior officers. Nothing was impossible with him. He had a loud, clear voice, and a fine presence, and made a fine impression; in short was a model soldier. He commanded the regiment in some of the hardest fought battles, and always did it knightly and elegantly. His conduct in the face of the enemy was always inspiring to others. At one time, when the regiment showed signs of wavering, he snatched the colors and ran forward, flaunting them in the face of the enemy. The effect was magical; every man moved forward and the enemy was driven from his position."
Returning to his home in 1865, Major Hale was married November 8th of that year, to Virginia A. Gregory, of Mississippi. They had six children. In 1866 he was elected Sheriff of Graves County, and after four years of service he was elected State Senator in 1871. He was also chairman of the Democratic County Committee for several years. In 1876, at the organization of a national bank at Mayfield, Kentucky, he was chosen as president, a position he held for sixteen years, at the end of that time being appointed by Governor Buckner to fill the unexpired term of Judge Sharp as State Treasurer.
At the end of the term he was nominated by acclamation in the Democratic State Convention and elected by a majority at the polls, to the same office. The able manner in which he conducted the affairs of the State Treasury extended his reputation as a financier among the business men of Kentucky. In 1895, he was the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, but shared in the general defeat of his ticket. Major Hale was also a leading spirit in the founding of the Western Kentucky College in Mayfield.
Major Hale is buried in a small, fenced family plot with his wife and children in Maplewood Cemetary in Mayfield, Kentucky.