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date: 22 January 2020

Hall, J. C.locked

(29 August 1891–29 October 1982)
  • Dennis Wepman


Hall, J. C. (29 August 1891–29 October 1982), greeting card manufacturer, was born Joyce Hall in David City, Nebraska, the son of George Nelson Hall, a nondenominational lay preacher, and Nancy Dudley Houston. The grandson of men who had fought on both sides at the Battle of Shiloh in the Civil War, he lost his father at an early age and went to work in 1900 as a door-to-door salesman for the California Perfume Company, later renamed Avon Products. Two years later his family moved to Norfolk, Nebraska, where his older brothers, Rollie and William, bought a book and stationery store. Joyce worked there after school and on weekends to help support his semi-invalid mother and his sister Marie. In 1903 he traveled with Rollie on sales trips through Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota, selling candy and postcards, along with a sawdust sweeping compound. Two years later the three Hall brothers each invested $158 to form the Norfolk Postcard Brokerage Company, with Joyce, who had taken the middle name Clyde, listed as “J. C. Hall, Manager.” They had moderate success selling picture postcards, imported from England and Germany, to Norfolk shopkeepers. In 1910 the young entrepreneur finished school and moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he attended business college at night and, with savings of $3,500, established his own business as a postcard jobber in his room at the Young Men’s Christian Association. Within a few months the volume of his sales compelled him to open a separate office....

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