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Among the highly honored and substantial citizens in the country near Canton is W. J. Hale. He stands unique in this section as the pioneer in syrup making, on a higher scale. His family are English, coming to this country in an early day. His father, James Hale, was born in North Carolina, and was a farmer. He came to Texas in 1873. He married Miss Ann McCarty, who was born and reared in Georgia. They were married in 1824, and had eight children. Neither of them are living at this time. His mother died in 1876 and his father in 1884. Mr. Hale himself was born in 1844 in Monroe County, Georgia. He was educated principally in Newton, Miss. And chose the vocation of farming. He began this manner of life in 1873, in 1870 he married Miss Julia Monroe, in Newton County, Mississippi. The now have four children. He came to Texas in 1873 from Mississippi, and after living in Hill County for a short period came to Van Zandt county twenty three years ago. He is a member of the Baptist Church, and is highly respected and trusted by all who know him. He served nearly four years in the Civil War and has always met all the demands made upon him by the expectation of his friends and the general public. For nineteen years he has been manufacturing a very fine quality of syrup from the regular ribbon sugar cane. He has his land so he can irrigate it, hence makes a sure crop, frequently making 600 gallons to an acre. When this syrup is finished he puts it into jugs and seals it hermetically, and in this form it is kept for use, so that at any age when the jug is opened the syrup is fresh. His syrup is good for the best price in the market, and never goes begging for a customer. Mr. Hale is a model in Christian gentleness and all that goes to make a lovable, worthy character.