The New York Tribune, January 29, 1901


The Coroner's Jury Officially Declares That Hall Was a Woman

At the Criminal Courts Building yesterday afternoon the story of Murray Hall . . . was told before Coroner Zucca and a jury. The legal determination of the sex of this woman is important, as involving the disposition of an estate of about $5, 000 under the will of Murray Hall.

Miss Imelda Hall, the adopted daughter, was the first witness. She said she always supposed Murray Hall was a man. She was not a legally adopted daughter, she said.

"How long had Murray Hall suffered from this cancer?"

"Six years."

"Had she a doctor?"

"Yes. Dr. Gallagher had been visiting her for about a year."

A letter written by Murray Hall to the District Attorney was read at this point, complaining of having been sandbagged by William Reno some years ago. When asked

about this, the witness said, "Yes, he once complained of it."

"Wouldn't you better say she?" asked the Coroner.

"No, I will never say she"

Dr. W. C. Gallagher said he had known Murray Hall about a year, and that cancer of the breast was a disease peculiar to women. When asked if he did not know that she was a woman when he first attended her, he declined to answer. He said positively that she was a female. He thought the cancer might have been caused by the sandbagging alleged in the letter to the District Attorney, but he was not sure.

The jury decided that Murray Hall was a female and had died from natural causes.

New York Tribune, March 20, 1901


Woman Who Masqueraded as a Man Leaves Directions
for Headstone for "Wife's" Grave.

The will of Murray H. Hall, . . . was filed for probate yesterday afternoon.... The document bequeaths all of the property, real and personal, to Imelda A. Hall, and directs that on the death of testatrix Imelda A. Hall shall cause to be erected a suitable headstone over the grave of Cecilia F. L. Hall, the wife of Murray Hall. Imelda A. Hall is appointed executrix.

From Jonathan Ned Katz ed., Gay American History (NY 1978) p. 235-261

What's the big deal about cross dressing, anyway?