Hall-Voyer Foundation Continues Cultural Service To Honey Grove
Dr. David Graham Hall was born in 1858 in New Hampshire. Hall obtained a Harvard education and became a doctor, eventually setting up a practice in Dallas. This medical practice attracted attention that was controversial to say the least. Hall earned the nickname “Shooting Doctor” due to the large hypodermic needles he used. Additionally, there were incidents with an experimental typhoid vaccine that would turn the skin of patients blue. But it is not the medical practices of Dr. Hall that should be remembered, it is his charitable work.
In addition to his work as a physician, Hall dabbled in real estate in a few ways. Hall owned many shotgun houses, small three-to-five room houses, that he rented out to African-American tenants. Hall also owned the first hotels for African-American visitors to Dallas. The income from these rental properties as well as his medical practice allowed Hall to create a foundation, known as the David Graham Hall Foundation. Hall passed away in 1949 with the foundation continuing under the control of Richard Voyer.
While the original purpose of the foundation was the eradication of venereal disease, under the leadership of Voyer, the foundation also started to purchase and restore old buildings in Honey Grove. In 1962, the foundation purchased a former grocery store on the square and converted it to a public library. Voyer’s wife Bertha was the librarian for many years with the library being named the Bertha Voyer Memorial Library following her death in 1985.
Under Voyer’s administration, the foundation amended its purpose in 1973, becoming dedicated to the “establishment and operation of libraries, museums, auditoriums, civic centers, educational facilities, human relations programs and to promote or support communital (sic) health and social welfare programs for the people of Texas.” The foundation also underwent a name change in 1984, becoming the Hall-Voyer Foundation to recognize the work of Richard Voyer who had managed the foundation from its inception until his death in 1989. The foundation preserved such community resources as the Bugtussle store near Ladonia, and the public library and much of the town square in Honey Grove. Today the Hall-Voyer Foundation is housed in Honey Grove with its sole mission being the funding and operation of the Honey Grove Library and Learning Center.