J. C. Hall (businessman)

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Joyce Hall
Joyce C Hall.jpg
Joyce C. Hall, founder of Hallmark Cards
Joyce Clyde Hall

(1891-08-29)August 29, 1891
DiedOctober 29, 1982(1982-10-29) (aged 91)
Years active1900–1966
Known forFounder of Hallmark Cards
ChildrenDonald J. Hall Sr.
Parent(s)George Nelson Hall
Nancy Dudley Houston

Joyce Clyde Hall (August 29, 1891 – October 29, 1982) was an American businessman and the founder of Hallmark Cards.


Hall was born in 1891 in David City, Nebraska, the son of Nancy Dudley Houston and George Nelson Hall, a traveling Methodist minister[1] who had provided sparingly for his invalid wife and children. When Hall was seven, his father died. By age eight Hall was selling door-to-door with the company that eventually became Avon Products. Hall's belief was that in the difficult economic straits of his widowed mother's family, he needed to add a postscript to his father's mantra, "the Lord will provide"; it was, "It's a good idea to give the Lord a little help." In 1905, Hall and his brothers invested US$540 to buy picture postcards to sell to store owners and other dealers around their area. They also convinced some of the traveling salesmen who came into the Halls' bookstore, which Joyce Hall's older brothers bought with a partner in 1902, to add the postcards to their sales territories.[2] Hall conceived the Norfolk Post Card Company in 1908 in Norfolk, Nebraska.

In 1910, Hall moved to Kansas City, Missouri, with little more than two shoe boxes of postcards. By 1913, he and his brothers were operating a store (which would eventually evolve into Kansas City's Halls department store) selling not only postcards but also greeting cards. The store burned in 1915, and a year later, Hall bought an engraving business and began printing his own cards. It turned into a bigger business than he had had before. In 1928, he began marketing his cards under the Hallmark brand name.[3]

Hall, who objected to the name Joyce and typically went by "J.C.", retired in 1966 and spent his retirement in efforts to revitalize the Kansas City downtown area. One of the results was Crown Center, a combination business/shopping district surrounding the Hallmark corporate headquarters. Hall died in 1982 in Leawood, Kansas.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ancestry of Joyce Clyde Hall". WARGS. William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  2. ^ Hall, Joyce C. with Curtiss Anderson. When You Care Enough. Kansas City: Hallmark Cards, Inc., 1992. p. 23
  3. ^ "Early Innovation 1910s – 30s". Hallmark. Archived from the original on February 3, 2008.
  4. ^ Pace, Eric (October 30, 1982). "J. C. Hall, Hallmark founder, is dead". New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2018.