Lyman Bronson Hall was born on August 10, 1852 in Richmond, Virginia to Joseph Alonzo and Sarah Bronson Hall. At the age of four, his family moved to the Oberlin area, enabling him to attend the Oberlin public schools, and later, the Preparatory Academy. In 1867, he enrolled in the college, receiving an AB in 1872.
After further study in the theological departments of Oberlin and Harvard, he received a Harvard BD in 1877 and an Oberlin BD and MA in 1878. He also studied at Union Theological Seminary in the 1870s and at the University of Berlin, Johns Hopkins, Chicago, and Harvard in the 1880s-1890s. He was ordained to the Congregational ministry at Oberlin in 1881, but he never served a pastorate. He taught grammar in the Preparatory Department, 1872-1873; Tutor in Latin and Greek, 1878-1883; Associate Professor of Latin and Greek, 1883-1888; Professor of Latin, 1888-1899; and Professor of History, 1899-1918. Most of the courses he offered were in American History; he also offered a single course entitled "English History: 55 BC-1902 AD." Although known as a teacher and not as a scholar, Hall did publish several pieces in the Oberlin Alumni Magazine, including "English Politics in 1906" (October 1906) and "Notes on the Founders of Oberlin College" (February 1908).
In 1918, Governor James M. Cox appointed Hall a member of the Ohio History Board. Headed by A.M. Schlessinger of Ohio State, the board was responsible for making a record of the part Ohio citizens played in World War I.
Hall's first marriage was to his classmate, Ada E. Hitchcock (1851-1892; Lit. 1872) in 1878, and his second was to Caroline I. Caldwell (1872-1956; Ph.B. 1896) in 1899. Neither union produced any children.
On July 3, 1918, Hall died suddenly of heart failure while on a bicycling trip to Birmingham, Ohio, with his two nephews. He was survived by his second wife. Hall's connection with Oberlin College as student and teacher (including service as Registrar of the College, 1901-1903) spanned a period of more than fifty years.