Fall was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, to William R. and Edmonia Taylor Fall. He attended schools as a child in Nashville, Tennessee, but was primarily self-educated.By age eleven Fall was employed in a cotton factory. This is most likely the cause of respiratory health problems he suffered throughout his life. Due to his illnesses, Fall moved west as a young man to seek a better climate. He tried Oklahoma and Texas, but eventually he settled in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he practiced law.