April 19, 1999
Hall is coming home to a legacy left by his father, Illinois political leader and statesman, Kenneth Hall Sr., who served St. Clair County in the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate from 1966 to 1995. Hall became the first black senator from downstate Illinois in 1970. In 1975, he became the Senate's first black assistant majority leader. During his political career he served as vice chairman of the Senate Executive Committee, the Senate Education Committee, the Audit Commission and the Council on Children. He also headed the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Democratic Caucus. Hall Sr. was known as "Dean of the Senate" when he died in 1995, having served there longer than anyone else. At the time of his death, he was the only black in the Illinois Senate from outside the Chicago area.
His memory and contributions live on in the East St. Louis community. The Illinois State Regional building at Collinsville Avenue and Broadway and the former Jones Park at 64th and 25th streets were named in honor of Hall.
Younger Hall has fond memories of helping his dad at election time. "We did our fair share. We talked with folks door to door. We transported people to the polls," said Hall. "We did our part and everybody just pitched in to help." "We" includes Hall's three brothers, Thomas, Maurice and Mark. Thomas passed away in 1997. Brother Maurice works for the District of Columbia Police Department and lives in Columbia, Md. Mark is a certified bank auditor for the State of Illinois and lives in O'Fallon.
The Halls' mother, Anne Rush Hall, a former assistant librarian at the East St. Louis Public Library died two months after her husband.
What made his dad so noteworthy? "He really had the people at heart," noted the younger Hall. "He worked hard for them. That's why he was so successful. Everybody loved him."
Ken Hall Jr. began his 45-year career in the grocery business as a bagger with IGA. After serving with the United States Army, he worked for Kroger and National stores. He joined Schnucks in 1995 as the store manager at Kossuth and Grand in St. Louis when Schnucks acquired National.
Hall joins the East St. Louis Schnucks from the Kossuth Schnucks at 4127 N. Grand in St. Louis, where he was store manager. Hall is excited about the opportunities and challenges in his new position. "I will try to give our customers the service they are looking for," said Hall. Hall and his wife, Mary, live in Shiloh. She is the office manager at Schnucks' Downtown St. Louis store at 1030 Cass Avenue. They have three children.
Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 90 stores in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The family-owned company was founded in St. Louis in 1939.
Editor's Note: Ken Hall is a resident of Shiloh, Ill.