Frank Alfred Butcher Hall was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1870 – the son of former slaves. He came to Cincinnati in 1892 and operated a lunch stand in Walnut Hills for five years until he was appointed a sub-patrolman of the Cincinnati Police Department. In 1899, he was made a patrolman and rose through the ranks until he became the city’s first African American detective, a position from which he retired in 1926.
In 1931, Mr. Hall was the first African American elected to Cincinnati City Council. He served a two-year term but was defeated for re-election.
Mr. Hall was also very active in the community. He was trustee, steward and chairman of the Building Committee of the Brown Chapel AME Church.
Hall was an ardent supporter of the freemasons and served as the Ohio State Grand Master of the Prince Hall Lodge from 1925 to 1930. Additionally, he was also a member of the Elks, Universal Negro Improvement Association, Ancient United Knights and Daughters of Africa, Negro Civic Welfare Association and Cincinnati NAACP. Also, he was Mercy Hospital president from 1922 to 1926.
Frank A.B. Hall died March 11, 1934. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth, who lived to be 103, a daughter, Mabel, and a son, Arthur, a deputy sheriff.
The First 28, graciously sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, celebrates Black Cincinnatians who were the first in their fields. Each day during Black History Month, we will celebrate athletes, artists, business leaders, civil rights activists, educators, physicians and politicians.
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