Carrol C. Hall donates fund for capitalism lectures

Carrol C HallThank you, Carrol C. Hall!

When longtime Springfield resident Carrol C. Hall passed away in 1995, he left a bequest to UIS for the creation of the Carrol C. Hall Lectures on Capitalism.

A varied and productive professional life

After earning his Bachelor of Science degree from Eureka College in 1927, Mr. Hall worked for 38 years as a science teacher, including 28 years at Springfield High School, where he also headed the science department.

In 1945, while continuing to teach, Mr. Hall co-founded the Horace Mann Insurance Company and served as the company’s first president. At the time, teachers had a difficult time getting quality, affordable auto insurance. The company soon expanded to other forms of insurance and now sells nationwide.

Through much of his life, Mr. Hall also wrote magazine and journal articles, primarily for business publications, but also on history topics and fiction pieces. During the war, Mr. Hall also worked as an emergency sanitary engineer during World War II, filling in for engineers who were serving in the armed services overseas. Following the war, he co-authored a book entitled Atomic Age Chemistry.

Mr. Hall prided himself on being a man who spent his time on productive pursuits, including a strong interest in his investment portfolio. By his own description, he became “a rather well-to-do man.”

A gift to help sustain the United States’ greatness

Probably in response to his own financial opportunities and success, Mr. Hall left a bequest to UIS to fund an annual lecture or series of lectures on capitalism. At the time of the gift, he wrote:

I make this gift in furtherance of educating young Americans concerning the economic system and philosophy which made the United States of America the greatest nation of the modern world.

Mr. Hall almost certainly also wanted to encourage others like himself who came from the lower middle class. He believed that with enough ambition and hard work, “these are the people from which our leadership starts.”

Serving the community

Mr. Hall is known for saying that service to others should be our ultimate goal, and he lived out that goal in his own life.

With a special interest in history, he chaired the Springfield Historic Sites Commission, was president of the Sangamon County Historical Society during the restoration of the Old State Capitol Historic Site, and was vice president of the Illinois State Historical Society.

He was also on the founding committee for the Friends of Lincoln Library and the first president, and participated in the Civil War Roundtable, the Vachel Lindsay Association, and the Commission on International Visitors.

In 1987, in recognition of his many contributions to the community, Mr. Hall received the title of Springfield’s First Citizen.

He passed away in 1995.

Carrol C. Hall Memoir, University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L. Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections, H1401972.

Editor. “Carrol Hall (First Citizen).” Sangamon County Historical Society, October 24, 2013.