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Former Philomath mayors

Charles Hall, far right, gets together with then-mayor Jack Kempees, left, and a group of former Philomath mayors for this photo in 1987. From left, Kempees, Jan Tunison, Martin Hoffman, Dale Collins and Hall.

Born in the 1920s, growing up in Philomath, serving in World War II, maneuvering through local politics and hauling logs for a living, Charlie Hall could certainly share a few stories. Many of those who were part of Hall’s generation developed a tough persona and maintain a fondness for days gone by.

“Charlie and I got along great,” said Rick Wells, who worked for Hall’s trucking company for eight years from the late 1990s into the early 2000s. “He was an old-time guy and when he told you something, that’s the way it happened.”

Hall, who was born Charles George Hall, died Monday, Dec. 3 at age 94. A celebration of his life is planned for 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10 at Philomath Scout Lodge.

“He believed in the good old days and this isn’t the way we did it and so on but he did accept change — not willingly but he knew that’s the way it had to be,” said Dale Collins, who like Hall, is a former Philomath mayor. “He was just an all-around good guy.”

Born in 1924, Hall graduated from Philomath High School with the Class of 1943. He joined the military and served in WWII with the U.S. Navy.

After his discharge from the military in 1946, Hall went to work locally as a truck driver and later started his own company, C.G. Hall Trucking. The company continues to operate today through the management of his daughter, Mary Balough.

In the fall of 1953 at age 28, Hall married Joyce Shroyer. They were married for 65 years.

Hall served one term as the mayor of Philomath from 1967-69. In the November 1966 election, Hall defeated challenger Sherman Morgan to take over the seat that had been held by Gorden Larson, who decided to not seek re-election.

Upon his exit from the office on the day David Jordan was sworn in as mayor in January 1969, Hall said he felt some things were accomplished but also that more work remained.

Hall first appeared on the Philomath city official scene in 1960 when he ran as a write-in candidate for a council seat and was among the winners. In all, he served on the City Council for seven years and was also involved with many city committees.

“He was pretty proud of the days he was mayor, which we all are once you go through it,” Collins said.

Hall was recognized as a Philomath First Citizen in 1990.

“You knew right where you stood with him because if he didn’t like what you were doing, he’d let you know,” Collins said with a laugh. “But if he liked what you were doing, well, he’d let you know that, too.”

Wells, who has also volunteered his time for public service while working as a logging truck hauler, worked for Hall from 1996-2004.

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“He would do things for you; he treated me extremely well out there,” Wells said about his days with C.G. Hall Trucking. “I have no bad things to say about working there.”

At the time of his departure, Wells was looking to buy his own truck to fulfill a longtime dream.

“He helped me learn the log-hauling business,” said Wells, who had been driving for several years before joining Hall’s company. “I had only been hauling logs for about a year before I started there.”

Hall was a mentor for many younger truck drivers through the years and also for shop mechanics. In his later years, he got into hobbies such as building a large train display along with various replica naval ships, along with beekeeping.

Hall and his wife spent more than six decades together and traveled the world, including a few reunions on the USS Brown, the vessel on which he served in the South Pacific during the war.

“He was tough; he wouldn’t let anybody run over him,” Collins said. “He just kinda stood his ground and did what he thought was right.”

One thing’s for sure — you could count on a story. Said Wells, “He always had a story to tell you."

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