Gravesite of Frank A.B. Hall
First Black Member of Cincinnati City Council
Frank A.B. (Alfred Butcher) Hall was the son of former slaves, born in 1870 in Vicksburg, MS. He moved to Cincinnati in 1892 and operated a lunch stand in Walnut Hills for 5 years before joining the Cincinnati Police Department.
In 1899, Hall was promoted to patrolman and continued to rise through the ranks, becoming the city's first African American detective. He retired from the Cincinnati Police Department in 1926.
Hall was a Republican but, as the local party was refusing to nominate a Black Republican to Cincinnati City Council, he ran in 1927 as an independent candidate. He lost.
In 1929, Hall ran again, along with fellow Black candidate George W. Conrad. Neither man was elected, but Hall received more votes this time than he had two years prior, and his campaign demonstrated that voter support for this independent Black candidate was growing.
Two years later, the Cincinnati Republican organization backed Hall’s City Council campaign, and he was finally elected to a seat, becoming, in 1931, the first Black member of Cincinnati City Council. He served a two-year term and was then defeated.
Hall was involved in the Brown Chapel AME Church. A member of the Elks and the Ancient United Knights and Daughters of Africa, as well as an active freemason, he was the Ohio State Grand Master of the Prince Hall Lodge. Hall was also a member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the NAACP, and served as president of Mercy Hospital from 1922 to 1926.
Frank A.B. Hall passed away in 1934 and is buried in United American Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth, daughter Mabel, and son Arthur, who was a deputy sheriff.