Full-Time Football Coach to Probate Judge: Arthur Hall and his Artifacts

Found in Record Series 28/3/24

Cleats from the Arthur Hall Collection after visiting Conservation

After a semester at the University’s Conservation unit, the artifacts donated with the personal papers of the Illinois football coach Arthur Hall are now back at the archives and a part of his collection. The collection donated from his family contains several newspaper clippings spanning from the beginning of his football career to the end of his term as probate judge. Artifacts such as team sweaters, football uniforms, cleats, hats, and baseballs from his time here, as well as small Illini memorabilia, are also part of the collection and over a century old.

Found in Record Series 28/3/24

Postcard of Coach Hall, c. 1907

Arthur Raymond Hall was born in 1869 in Tonica Illinois and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1897-1902, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and a Master’s Degree of English and Rhetoric from the College of Literature and Arts. As a student, he played on the Varsity baseball team in 1899 and the Varsity football team from 1897 through 1900, serving as the captain in his last season. In addition to varsity athletics, Hall was involved in the English Club, the Langdell Law Club, the Y.M.C.A., and the Philomathean Literary Society.[1]

Found in Record Series 28/3/24.

The Fighting Illini Football Team, c. 1907. Can you spot the dog?

Upon graduation, Hall passed the State bar exam and opened a law office in Danville. While practicing law, he also coached the football team in 1904 and 1907 through 1912, serving as the Fighting Illini’s first full time coach for longer than five seasons. He led the team to the Big Ten Conference championship in 1910. In 1949, he became a charter member of the National Football hall of Fame Association.[2]

Found in Record Series 28/3/24

Postcard from the Zuppke Testimonial Dinner, 1949

After his coaching career and during his time practicing law, he became a probate judge of Vermillion County in 1938 and held the position for 16 years. His most notable contribution while judge was conceiving the first uniform road building system in the entire country. He retired in 1954 and died at the age of 86 in late-1955.[3]

Clearly a prominent figure at the University of Illinois and in Central Illinois, it is wonderful that his personal papers can be preserved at our archives. If you are interested in learning more about Arthur Hall or visiting the Student Life and Culture Archives, please do not hesitate to contact us!



[1] Arthur Hall Papers, 1897-1955, Record Series 28/3/24, University of Illinois Archives.

[2] Arthur Hall Papers, 1897-1955, Record Series 28/3/24, University of Illinois Archives.

[3] Arthur Hall Papers, 1897-1955, Record Series 28/3/24, University of Illinois Archives.

This entry was posted in Campus Legends, Found in the Archives and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.