Hon. Robert W. Hall, judge of the circuit court of St. Louis, Missouri, was born in Ontario, Canada, September 27, 1873, and is a son of James Hall, also of Canadian birth and of Scotch and English descent. The founder of the family in the new world first settled in the state of New York but later representatives of the name went to Canada. James Hall was for many years a successful agriculturist and stock raiser but is now living retired. He has been very active in connection with political and civic interests in Ontario, being affiliated with the conservative tory party, and recognized as a man of considerable influence along those lines. He married Sarah Jane Fawcett, a native of Canada and of Irish descent. By her marriage she has become the mother of six children, five sons and a daughter, of whom one son and the daughter are now deceased.
Robert W. Hall, the third in order of birth in this family, was educated in Thornbury, Ontario, Canada, where he attended the public and high schools. While pursuing his high school studies during spare hours, Saturdays and summer holidays, he worked in a printing office, acquiring a thorough knowledge of the printing business. He afterwards looked after the advertising end of the business and did reporting. He likewise took a course in banking at Belleville, Ontario, and read law in the office of Robert Bogle, a distinguished member of the Canadian bar. In further preparation for his chosen profession he attended the Chicago Kent College of Law, then affiliated with the Lake Forest University of Lake Forest, Illinois, and later continued his studies in the Benton College of Law at St. Louis, Missouri. On the 9th of June, 1906, Judge Hall was admitted to practice at Jefferson City, Missouri, passing the required examination before the state board of examiners. On the 19th of October, 1903, he became a resident of St. Louis and from 1903 until 1906 was connected with the Illinois Central Railroad. He continued in the general practice of law until his elevation to the bench and specialized in contract and corporation law.
At length, however, recognition of his ability brought the demand for his service on the bench and on the 6th of January, 1919, he took his place as judge of the circuit court of St. Louis, where he is making a record in harmony with his record as a man and lawyer, distinguished by fidelity to duty and by a masterful grasp of every problem presented for solution. He belongs to the St. Louis, Missouri and American Bar Associations and prior to his election to the position of circuit judge he served on the bench ,on city court work. He has likewise been provisional judge of the court of criminal correction and has acted as referee on judicial matters on various occasions.
On the 18th of August, 1906, Judge Hall was married in St. Louis to Miss Margaret Rathell, a daughter of the late Samuel T. and Oleatha P. (Didawich) Rathell, the latter now living with Judge and Mrs. Hall, who by their marriage have become the parents of a son, Robert Rathell, who was born in St. Louis, December 23, 1907.
Judge Hall has always given his political allegiance to the republican party and has been quite active and influential in political circles. He is a member of Magnolia Lodge, No. 626, A. F. & A. M., has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and is a member of the Grotto. He also has membership in the Loyal Order of Moose, the Missouri Athletic Association and the Century Boat Club. He received military training during his school days. Since starting out in life independently he has made steady progress and those who know him bear testimony to his splendid professional and personal qualities. He was a director and chairman of the legislative committe of the West End Business Men’s Association of St. Louis, in which connection he displayed initiative, enthusiasm and administrative ability of an exceptional standard. Possessed of a most agreeable and engaging manner, he makes friends of everyone and his ability as a lawyer enables him so clearly to express his views as to win strong support therefor. As a lawyer he has always given evidence of quick perception and ready resource, employing at times an effective sarcasm and possessing always a high sense of humor. When addressing the public he displays persuasiveness and gains adherents to his cause through his zeal, warmth and human appeal. He is devoted to his friends and in equal measure, along professional lines, to the interests of his clients. The nobility of his character and his personal charm have gained for him the high regard of all with whom he has been associated.