Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Hall, Ira DeVoyd, Sr.

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Ira Hall
(20699.80.44.5, State Museum Collection, Rubye M. Hall Collection, OHS).

HALL, IRA DeVOYD, SR. (1905–1989).

Ira Hall made special contributions to education and civic involvement in Oklahoma. Born on August 25, 1905, and raised in Colbert, Hall received a small award to begin his education at Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (now Langston University). Determined to graduate in spite of being orphaned at age fourteen, he interrupted his education five times to earn tuition and living expenses. In 1932 Hall was one of the first three students to graduate from Langston with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. After graduating, he became principal of the "separate school" (racially segregated school) in Colbert, the first of his many appointments. The scholastic accreditation improvements that his Colbert school achieved earned him the superintendent position in Clearview. In 1947 Dr. Oliver Hodges was elected state superintendent of public education and in July appointed Hall as assistant director of secondary education for separate schools. This was the first time that an African American held this position. In this capacity he made it a priority to improve teacher qualifications, library holdings, science materials, and class curriculums for all ninety-seven African American high schools in the state. Hall continued his education by earning a master of science degree in educational administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Following three years of court litigation beginning in 1944, Hall and his family were forced to abandon a home purchased in Oklahoma City, because a restrictive covenant prohibited African Americans from occupying property in certain areas. Later, as founder of Hall Fidelity Real Estate Company, he was the first realtor to sell homes to black residents in several Oklahoma City neighborhoods in the early 1960s.

Hall's commitment to civic and community involvement was self-evident. He presided over twenty organizations and served on more than thirty boards and commissions. Ira Hall died on December 4, 1989, in Oklahoma City.

Bruce T. Fisher


Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 15 January 1968.

Ira D. Hall, Sr., interview, 4 January 1988, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Rubye Hall, interview, 6 October 2000, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

"Obituary, Ira D. Hall, Sr.," (Oklahoma City, Okla.: Tabernacle Baptist Church, 1989). Oklahoma Teacher (March 1968).


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Bruce T. Fisher, “Hall, Ira DeVoyd, Sr.,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=HA008.

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.