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Emmitt F. Hall

Burke, SD

1937, 757, Camp Doran, F-23 Member
1937, 2757, Narrows, SP-3 Member
1938, 2754, Wind Cave, NP-1
1939, 2754, Badlands, NP-2

Emmitt Hall and now speaking.

Well I went into the CCs in 1937. We were stationed, our first camp was at Lake Doran east of Custer and we worked up on Harney Peak building that look out tower. You had to walk up to Harney Peak ever morning and carry a piece of lumber. I got tired of walkin so I took steady KP in the camp so I helped in the kitchen. That was right below the dam for probably less than a year and we were, camp was broke up and we were all transferred out to different camps around the hills.

Emmitt Hall talks about the CCC, 2004

I went to camp Narrows. That's at Blue Bell Lodge. At Narrows I worked in the motor pool and I drove truck. They had a sawmill out a short ways from camp and I would use the truck to go up in the hills and haul logs out to the sawmill.

We were there a year or so and then that broke up I got transferred to Wind Cave down by Hot Springs. I was still a truck driver there. A lot of times I would hall water out from Hot Springs to our water tank for the camp. We had to do that day and night. I was usually on the night shift going to Hot Springs and back. I'd haul three or four loads a night. Hauled troops around sometimes and we'd fight fires and we'd go over the hills we was out west of the Hot Springs quite a few times to fires and around Hot Springs to forest fires.

We had barracks. They held about 40 men each.

Food? Was it good or bad?

Yes. Oh the food was good ya. We were all workin and we was hungry so we'd eat anything.

Did you have horse too that pulled logs around or just -- No -- just tractors and? Up on Harney Peak they had a horse on a little sled that pulled the rocks up to the top of the mountain there. We were just working building the framework to get up onto the very top of it. We have to build a kind of a stairway going up to it to get up on top for to work on the lookout.

In the other camps no we just had trucks. Wind Cave we were there a year, probably part of a year and then our camp broke up there and we were transferred over to Wall, the north edge of the Badlands there. From the back door we could look out down in the Badlands and I still drove truck I hauled troops, men down in the badlands area they were raking down the sides of the hills trying to make them look natural. Oh really? That was the story. I'd haul the troops out there and then you'd have to take em back for dinner and take em back out.

Emmitt Hall with group at Camp Doran

You didn't get much money for this did you?

No. It was a dollar a day or $30 dollars a month. We got I think $8 and 22 went home. We had to live on that.

Did you have to wear the same thing Richard wore the uniforms from World War I?

Well that was our dress up uniform. We had fatigues overall like fatigues and shirts and stuff. I was in there with Richard. I remember him very well. I got pictures of him.

Emmitt Hall at Camp Narrows

Do you have pictures of the CCC camps?

Well not so much. I got picture of Camp Narrows and a bunch of us standing behind the Camp Narrows sign. I drove truck there too.

So you went in in -- 37 -- Ok and when did you go out.

Then I got discharged in July of 1939. I had my time in.

Did they draft you or did you sign up?

You signed up right here in Burke.

You signed up to go.

They had a man that took care of that.x

Emmitt Hall

Emmitt F Hall was born January 20, 1921 to Emerson and Ora (Cummings) Hall, the fifth of thirteen children, on a farm four miles east of Burke, South Dakota and he died February 29, 2012 at the Community Memorial Hospital in Burke, South Dakota at the age of 91 years.

Because there was no work during the dirty thirties Emmitt and three of his brothers went to Custer SD and joined the CCC-Civilian Conservation Corp where he worked for 18 months. In the 1940's he went to Washington State and started work in a sawmill until Pearl Harbor was bombed at which time all jobs disappeared so he joined the Army. While in the Army he served in both the European Theater and Pacific Theater starting out in France going to Germany and ending up in Czechoslovakia. Then the atomic bomb was dropped and he was sent to Japan. He was discharged Dec. 31, 1945 after serving 3 years 4 months and 18 days.

Before entering the service Emmitt married Lois Imogene Andersen in Rushville NE on July 28, 1942 and after being discharged they moved to Washington State for 4 years before moving back to Burke. In 1954 they purchased Halls Café and operated it for 25 years and during those years he also started up Burke Sanitary Service in1975.

Emmitt was very active in the community, joining the Burke Fire Department in 1952 and serving 25 years 22 of which were as fire chief. During that time the fire department took over the ambulance service and he served as a EMT. He also served on the city council for 10 years and was acting Postmaster for awhile during the 1960's. He was a member of the American Legion and a life member of the VFW. In April 2010 he was selected and went on the honor flight to Washington DC which he said was very rewarding.

You could say he never really retired, but after he slowed down he loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He took great pride in his tomato garden and keeping up his yard. He continued this through his 90th year.

Emmitt is survived by his wife of 69 years, Imogene; two daughters: Carol (Ben) Merical of Mercer, MO and Kathy (Greg) Hausmann of Bonesteel, SD; one son, Tom (Connie) of Gregory, SD; six grandchildren: Barry (Christina) Merical; Heidi (Jamie) Dooley; Kelli Hall; Amanda (Derek) Zeisler; Kim Hausmann and Cody (Angela) Hall; seven great-grandchildren: Miko, Myla and Marissa Merical; Avery and Ayden Dooley; Trinity and Jayce Hall; a sister, Sharon Bostick of Stockton, CA; and two brothers-in-law, Bill and Lester Andersen of Burke, SD. He was preceded in death by his son David in 1992; his parents; six brothers and five sisters.

He will be missed, but not forgotten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 2:00 PM at Clausen Funeral Home in Burke. Burial will be in the Graceland Cemetery, Burke.

xEmmitt Hall spoke with Linda Sieh in 2004 in Burke, South Dakota. Recorded on cassette tape, the recording was digitized and transcribed in October 2015 by a volunteer for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) Museum of South Dakota located in Hill City, SD.

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