Huntington, WV Black History

Alphonso Hale


Alphonso Hale was born in Fayette County in West Virginia.  He and his family lived in Barboursville, and Charleston before coming to Huntington.  He attended WV State College where he earned a degree in Industrial Arts, and he taught at Lakin Industrial School for Boys from 1946 – 1950.

He came to Huntington in 1950 with his wife and family and began working in many businesses in town – Steel of West Virginia, Houdaille Industries and finally at International Nickel Plant as a crane operator. These businesses were constantly laying off workers making it hard to make ends meet.

He held the position of President of the local NAACP and was a representative to the State NAACP. He was the founder of the Huntington Branch of CORE and served on the Board of Directors for the Barnett Child Care Center and ACTION, Inc. He was a member of First Baptist Church and sponsor of the Soul Searchers. Alphonso was a member of the Alexander Freeman Lodge and Owls, Inc. and at one time was the co-owner of the 17th Street market.

Alphonso promoted civil rights in the Huntington area as well as the State of WV. He was responsible for the integration of the YMCA of Huntington. He was a mentor to the black students at Marshall University, especially after the plane crash.

His son described him as a people person, outgoing and one who never knew a stranger. He was also a peacemaker.

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