EAST ALTON - Hale Realty owner Walter Allen Hale III and his family recently were recognized by the East Alton Village Board at a meeting for 100 years of business in the community.

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For Walter Allen, the third generation of the Hale family to operate the business, it was a night to remember.

“We greatly appreciate the Village of East Alton recognizing us,” Hale III said. “This year is a special time marking our 100th anniversary.”

Walter Hale III recalled when he was a kid he started in the business sweeping floors and cleaning and his grandfather would hand him a quarter and a stick of Dentine chewing gum. He said he can still almost vividly remember his father and grandfather in the business doing their daily work.

Walter III said the family has always had a commitment to making East Alton and the surrounding region a better place to live and work.

For 90 years, the business has had its home at 208 Smith Ave. in East Alton.

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“My father and grandfather both inspired me,” Walter Hale III said. “They left a great legacy in East Alton. My dad was a World War II veteran. I learned what I know about the business from my dad. After college, it was more or less on-the-job training here.”

Walter Hale Sr. founded and started Citizens Building and Loan Association and the idea of “direct reduction loans."

Hale Sr. is on record saying, “All we did was make it possible for a man to buy a home and know when he’d have it paid for.” Hale Sr. died in 1958 and his son, Walter Hale, Jr., took over the business.

Walter Hale Jr. helped many carry on the “American Dream” by developing subdivisions in the local area. Walter Hale Jr. died in 1984 and Walter III took over.
Walter Hale III has been involved in real estate listings, real estate development, sales and he presently specializes in residential appraising.

Village of East Alton Mayor Silkwood said a family owned business in a community for 100 years is exceptional.

“Congratulations to the Hale family past and present for this achievement.”

Chris Rhodes also contributed to this story.

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