LEWISTON – Hall Oil Company is in its third generation in Lewiston. There are not a lot of businesses in Cache Valley that have been in one family for over 70 years.
At 16 years-old, the current owner Kimber Hall started to drive a fuel truck delivering heating oil to area homes. He also delivered fuel to area farmers. His parents, Willis and Meridith Hall, farmed, ran a dairy and opened up a grocery store on the corner of 1600 West and Center Street, and two years later began to deliver fuel.
“My parents Willis Merdith opened the store in 1947 and two years later they began to deliver heating fuel to homes in the area,” Hall said. “The store was a kind of ma and pa grocery operation.”
He said his mother would send them to Preston to pick up meat for the store.
“There were shelves on the west wall that held ketchup and other items until the 1964 earthquake,” he said. “When the earth began to shake, the glass bottles fell to the floor, busting and sending ketchup all over the floor.”
He recalls cleaning up all the ketchup and glass from the broken bottles. They never put the shelf back on that wall. He even has pictures that back up the story.
The corner store changed over the years. The original structure is used as a convenience store today. Customers stop to grab a soda, pick-up snacks and some pay for their fuel they got from the Sinclair pumps out front.
At 64, Hall is still hauling fuel. Natural gas has taken the home heating oil market, but Hall still delivers fuel to farmers and construction workers. And instead of one truck he has three.
“We have three fuel trucks: one holds 2,500 gallons, another one that will hold 2,700 gallons and the biggest holds 4.500 gallons,” he said. “We truck fuel as far north as Lava Hot Springs and Grace, Idaho and south to Paradise; we also go to Bear Lake and Box Elder County.”
The fuel delivery operation covers about 70 square miles.
Hall has been on the road making deliveries since he was a teenager. The only time Hall didn’t deliver fuel was when he did a two year stint at Snow College in the 1970s where he played both football and basketball. Then, there were two years he served on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I played football at Utah State, but I had shoulder surgery so I played backup quarterback behind Eric Hipple and Craig Bradshaw, Terry Bradshaw’s brother,” he said. “I’ve coached high school girl’s basketball at Preston and Sky View over the years.”
While his two brothers were also involved in the business early on, they chose other professions.
“My brothers drove the gas trucks too, but I ended up with the business. One brother taught school and Anthony works at the bank,” Hall said. “I have three sons that help when they can.”
Hall said his wife Minnie is the backbone of the operation she keeps the books and manages the C-store.
He met Minnie while at Snow College and brought the city girl to Lewiston where the two run a successful business and raise their family of three boys and a daughter.