Celebrating Black History Month: Dr. Charles Rochelle

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

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Dr. Charles Rochelle, n.d.

In honor of Black History Month, we are going to show case prominent African-American who have done amazing work here in Evansville. Over the next few weeks, we are going to learn about these amazing individuals and honor them for their hard work and dedication.

Charles Rochelle was born on April 30, 1895 in Terre Haute, Indiana (“Dr. Charles E. Rochelle” n.d.; “Hoosier State Chronicles”, n.d.). Rochelle served during the First World War with the 375th Engineer Service Battalion of the United States Army in Hattiesburg, Mississippi (“Charles Rochelle Oral History”, n.d.). After the war, Rochelle attended and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Arts in education from Indiana State Teachers College, presently known as Indiana State University (“Hoosier State Chronicles”, n.d.). Rochelle would later became the first African American man to receive a doctorate in education from the University of California at Berkeley (“Charles Rochelle Oral History”, n.d.).

 

He became a social studies teacher at Lincoln High School in Evansville, Indiana (“Rochelle, Charles E.”, n.d.). In 1951, Rochelle began the principal of Lincoln High School (“Hoosier State Chronicles”, n.d.). Rochelle served in numerous organizations in Evansville such as a member of Liberty Baptist Church, Cawthar Shrine Temple, served as a 33rd Degree Mason, board member of the Deaconess Hospital Foundation (“Rochelle, Charles E.”, n.d.), and commander of the Otis Stone post of the American Legion numerous times (Evansville Argus Newspaper Collection, n.d.). Rochelle was married to his wife, Thelma, until her death in 1985; however, Rochelle passed away on April 30, 1993 (“Rochelle, Charles E.”, n.d.).

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Left to Right: Dr. Charles Rochelle and Thelma, 1975

Here at the University Archives and Special Collections, Charles Rochelle donated his personal collection of speeches, awards, notes, and photographs. His collection is available at any time you are interested in learning more about Dr. Charles Rochelle.

References

Charles Rochelle Oral History. University of Southern Indiana, University Archives and Special Collections, David L. Rice Library, Evansville, Indiana.

Dr. Charles E. Rochelle (1895 – 1993). (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2017, from https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=66665412

Hoosier State Chronicles – Indianapolis Recorder. (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2017, from https://newspapers.library.in.gov/

Rochelle, Charles E. (n.d.). Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from http://browning.evpl.org/

Evansville Argus Newspaper Collection. University of Southern Indiana, University Archives and Special Collections, David L. Rice Library, Evansville, Indiana. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from http://library2.usi.edu:8080/cdm/landingpage/collection/Argus

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