Post World War II Eastern

Dublin Core


Post World War II Eastern


The postwar social, regulatory and economic times provided many local area students here in Madison county with a unique opportunity to pursue a college education at Eastern Kentucky State College. Not wanting to be completely cut off from home ties, there were lots of “county” clubs formed at Eastern from students who wanted to reinforce their various geographic areas of origin. Ask “Spider” Thurman about the “Upper Cumberland Club” — named after the upper Cumberland River — on campus.

The dominant campus leader in athletics from 1935 until the post war period was Rome Rankin, who coached both football and basketball. I don’t think one person would be asked to do both of these jobs now, no matter how limited the state budget becamefor higher education. Charles T. Hughes was Director of Athletics. Tom Samuels was also a member of this famous group.

In 1946, Eastern played such schools as Catawba and Valpariso in football, but, interestingly enough, neither Western nor Morehead.

Fred Lewis dominated the Eastern basketball scene in the immediate postwar period. Richmond’s own Goebel Ritter was there right beside him. Both were named All–KIAC. Eastern defeated Wesleyan, Morehead and Louisville in the KIAC tourney and went to the National Collegiate Tournament where they lost to Drury, Missouri 47-51. Richmond native Nancy Blake was one of the Eastern cheerleaders.

Among the faculty in the 1946-1947 academic year was one Fred A. Engle, Sr., A.B., A.M., Ph.D. — my father. There is a danger in naming names, as you cannot possibly recall everyone from that period, but among the more locally known faculty and staff of this era were Katherine Morgan and MayeWaltz. Charles A. Keith and Emma Y. Case were in charge of “law and order” in the dorms.


Dr. Fred Engle




Content may be freely copied for personal and educational purposes with appropriate citation. Permission is required to reprint.



Dr. Fred Engle, “Post World War II Eastern,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed March 3, 2024,