Dr. Charles Edward McCorkle, Ph.D.
See picture of McCorkle Family
Charles McCorkle, the fourth child of Cyrus E. McCorkle and Mary Elizabeth Younker, was born 8 August 1886 in Shelby County, Ohio. He was actually not given a middle name at birth; it was years later that his Uncle Ed Danford told him that if he would take Edward for a middle name after himself that he would give Charles a sow. Apparently Uncle Ed had no sons to carry on that name and Charles could always use a sow, so they made a deal benefiting them both. He and his brother Walker went away to Manchester College (Church of the Brethren) in Indiana, since it was the only school that would accept them as they were only able to obtain an eighth-grade education in the local area. At that time there was no high school or any secondary level school in the county. In 1907 Charles obtained an Academy degree from Manchester, the equivalent of a high school diploma. From there the McCorkle brothers went on to Ohio University, where they were the main attraction of the school’s national championship basketball team. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1909 at OU, Charles continued his education at Harvard University by getting a Master of Arts degree, and then on to Clark University in Springfield, Mass. It was while he was at Clark that Charles had the opportunity to study under the world-renowned psychologist and educator, Dr. G. Stanley Hall. He graduated in 1915 with a Master of Arts degree based on his graduate paper “The Teaching of Current Events”. He then returned to Ohio University where he received a Ped.D. (Ph.D.) of Pedagogy in 1918. He served as the Superintendent of the Kenmore School system in Akron, where he attended Cleveland Law School and added another degree to his collection, a law degree, LL.B.
During his time at Harvard in Massachusetts, he met his future wife, Mary Elizabeth Evangeline Young, the daughter of a ship captain and his Irish immigrant wife. He was a towering 6’4” and she a few inches over five feet. Mary Elizabeth was a teacher and girls’ basketball coach, an occupation that financed her tuition at Cleveland Law School, where she also obtained a law degree.
Charles served as Superintendent of Schools for a few years in Ironton, Ohio around 1920, and also filled that position for school districts in West Virginia. The stock market crash of 1929 and the depression reduced his financial holdings, so the couple returned to Shelby County where they bought a farm near those of his family. The couple welcomed their only child, Charles Edward, Jr., in 1931, soon after moving home. While running a farm, he continued in the academic arena, later becoming the county Superintendent of Schools in the 1940s.
After retiring, the couple moved to warmer climate in the Galveston, Texas area to be near their son who by then had become a surgeon. It was there that Charles died on 18 January 1971, the very same day that his cherished brother Walker passed away. Mary Elizabeth died two years later in Arizona.
By Kathryn H. McCorkle (daughter-in-law of Dr. Charles E. McCorkle, Jr.); sources: William Kemp, Dr. Charles E. McCorkle, Jr., and Pamela Dolsman-Sanchez.