Dr. Fred Engle Complete Biography
Dr. Fred Allen Engle, Jr.’s parents were Susan Kathryn (Kate) Johnson (October 28, 1892-April 15, 1969) from Meadow Creek in Whitley County, Kentucky, and Dr. Fred Allen Engle, Sr. (February 12, 1893-May 2, 1966) from Indian Creek in Knox County, Kentucky. They met at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, around 1917-1918 where they both later received two-year degrees. Both taught in one-room schools in the area. Dr. Engle Sr. enlisted in the army in on July 18, 1918, during World War I and was sent to Vancouver Barracks, Washington, where he worked at a hospital. After the armistice on November 11, 1918, he was discharged on December 13, 1918, and sent back to Kentucky. He returned to Cumberland College and married Kate on December 26, 1918, on Meadow Creek at a Baptist preacher’s home.
The couple moved to Corbin, Kentucky, and both taught in schools around Corbin. Dr. Engle, Sr. later became principal of Corbin High School. For a short time, he went into partnership operating a Corbin men’s clothing store, but later sold it back. Both Dr. Engle, Sr. and Kate earned bachelor’s degrees at the University of Kentucky while the couple taught in Corbin. Dr. Engle Sr. earned a degree in math while Kate earned a degree in teaching.
The couple then moved to Winchester, Kentucky, around 1925 or 1926 and stayed there until 1928. Both taught at Winchester High School. Dr. Engle, Sr. worked on a master’s degree in education at UK, writing a thesis entitled, “The History of Education in Clark County” around 1927.
In 1928, Dr. Engle, Sr. got a job at Eastern Kentucky State Normal School, which was renamed Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College in 1930. He commuted for a while then the couple moved to Richmond, Kentucky, into a house on North Second St. and Irvine St. He taught business math, teacher’s arithmetic, and some education courses. He was very active in campus life, sponsoring the Baptist Student Union, the Upper Cumberland Club, and he even opened his home to students needing a place to stay due to a shortage of campus housing. He later received a Ph.D. in education from UK in 1938. This thesis was titled, “Mathematics in State Teachers Colleges.”
Kate was 37 when she became pregnant with her first and only child. She went back and forth to a Highlands hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, because of her age. She then moved in with a cousin in Louisville late in her pregnancy. Fred Allen Engle, Jr. was born on November 14, 1929 at the Kentucky Baptist Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. He had to be put in hot, then cold water to get him breathing. They stayed in Louisville for a little while then came back to Richmond to a new house on North Second St.
Around 1930, the family leased, then bought a house at 222 S. Third St., the second house in the Wellington Ct. subdivision. This was the boyhood home of Dr. Engle, where he lived until he went into the army, and where his parents lived for the rest of their lives.
Starting in 1935 Dr. Engle attended the Model Training School, starting in the first grade. Model was a part of Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College. Classes were held in the Cammack Building which is still a part of Eastern’s campus. In 1943, after staying out of the work force during her son’s childhood, Dr. Engle’s mother got a job teaching math and 1st grade at Madison High where she taught until her retirement around 1961. Dr. Engle likes to tell the story of August 14, 1945, when he and his father were digging potatoes, in his daddy’s garden at the end of South Third St., when all of a sudden all the whistles began to blow and car horns honked, signaling the end of World War II.
Dr. Engle attended Model High School from 1943-1947 in the University Building on Eastern’s campus. The school was semi-merged with Madison High School from 1940 through around 1961 and often known as Madison-Model. The two schools combined sports teams, graduation ceremonies, and some classes. Dr. Engle gave the graduation speech for Model at the Madison-Model commencement ceremonies in the Madison High auditorium in 1947. He wrote sports articles for the school newspaper, the Madison-Model Hi-Lites, and played cornet in the band.
He then enrolled at Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College and received a B.S. with a double major in math and commerce in 1951. During his time at Eastern, the school dropped the “Teachers” from its name in 1949. He was the sports editor for the school newspaper, the Eastern Progress, from 1947-1948 and played one year in the band.
He was a member of the army ROTC all four years he was a student at Eastern. In June of 1951, he became 2nd Lieutenant in the field artillery reserve. He was called to active duty to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on August 18, 1951, during the Korean War. He served in the army from August of 1951 to August of 1953. After artillery school at Fort Sill, he transferred to 83rd Field Artillery Battalion (FA Bn) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He then joined the 756th Field Artillery Battalion which was going to Germany and needed a 2nd Lieutenant who had been to artillery school. He was shipped overseas around the end of January 1952 from Norfolk, Virginia. He was on a boat for ten days in the North Atlantic in the winter, and as he puts it, “That was not fun.”
He arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany, then took a train to his first post in Baumholder, Germany. He then went to survey school in Murnau, learning about angles for artillery fire. From April to May 1952 he lived in a mansion which was converted into the officer’s club with the rest of lieutenants outside of Murnau. There was a pool in the basement and he and his friend since grade school, Theodore Dunn, would drive around the countryside on the weekends, looking at castles in their Chevrolets they had shipped over from the states. Dr. Engle drove around in a brand new 1951 Chevrolet for which he paid $1,890.
In August of 1952, Dr. Engle had his first big tour on leave by himself. He took the train and ferry to Britain. He arrived in London and three days later took the train to Edinburgh, Scotland. He found a room at the Randolph Crescent Hotel on the west end. Around the 16th of August, he went out early in the evening and watched a program at Princes St. Gardens. He met a Lieutenant Commander from the Australian navy by the name of Jackson. Both in uniform, Lieutenant Jackson suggested going out on the town. Dr. Engle admitted, “I don’t drink,” but they went to the “New Cavendish” and then the youth dance hall, the “Palais de Dance.” There he saw a beautiful woman with long red hair. Because he didn’t dance, he asked Miss Mary Jean Gladstone Purves to walk around the floor with him. The Edinburgh native was at the hall with her friend Jean Munsie, who finally convinced Mary to go out with her that night, after calling three times. The group then went to get sandwiches and Dr. Engle walked Mary home to 80 Bonaly Road. Dr. Engle never saw Lieutenant Jackson again, but continued seeing Miss Purves until he had to go back to Germany the latter part of August. The couple wrote letters back and forth and Dr. Engle made arrangements to return in December. He flew into Edinburgh and proposed at Christmas, then went back to Germany in early January 1953.
After a bit of a mix up between the embassy in Scotland and the consulate in Germany, Dr. Engle finally got clearance from the army and married Miss Mary Jean Gladstone Purves on May 25, 1953. They were married in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Central Hall Methodist Church and went on their honeymoon to London and Paris. The couple lived their first few months of marriage in Wertheim, Germany, where Dr. Engle’s battalion had transferred, staying at the officers’ quarters and with a German family. At the end of July 1953, the couple left Bremerhaven, and headed by boat back to the states arriving in New York City. Dr. Engle was honorably discharged from the army around August 2, 1953.
Dr. Engle went to UK to pursue a M.B.A., receiving his degree in August 1954. The couple had their first child, Mary Susan Engle on April 16, 1954, at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington. The couple moved to Lexington where Dr. Engle worked in the credit department for General Electric from 1955-57. He was transferred to London, Kentucky, and it was there that the couple had their second child, Allen Douglas Engle, born at the Marymount Hospital on August 7, 1956. Engle was transferred back to Lexington and then took a job teaching at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he taught management for two years, starting in the fall of 1957. The couple had their third child, Fredrick Bruce Engle on June 20, 1958, in Richmond at Pattie A. Clay Hospital.
Dr. Engle then returned to Eastern in September 1959, where he taught commerce, economics, and business law until his retirement in 1998. He received his Ed.D. in higher education foundations from UK in May of 1966. His dissertation was entitled, “The Superintendents and the Issues.” He taught alongside his father from 1959-1963 when his father retired and alongside his youngest son, Dr. F. Bruce Engle from 1984-1989, and alongside his eldest son, Dr. Allen D. Engle from 1989 to 1998. The Engle family lived at 104 Bristol Dr. from 1959-1970, then moved to the county off Goggins Lane in 1970, where Dr. and Mrs. Engle have lived ever since.
Dr. Engle’s daughter, Susan, married James Christopher McCool on July 10, 1976. They had the first Engle grandchild, Laurie Susan McCool on April 29, 1980, and shortly afterward, Eric Christopher McCool was born on November 5, 1981. Laurie married Phillip David Henderson October 15, 2005. Dr. Engle’s first great-grandchild, Callie Jane Henderson was born to the couple on May 10, 2009. The couple had their second child Scarlet Kate Henderson January 20, 2011. After divorcing, Susan was remarried to Stephen David Spoon on August 13, 2011.
Both Dr. Fred A Engle, Jr.’s sons became Dr. Engles, following in the footsteps of their father and grandfather. Dr. Allen Engle became a management professor, specializing in human resources and began teaching at Eastern in the fall of 1989 after teaching at Union College. He married Elizabeth Ann Hoffman on December 22, 1984. They have three children, Kathryn Susan Elizabeth Engle, born September 26, 1989, Caroline Elaine Mary Engle, born November 28, 1993, and Allen Douglas Engle, Jr. (Bud), born September 25, 1998. Dr. Bruce Engle became an English professor and taught at EKU from 1984-1989 and then began teaching at Morehead State University in 1998.
Throughout his lifetime, Dr. Engle has been very active in the Richmond community. He has attended First Baptist Church since he was a child. He joined the congregation in 1938 and has taught Sunday school and has sung in the choir. He served as a deacon in from 1960-1980. He has been a member of the #25 Masonic Lodge in Richmond for 60 years and also was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was a chairman on the city-county library board in the 1960s. He has been involved with the Madison County Historical Society in various ways over the years and has been a member of the Arlington Country Club.
Dr. Engle has many interests. He is an avid reader who likes many genres including mystery, especially from the 1920s and 1930s, history, travel writing, and adventure fiction. He also is a fan of Stoddard’s Lectures from the early 1900s. As a longtime Republican, he has been interested in politics through the years. He was the faculty sponsor of the College Republicans at Eastern for over 20 years.
Dr. Engle is a big sports fan, especially taking interest in professional baseball and college basketball. He ran a local baseball league, called the Tobacco League from 1949-1951, after running a county tournament in 1948. Dr. Engle began his career writing for the Richmond Daily Register around 1944, 67 years ago, when he started writing up Madison High games including county tournaments and district tournaments on a manual Underwood typewriter. Dr. Engle has also written articles about economics and religion for the Richmond Register. He wrote a history of Central University entitled “Central University of Richmond,” which was published by the Kentucky Historical Society in their magazine, the Register (#66 July 1968 pgs. 279-305). Dr. Engle also authored the entries for “Richmond” and “Central University” for the Kentucky Encyclopedia. He has delivered various talks and taught lessons on county history with Dr. Robert N. Grise. Dr. Engle has also written articles for the Madison County Historical Society newsletter, Heritage Highlights.
Dr. Engle has also enjoyed traveling throughout his life. His parents took him to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1934. At the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City, he saw one of the first television sets. In 1951 he and his family went on a trip out to the west coast. In 1966 he returned to Scotland with his wife and they have regularly made trips to Britain. The Engle family has also regularly made trips to California and Canada, where Mary’s two sisters settled after also marrying servicemen. In 1975, Dr. Engle went back to Germany for the first time returning to Wertheim and Murnau.