Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Rudy" Thomas Rudisill - The College Years +

Born in Marytown, West Virginia in 1916, Thomas Woodrow "Rudy" Rudisill, grew up in Winchester, Adams County, Ohio, graduated from Holbrook and Cedarville colleges in Ohio and received his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin.  Here are some pictures from his college years.
Holbrook College Manchester Basketball team at the National Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri in 1939.  (L to r) Front row: Thomas "Rudy" Rudisill, Mills, Bob McNulty, Sagraves and Zimmerman.  Back row: Robert Martin, Chester "Red" Roush, Lloyd Martin, Schromberg, Games and Coach Beattie.  (Submitted by Chester Roush).  Image courtesy of Mike Whited.

Holbrook College Team in 1939, (l to r) Front row: Prof. Allen Page, Chester "Red" Roush, Jay Roney, Lou Meszaros, Danfor Dial, Bob McNulty, Lloyd Martin, Jack Emswiler, and Coach Mendell E. Beattie.  Second row: Erving Beauregard, Everett Cottle, John Bill Roush, Homer Pellegrinnon, Fred Cinereski, Estil Sagraves, Thomas "Rudy" Rudisill, and Mike Morris.  Back row: George Thomas, Barney Ewick, Charles Tomlin and Red Bolender.  (Submitted by Chester Roush).  Image courtesy of Mike Whited.

Holbrook College Manchester Basketball team at the National Intercollegiate Basketball Championship Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri in March of 1940.  (L to r)  Back row: Lloyd Martin, Mike Morris, Bob Martin, Red Bolender, John B. Roush, and Coach Beattie.  Front row: Chester "Red" Roush, Homer Pellegrinnon, Ray Garret, Rudy Rudisill and Bob McNulty.  (Submitted by Chester Roush)  Image courtesy of Mike Whited.

Rudy and Chester "Red" Roush (1917-1987), also from Winchester, were lifetime best friends.

Chester "Red" Roush 1936-1940 played four years of football at Holbrook College Manchester and never missed a single minute.  He was named in Ripleys Believe it or Not as Iron Man of Football in 1939.  His record was still standing in 1997.  (Submitted by Chester Roush).  Image courtesy of Mike Whited. [Rudy is not in this picture.]

Russell Fenwick (1901-1986) was Supt. of Schools in Winchester in 1930, and became familiar with Rudy at that time.  Mr. Rudisill joined the staff at New Vienna High School in 1947.  In addition to being coach he taught American History and Physical Education and became Principal of New Vienna School after the retirement of Mr. Fenwick and the consolidation of New Vienna into East Clinton.

On January 16, 1942, Rudy enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet.  According to Army Records his civil occupation at that time was a machinist, he was 69" tall and weighed 134 pounds.  in 1943 another enlistment record shows him joining the Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officer as a Private.  He is listed as 70" tall with a weight of 141 and his civilian occupation is listed as an engraver.

Rudisill hired as New Vienna Coach - 1947
Clipping from The Press-Gazette, Hillsboro, Ohio - Tuesday, September 16, 1947

Transcription: Employ New Coach -- Woodrow Rudisill of Winchester, a former Winchester high school and Holbrook college star athlete, has been employed as a coach at the New Vienna High School in Clinton County.

After his discharge from the U.S. Army Air Forces he completed his college education at Cedarville College and has been employed in Dayton since.

Holbrook College has an interesting history having opened as Southwestern Sate Normal College in Lebanon, Ohio in 1855.  In 1870 the name was changed to National Normal University.  Alfred Holbrook was the first president, resigning in 1897 after 42 years.  In 1907 the name was changed to Lebanon University, closing in 1917 and merging with Wilmington College.  In 1933 it reopened as Alfred Holbrook College, moving to Manchester, Ohio in 1934 where it closed in 1941.  The Warren County (Ohio) Historical Society in Lebanon holds the school records.


  1. From Ralph Milburn: Thank you so much for this memory. I loved Mr. Rudisill very much. He was was my young years hero. He and I had many short conversations while I rode his bus when I worked and lived with Bob and Becky Johnson. I am proud of the relationship that I had with Mr. Rudisill. He is still one of my very best heros.

  2. From Carolyn: "I loved reading about Mr. Rudisill, although truth be told, there were a few times when I was a little scared of him! Also enjoyed Barbara's comments about being grateful that she grew up where and how she did.....as we've discussed several times, she's not the only one who feels that way."

    Lots of us were a bit (or a lot) scared of Mr. Rudisill.

  3. May I use the image of the 1939 football team in a non-commercial website. I am a retired college English teacher, working on website about closed colleges to publish my research. One of those schools was Alfred Holbrook College. The football image would enhance the website a great deal.
    Thanks for your consideration.

  4. Paul, these pictures were publicly shared so I don't see any problem with you sharing them further. Good luck with your researxh.