Charles C. LaRue                 Inducted 1983 - Principal

Charles C. LaRue was an educator for 43 years, the last 21 as the beloved principal of Woodward High School.


Mr. LaRue was born on a farm in Logan County, Ohio. After graduation from high school, he stoked furnace in a tile factory for ayear to earn enough money to start college. While attending Ohio Northern University, he taught two years in one-room rural schools to help finance his education.

After receiving his bachelor of science degree from ONU in 1909, he was named superintendent of schools in Ridgeway, Ohio. He entered the Toledo public school system in 1913 as an English and history instructor at the former Woodward Manual Training School, later called Woodward Technical High School. In 1923 he was transferred to the newly-opened Libbey High School, where he was dean of boys.

In 1929 he was named principal of Woodward High School, which had opened just one year earlier. For the next 21 years, through the trying times of the Great Depression and the disruptive years of World War II, he served not only as principal of Woodward but as a friend to all its students.


He was an avid sports fan, and it was at his suggestion that the nickname Polar Bears was adopted for the Woodward athletic teams. In this, he borrowed the nickname of his Alma mater, Ohio Northern University, for the athletic teams of the new high school in North Toledo.


When he retired from Woodward in 1950, Mr. LaRue received an armchair, reading lamp, ashtray, cigars, and a book signed by 1,300 former students. He left Toledo to become an apple farmer near Green Springs, Ohio, but sold his orchard in 1956 and returned to Toledo. He died, at the age of 91, in July, 1976. He was survived by his wife, the former Dorothy Warner, a Woodward teacher, and a daughter, Isabelle LaRue Shanteau, a Woodward graduate.


Besides his degree from Ohio Northern, Mr. LaRue earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toledo in 1916 and a master of arts degree from Columbia University in 1932. He also attended the University of Chicago.


He was an honorary life member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Toledo, of which he had been a president.

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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