Dr. Jefferson D. and Louise H. Caskey

Dr. Jefferson D. and Louise H. Caskey

Dr. Jefferson Dixon Caskey was born July 31, 1922, to John Lathan Caskey and Lessie Helms Caskey. A Lancaster, South Carolina, native, Jefferson served as a member of the United States Navy during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Erskine College in 1948, before earning his Master of Science at Syracuse University in 1952. He then earned both a Master of Arts and Doctor of Education from University Houston.

From 1948 to 1952, Jefferson taught English in South Carolina. He worked as catalog librarian and assistant reference librarian at Auburn University from 1953 to 1954, before becoming associate librarian and assistant professor of library science at Shepherd College in West Virginia from 1954 to 1956. He served as head librarian and associate professor in North Carolina from 1956 to 1960. He was head librarian and assistant professor at Little Rock University from 1960 to 1963, and then head librarian and associate professor at Houston Baptist University from 1963 to 1970. After a stint at Texas Agricultural and Industrial University from 1970 to 1974, he came to WKU.

At WKU, Jefferson served as a professor of library science, librarian, and library director. He was a lifetime member of the Kentucky Library Association, National Council of Teachers of English, Phi Delta Kappa, and Kentucky Council of Teachers of English. He was also a published author and member of First Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Mary Louise H. Caskey was born April 13, 1919, to Andew and Marie Huffaker. The oldest of 12 children, Louise was raised in Wayne County. After graduation from Monticello High School, she began teaching school and attending WKU. She loved to tell the story of riding a horse to teach in the one-room schoolhouse Lockets Chapel. She graduated from WKU in 1945, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She also had a passion for library science and worked as a teacher and librarian. She taught English and was librarian at Monticello High School. Her love of books and learning inspired her to move to Nashville, where she earned a master’s degree in library science from George Peabody College. She worked as head librarian at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. It was there that she met Jefferson, who became the love of her life.

Jefferson and Louise were married in Monticello on June 14, 1957. They had two daughters, Constance and Gretchen. After raising their girls, Louise returned to library work. Louise worked for the Barren River Area Development District and the Warren County Public Library before her retirement. Like Jefferson, she was an active member of First Baptist Church. She was a member of and taught the Friendship Sunday School class. Over the years, she served on several committees, including Church History and Archives Committee. She was an active member of the Bicentennial Garden Club. One of her favorite activities was flower arranging. She found great joy in this group where she served in several leadership roles. Jefferson and Louise were married for many years until his passing on April 21, 2001, and hers on May 17, 2016.

To honor Jefferson’s memory, Louise established the Jefferson D. and Louise H. Caskey Scholarship Fund in 2004. The fund assists deserving students at WKU who are pursuing degrees in English or library media education, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and are graduates of a Kentucky or South Carolina high school. Through this fund, Jefferson and Louise’s legacies on the Hill live on in perpetuity.