(Dec. 23, 1883-Nov. 8, 1947). Born in Madisonville, Kentucky, Diggs received a one-room school education in Louisville, where he helped to teach the younger children. He graduated from Indiana State Normal School in 1908 and later attended Howard University. He returned to Indiana in 1911 to earn a B.A. and later an M.A. in education at Indiana University (IU). While at IU, he helped to found the Kappa Alpha Psi national fraternity.

Diggs began his career as a principal and teacher for “colored schools” in Bloomington and Vincennes in order to pay for college. He first came to Indianapolis in 1916 to fill a vacant principal’s position at School No. 64 in Norwood, followed by a year at Public School 63 in Haughville in the Indianapolis Public Schools.

After overseas service as an army officer in the 368th Infantry Regiment in World War I, Diggs returned to Indianapolis in 1919 to continue his career. He went back to the Haughville school as principal and was soon promoted to the larger Public School 42 in 1922. He saw this school grow from a four-room portable building and several outbuildings into a modern brick structure. After his death in 1947, School 42 was named in his honor.

Revised July 2021

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.