About Dale Glenn

Dale Glenn was born in Knox County, Indiana, where his family roots go back to the 1880’s, and where this novel takes place. The son of educators, he grew up in a number of small Indiana towns much like Purcell Station. A graduate of Indiana University, he began his career as an English teacher at Speedway High School in Indianapolis. Later he became assistant principal and basketball coach at Huntingburg High School in southern Indiana. Since then he has lived in Bloomington where he has served as the principal at both University Middle School and Batchelor Middle School, and as an adjunct professor at Indiana University. He remains in Bloomington with his wife Teresa, a former teacher, and among their five children. He divides his time between there and his family farm near Vincennes. Although his writing credits include a number of nonfiction publications, this is his first novel.

The title of this book is taken from a bit of family history. The original Purcell Station was a small whistle stop on the L & N Railroad south of Vincennes, Indiana. It is now extinct, having lost its grade school, train station, general store, and two houses decades ago. It was where Glenn’s father started his teaching career in the l930’s. Glenn borrowed the name for the setting of Purcell Station, the book.

Glenn’s paternal grandfather migrated to Knox County in l889 with two teams of oxen pulling a wagon with all his family possessions. He traded one team for eighty acres of bottom land, the start of the farm that is still in the family. After attending medical school, he gave up his practice to become headmaster of a two room schoolhouse. Four generations later over twenty-five Glenn family educators have spawned from his humble beginning. Glenn’s father’s career lasted over forty years as a principal, superintendent, and director of finance in the Indiana Department of Education.

Glenn’s mother is of English, German, and Native American descent, as a great-great-grandfather married a woman of the Powhatan Tribe. Her parents settled in Decker, a setting that should be familiar to readers of Purcell Station. They barely survived the Depression with their five children and then World War 2 as their sons went off to fight overseas. Glenn’s mother, the first of her family to attend college, went on to a long career as a teacher and counselor.

It is often said that who we become is determined, in part, by the roads we have traveled. In that case, the citizens of Arcadia, Mt. Comfort, Somerset, Butler, Charlottesville, Oaktown, Huntingburg, Speedway, and Decker, all places in Indiana the author has lived, can claim a role in the evolution of Purcell Station.