From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)
Decker, Charles Edward
(born: 1911 - died: 1962) Charles E. Decker, a Republican, was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1946 and finished his term in 1948. He was unsuccessful in his bid for re-election. Decker was the only African American from Evansville [Vanderburgh County] to be elected to the Indiana Legislature. Decker also served as president of the Vanderburgh County Congress of Industrial Organizations (C.I.O.). He was the first Negro arbitrator for an Indiana labor dispute [source: p.64 in The History of Evansville Blacks by D. W. Sprinkles]. Decker was a member of the International Harvester Local 1106 in Evansville in 1952, and was one of the leaders to head the Indiana Republican party campaign for votes. Beginning in 1953, Decker was appointed director of Fair Employment Practices Commission. He is mentioned on several occasions in the organization's newsletter and he is also listed in the Roster of State and Local Officials of the State of Indiana. Charles E. Decker was born in Hopkinsville, KY, and was the son of Edward and Inez [Caldwell] Decker according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family of four lived on William Street in Evansville, IN. In 1930, Charles E. Decker was a waiter at a hotel in West Baden, IN, and in 1940, he was a waiter at a hotel in Evansville, IN [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He was the husband of Eloise Decker. Charles Edward Decker died October 11, 1962 and is buried in the Evansville Oak Hill Cemetery. For more see Charles E. Decker on p.13 in the online publication "Hoosier History: This Far By Faith: Black Hoosier Heritage: Early Rural Communities," a Indiana Humanities Council website [.pdf]; "Indiana County elects first state assemblyman," The Afro-American, 11/24/1946, p.27; "GOP names labor leaders in drive for workers' vote," Indianapolis Recorder, 08/30/1952, p.1; and the Indiana Medical Certificate of Death, State No. '62 - 036947.