Indiana University South Bend Archives
1700 Mishawaka Avenue P.O. Box 7111
South Bend, Indiana 46634
Phone: (574) 520 – 4392
Creator: Civil Rights Heritage Center
Title: Jesse Dickinson Collection of the Civil Rights Heritage Center
Extent: One (1) bankers box at 1.25 cubic feet, one (1) flat case at 1.20 cubic feet.
Jessie Dickinson (1906-1982) was born in Chandler, Lincoln County, Oklahoma. In 1924 Dickinson married Helen Bledsoe. They had four sons, twins Coleridge Taylor and Roland Hayes, Valjean, and Carroll. In 1928 Jesse Dickinson moved his family to South Bend, Indiana where he worked with the Hering House (African American Recreational Center located at 745 Western Avenue in South Bend). There he supervised youth programs and helped organize and later served as a supervisor of the Saint Joseph County recreation program. Jessie Dickinson went on to serve six terms in the Indiana House of Representatives (1943, 1945, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1957) and two terms in the Indiana Senate (1959, 1961). Jesse Dickinson also served as Executive Director of the South Bend Housing Authority (1958 to1972) where he was responsible for low income and senior housing development. Jesse Dickinson was instrumental in the opening of race relations in South Bend, and an integral part in the desegregation of the Natatorium (a segregated swimming pool in South Bend). Jesse L. Dickinson died on 5 June 1982.
“Content references the Indiana Historical Society’s Jesse L. Dickinson Collection, 1911 – 1986 (http://www.indianahistory.org/our-collections/collection-guides/jesse-l-dickinson-collection-1911-1986.pdf).”
Scope and Content Note:
Material is arranged in chronological order, excepting two scrapbooks too large to fit in a standard bankers box. These two are located in a flat box stored in Archives Room #204A – in the lower shelving unit at the east end of the room. The collection material spans from circa 1941 to 1982. Further, the collection documents several South Bend-specific betterment organizations, including – but not exclusive to: South Bend Housing Authority, United States Congressional Record (92nd Congress, October 14, 1972), The Chapin Street Project, the South Bend and St. Joseph County Urban League.