Claude S. Larzelere was born on January 20, 1866, in Delaware County, Iowa. His family later lived in Quincy, Michigan, where he graduated from high school. Larzelere graduated from the State Normal School in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1889. He was superintendent of schools in Lowell, Michigan, for four years following his graduation. In 1895, Larzelere earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan. He then became superintendent of schools in Jefferson, Ohio, a position in which he served for four years.
In 1900, Larzelere earned a M.A. from Harvard. He came to the Central State Normal College, later Central Michigan University (CMU), in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, to teach history the same year. Professor Larzelere taught at CMU until he retired in June 1939. During his academic career, Professor Larzelere wrote and was noted for his books on Michigan history and Michigan government. Two of his textbooks were used by the Michigan public school system, “The Government of Michigan and “The Story of Michigan.” Copies of both of these books are available in the Clarke Historical Library.
He was also active in Mount Pleasant civic affairs, serving on the board of education, city council, city charter commission, and the chamber of commerce. He was a member of the local rotary club and director of the local Exchange Savings Bank.
In 1891, Professor Larzelere married Lorena Barber (January 18, 1864-August 28, 1941). She was from Algansee Township in Branch County, Michigan. Together, they had two sons, Ronald D. and Keith. Professor Larzelere died on January 20, 1946, his 80th birthday. Larzelere (Residence) Hall at CMU is named in his honor. (This information is from the collection.)