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Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (1879)/Delta Tau Delta

< Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (1879)

This fraternity was founded January 1, 1859, at Bethany College, West Virginia; by H. H. Alfred, A. C. Earle, J. C. Johnson, and Eugene Tan. The number of founders given in the fraternity’s catalogue is much greater, but the other gentlemen were scarcely more than intimate associates of those mentioned above.

At that time Bethany College bid fair to be one of the foremost in the country; the educational institution of a rising religions denomination, under the direct control of its founder, it seemed prosperous and flourishing. The civil war all but destroyed its prospects, and closed its doors for a long period.

The fraternity did not long confine itself to Bethany College, and now has a chapter roll as follows:

  1. Alpha, Alleghany College; 1863.
  2. Beta, Ohio University, 1862.
  3. Gamma, West Liberty College, 1861 (died 1862).
  4. Gamma, Washington and Jefferson College, 1861.
  5. Delta, Morgantown Academy, 1861 (died 1862).
  6. Delta, Michigan University, 1875 (died 1877).
  7. Epsilon, Albion College, 1876.
  8. Zeta, Monmouth College, 1865 (died 1870).
  9. Eta, Buchtel College, 1873.
  10. Theta, Bethany College, 1859.
  11. Iota, — —,1865 (died 1867).
  12. Iota, Michigan Agricultural College, 1872.
  13. Kappa, — —, 1865 (died 1867).
  14. Kappa, Hillsdale College, 1867.
  15. Lambda, Lombard University, 1867.
  16. Mu, Waynesburg College, 1861 (died 1862).
  17. Mu, — —, 1871 (died 1875).
  18. Mu, Ohio Wesleyan University, 1866.
  19. Nu, Indiana University, 1870 (died 1875).
  20. Nu, Lafayette College, 1874.
  21. Xi, Simpson Centenary College, 1873.
  22. Omicron, Asbury University, 1871.
  23. Pi, Lehigh University, 1874.
  24. Rho, Stevens Institute, 1874.
  25. Sigma, Mount Union College, 1874.
  26. Tau, Franklin and Marsha11 College, 1874.
  27. Upsilon, Illinois Industrial Institute, 1871 (died 1879).
  28. Phi, Hanover College, 1872.
  29. Chi, Iowa Wesleyan University, 1875.
  30. Psi, Wabash College, 1872.
  31. Omega, Iowa Agricultural College, 1875.
  32. Alpha Beta, Abingdon College, 1875 (died 1876).
  33. Gamma Beta, Indiana Normal School, 1875 (died 1876).
  34. Epsilon Beta, Illinois Wesleyan University, 1878.
  35. Zeta Beta, Butler University, 1875.
  36. Eta Beta, Western University, 1874.
  37. Iota Beta, Adrian College, 1878.
  38. Delta Upsilon, U. of Delaware, 1948 (died 1994)

Before giving any account of the chapters in detail, it will be well to give a short statement of the fraternity’s mode of government. The Alpha Chapter is the executive department, and has control of the general correspondence, finances, catalogue printing, and the establishment and withdrawal of chapters. At the general conventions of the fraternity, however, the policy of the organization is determined and changes made which do not come within the scope of the “Alpha” administration. For convenience the fraternity is divided into geographical divisions, as follows:

DIVISION I.—Grand chapter, TAU; subordinate chapters, Gamma, Nu, Pi, Rho, and Eta Beta.

DIVISION II.—Grand chapter, THETA; subordinate chapters, Beta, Eta, Sigma, and Mu.

DIVISION III.—Grand chapter, PHI; subordinate chapters, Epsilon, Iota, Kappa, Omicron, Psi, and Zeta Beta.

DIVISION IV.—Grand chapter, LAMBDA; subordinate chapters, Xi, Chi, Omega, and Epsilon Beta.

The grand chapters exercise a certain amount of authority over the chapters in their division, and the Alpha Chapter is above them all. The founding chapter at Bethany was termed the Alpha, and retained its title and powers until 1863, when both were transferred to a chapter which had been established at Canonsburg, Pa., in 1861. Shortly after, in 1866, the seat of authority was transferred to the Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio, and there it remained unti 1874, when the chapter ceased to exist. One cannot characterize in too strong terms the way in which this chapter was dissolved. Certain of the members united together, sold out the property of the fraternity in their possession, appropriated the proceeds, and a number of them joined another fraternity. Such an act has never happened before or since in the annals of the college fraternities; desertions have heen common enough, but have never, except in this case, been accompanied by embezzlement and theft. Delta Tau Delta was well rid of such members. At the next convention the authority of the governing chapter was transferred to Meadville, Pa., where it now rests. The chapter was re-established as Mu, in 1879.

The Gamma, Delta, Theta, and Mu Chapters were rendered inoperative by the Rebellion; the Theta only was revived. The present Gamma Chapter was formed by uniting the two chapters at the separate colleges. The Delta has died and been re-established several times, and is about to be again instituted. The Zeta Chapter was killed by anti-fraternity laws. The Iota and Kappa Chapters had their charters withdrawn after a brief existence. The second chapter, named Mu, was a flourishing one, but the institution was of no standing, and has ceased to exist. The Nu Chapter, in Indiana, died for want of encouragement, and during the lax administration of the old Alpha. The Sigma Chapter is sub rosa, on account of the hostility of the faculty. The Gamma Beta and Delta Beta Chapters were illegally instituted, and their charters were withdrawn. Owing to a lack of care, chapters have been established at several places without the sanction of the fraternity, such as at Franklin College, Ohio, Franklin College, Ind., Missouri State University, Iowa State University, Oskaloosa College, Iowa, University of Virginia., Kentucky University, and Westminster, College, Pa. Also one at Andover Institute, which was speedily suppressed. All these chapters are now non-existent. The living chapters are nearly all in a good condition; the Theta owns a hall of her own, as does the Eta. The Iota and Alpha Chapters are especially prosperous. A spirit of conservatism has of late been developed in the fraternity, and probably changes for the better will be made before long.

The publications of the “Deltas” as they are generally called, are the catalogue, which has been issued four times, several songs, a grand march, and the “Crescent,” this latter being a monthly journal of sixteen pages, filled with matter of interest to the members.

The most prominent names on Delta Tau Delta’s roll are Hon. Ed. D. Graff, ex-M.C. from Pennsylvania; Hon. John B. Glass, of Iowa; Wm. W. Gist, President of Willoughby College; Hon. J. R. Buchtel, of Ohio; Rev. S. H. McCollester, ex-President of Buchtel College; Professors Butler, of Hillsdale, Grow, of Ohio Wesleyan, and Hooper, of Shaw University; Will Carleton, author of “Farm Ballads”; Gen. Thos. M. Browne, M.C. from Indiana; and Hon. Godlove S. Orth, of Lafayette, Ind.; Rev. R. G. Baird, of Iowa; William K. Brown and Lawrence P. Lore of Delaware and New Jersey, respectively; Brig.-Gen. Thompson, C.S.A., and others. The total number of members is about 1850. The badge is a nearly square slab, with concave sides, displaying the gold letters “ΔΤΔ” on black enamel; above is an eye, below a crescent, and a star in each corner. A six-pointed star, bearing the same symbols, with the addition of the clasped hands and anchor, is also worn. The colors are royal purple and silver gray.