Phi Delta Theta 1908 University of Illinois

frat names coll In a huge box of family things given to me by my brother was a hand-tooled leather holder for a dance card.  It belonged our grandfather, Amos Claycomb, with his initial on the back.  He’s written in pencil who his dance partner was and their sorority.

The dance is the 14th Annual Dance Illinois ETA of Phi Delta Theta, held February 14, 1908 at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

dance title

The best part for a family historian are the cards slipped inside the cover.  One has the patronesses of the fraternity.

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Mrs. St. T. Busey, Mrs. R. R. Mattis, Mrs. E. S. Swigart, Mrs. E. N. Raynor, Mrs. G. W. Gere, Mrs. J. L. Polk, and Mrs. B. F. Harris

And one has the frat members for 1908.

frat members 1908a

 

Active Chapter:  Charles Samuel Pope, Elmer Otis Furrow, Mark Edmund Nebeker, Charles Bowen Busey, William Harrison Burch, George Davis Beardsley, Amos Townsend Claycomb, William Wyman May, Ray Carlisle Sparks, Eugene Samuel Cunningham, Ernest Thompson Ingold, Samuel Monroe Brown, George Bonny Matthews, Lewis Vinton Manspeaker, Herman Mohr, Roy Spencer Kimball, Walter John Hughes, Alva Brace Meek, Sidney M. Morris, Carl Page Watson, William Carl Watson, Ernest Swanson, Wellington Birther Huffaker, George Snider Ward, Alva William Dazey, Arthur Henry Harms, Lyman S. Weeks, Clyde Lynn Way, Merlin Clay Aleshire, Charles Emmet Trees, Henry Pratt Lyman, James Greenleaf Alexander, and William Agar Benitz.

dance swigart

 

I wonder if the case was used often with different inserts for each dance.  Actually, I didn’t know men had dance cards.  I thought it was just women.  So much to learn.

 

dance

Amos Claycomb’s March 1909 Diary

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Monday, March 1, 1909
Fine day.  Went up town this p.m. and bought some stuff for the house.  Fraternity meeting tonight.  Went to the “Walker” afterwards with May Beardsley, Bill McKelvey, Kimbell & Green.

1909 jan may introTuesday, March 2, 1909
Bowled in fraternity game against the Kappa Sigs tonight.  We bowled the highest score ever bowled by a Phi Delt team.

Wednesday, March 3, 1909
School till noon.   Slept most of the p.m. and studied tonight.

Thursday, March 4, 1909
Went down to the “Walker” tonight with Beardsley to see the vaudeville.

billy mayFriday, March 5, 1909
Played billiards most of the afternoon with Cavanaugh.  Went to indoor track meet tonight between the varsity and Chicago which the former won by a score of 50 – 36.  Last appearance of Billy May and he easily won the 35 yard dash.

Saturday, March 6, 1909
Bowled this afternoon in a series between the Seniors and Freshmen in the fraternity which the former won.  I  had high score 196 and high average 164.

Sunday, March 7, 1909
Called at Swigart’s this p.m.

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Monday, March 8, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight.  Went to the “Walker” afterwards with some of the fellows.

Tuesday, March 9, 1909
Voted at the Republican primaries in Champaign this afternoon for Ed Swigart for mayor, but he lost.  Bowled in match game with Beta Theta Pi tonight.  They won by score of 2464 – 2403.  172 – 129 – 180.  See March 7.

Wednesday, March 10, 1909
Went over to Urbana this p.m. to get some photographs.  Ate supper at the Acacia house tonight with Clyde May.

Thursday, March 11, 1909
Watched the freshmen go thru the R.P.A. initiation tonight.

Friday, March 12, 1909
Bowled for a while this p.m.

Saturday, March 13, 1909
Bowled this a.m. with Beardsley, McKelvey & Clemmons.  Played ball for a couple of hours right after dinner.   Saw three basketball games tonight – Seniors vs Juniors which the latter won; Illini freshmen vs Chicago which latter won and baseball vs football men which former won.

Sunday, March 14, 1909
Called at Riley’s and Swigart’s this p.m. and on Helen M. tonight.

Monday, March 15, 1909
Attended alumni banquet tonight which was given in the chapter house tonight for all the Phi Delts in town.  Played billiards with Jimmy Cook this a.m. and after the banquet.

Tuesday, March 16, 1909
Bowled in the match game against the Dekes tonight.  After the bowling game I went over to Lindgren’s with a few of the fellows and played cards.

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Wednesday, March 17, 1909
Voted for officers of the new “Student Union” this a.m.  Slept most of the p.m.

Thursday, March 18, 1909
Nothing doing.

Friday, March 19, 1909
Played billiards with Jimmy Cook this p.m. Went to the “Walker” tonight with some of the fellows.

Saturday, March 20, 1909
Bowled for a while this a.m.   Played ball for a couple of hours after dinner and went up town and played billiards with Herbie Juul.  Saw swimming meet between the varsity and Chicago tonight.  Chicago won the swimming events but we won the polo game 2-1.

atc 032109Sunday, March 21, 1909
Called at Riley’s this p.m. and then took her over to Swigart’s where the whole fraternity was invited to lunch.

Monday, March 22, 1909
Played ball for a while this p.m.  Attended fraternity meeting for a little while tonight and then went to the Chapel to hear a lecture given by Dr. Titchener of Cornell on psychology.  Went down to the “Walker” with Carl Watson after this.

Tuesday, March 23, 1909
Slept most of the p.m. and studied tonight.

Wednesday, March 24, 1909
Went over to Swigart’s this p.m. and played cards with Ina Lapham, Alta and Mr. Swigart.  It has been raining nearly all day.

Thursday, March 25, 1909
Visited Urbana Council No. 19 tonight when the R. and S.M. degrees were conferred upon five candidates.

Record from the  Grand Lodge in Sycamore Illinois, Masonic Lodge Number 134.   After he was demitted from Sycamore in 1934, he was affiliated with the Lodge in Wayne Nebraska until his death.  He received his 50 year pin in 1957.

Record from the Grand Lodge in Sycamore Illinois, Masonic Lodge Number 134.
After he was demitted from Sycamore in 1934, he was affiliated with the Lodge in Wayne Nebraska until his death. He received his 50 year pin in 1957.

Friday, March 26, 1909
Did not go to sleep last night so got up at 4 a.m. and went down town where I staid till breakfast time.  Went to classes this a.m. and up town this p.m.  Went to an entertainment given by Dr. Bagg to the fraternity tonight at his home and then watched the “Law Dance” at the Armory with Beardsley for a while.

Saturday, March 27, 1909
Went to ballgame this p.m. between the varsity and the Milwaukee team of the Amer. Association.  Latter won by score of 19-5.

Sunday, March 28, 1909
Called at Matte’s and Riley’s this p.m. with Ward and Kimbell.  Called on Helen J. tonight.

Monday, March 29, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight.

Tuesday, March 30, 1909
Took A. Riley to see baseball game between the Varsity and Milwaukee this p.m.  Latter won 14-7.  Ate supper over at Riley’s and then came home and studied.

Wednesday, March 31, 1909
Took Helen J. to see game between the Varsity and Milwaukee this p.m. Latter won 3-0.  Called on Ida and Mary Matte’s tonight with Pope.

Amos Claycomb’s February 1909 Diary

atc 010209Monday, February 1, 1909
Took final exam in Astronomy this a.m.  Went up town for short time this p.m.   Read “The Red Mouse” tonight.

Tuesday, February 2, 1909
Staid around the house most all day and studied.

1909 jan may intro

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Wednesday, February 3, 1909
Took final exam in History 14 (Constitutional His. of the U.S.) this a.m.  Played pool with Billie McKelvey for a while after dinner and then bowled a couple of games.  Tried eating again today for the first time since last Thurs. as I have a fair case of jaundice.

Thursday, February 4, 1909
Bowled a few games with some of the fellows at the Y.M.C.A. this a.m.   Played a couple of games of billiards up town this p.m.  Went to see the vaudeville at the “Walker” tonight.

atc 060209Friday, February 5, 1909
Played billiards all afternoon with Herbie Juul.

Saturday, February 6, 1909
Played billiards all afternoon with Art Morris and Herbie Juul.  Saw freshmen track meet between Chicago & Illinois tonight with George Beardsley.  Illinois won by score of 44 1/2 24 1/2.

Sunday, February 7, 1909
Called at A. Riley’s and Alta Swigart’s this p.m.  Helen Edwards is visiting at latter place.

Monday, February 8, 1909
Started classes again today for the second semester.  Fraternity meeting tonight.

Tuesday, February 9, 1909
Nothing doing today.

Wednesday, February 10, 1909
Down town for a while this p.m.  Took Helen J. to see basketball game between the varsity and Minnesota which the former won in last 30 seconds of play by score of 21-20.

Thursday, February 11, 1909
Bowled in first match game in the interfraternity league against the Phi Kaps tonight.  We won by score of 2403 – 2218.  Clemmons averaged 189; Beardsley 155, McKelvey 151; Kimbell 149 and myself 157.  Clemmons had high score – 217.

atc 120209Friday, February 12, 1909
Took A. Riley to our annual formal party tonight which was held at Illinois Hall.  Dance lasted till 4 a.m. but I didn’t get to bed until 8 a.m.   Staid up at Riley’s until some friends of hers left on an early train.

Saturday, February 13, 1909
Slept from 8 till 11:45 this a.m.  Went to see the vaudeville at the Walker with some of the fellows this p.m.  Took A. Riley to see basketball game with Chicago & Illinois tonight which former won by score 17 – 15 in a very exciting game.  Carl Watson, one of our fellows, made 13 out of the 15 points, and made 7 free throws without a miss.

Sunday, February 14, 1909
Called on Helen Edwards at Swigarts this p.m. and staid there for lunch.

Monday, February 15, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight.  Has been snowing all day.

Tuesday, February 16, 1909
Snowed all last night and today.

Wednesday, February 17, 1909
Took Helen J. to see basketball game between the varsity and Purdue tonight.  Varsity won by score of 24-18 in a rather uninteresting game.

Thursday, February 18, 1909
Bowled in match fraternity game against the S.A.E.’s this p.m. which we won by score of 2224 -2209.  134 – 157 -155.  Staid home tonight.

Friday, February 19, 1909
Went up to Armory and watched the dancers at the Military Ball with Pope for a short time tonight.

Saturday, February 20, 1909
Bowled for a while this a.m. and then went to an eleven o’clock class.  Bowled and played billiards all the p.m.

Sunday, February 21, 1909
Had picture taken this a.m.  Staid home all the rest of the day.

Monday, February 22, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight.  Went down to see the vaudeville at the “Walker” afterwards with Beardsley.

Tuesday, February 23, 1909
No excitement.

atc 260209Wednesday, February 24, 1909
Nothing doing.

Thursday, February 25, 1909
Bowled in match game this p.m.  Attended smoker given by Bro. DeWolf to the fraternity at his home tonight.

Friday, February 26, 1909
Everything quiet.

Saturday, February 27, 1909
Took special exam in Political Science I this a.m.  Bowled for a while this p.m. and then went up town.  Went to the “Walker” tonight with some of the fellows and then played billiards with McKee for a while.

Sunday, February 28, 1909
Went to the Baptist Church this a.m. with Beardsley.  Called on Lola M. this p.m.  Ate lunch at Riley’s.  Lorenz and Bess Judson there.

 

Amos Claycomb’s January 1909 Diary

1909 coverThe 1905 to 1908 diaries are not in the box that my father had, so we miss the early college years of Amos Claycomb and pick up in the last term of his senior year at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  He lives in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house.  He was a loyal fraternity brother and attended reunions until just before his death in 1958.

In the diary he refers to his fraternity brothers by their surnames usually.  And for the women he knew, he used first name and last initial. 

Friday, January 1, 1909
Staid around home most of the a.m.  Played billiards this p.m.  Also this evening.

Saturday, January 2, 1909
Came into Chicago this a.m. with Eleanor.  Saw Elsie James in “The Fair Co-ed” at the Studebaker with her this p.m.  Came down to Champaign tonight with Conrad.

[Eleanor, Amos’ older sister, is 24 years old at this time.  Amos, the second child of Frank and Anna Claycomb, turns 23 this month.  His younger siblings are Louise, almost 22, George, almost 20, and Edward, 17  in March.

Sunday, January 3, 1909
Ate dinner down at the Beardsley Hotel with Conrad.  Staid around the house the rest of the time and read.

Monday, January 4, 1909
Warm and rainy all day.  Started going to classes again this a.m.  Called on Gert H. at the Theta house this p.m.  Fraternity meeting tonight.

Tuesday, January 5, 1909
Classes till 3.  Walked with Alta S. and then played Herbie Juul a couple of games of billiards.  Staid home tonight.  Temperature down to zero tonight.

Wednesday, January 6, 1909
Went up town for short time this p.m.

Thursday, January 7, 1909
Played bridge with Kimbell, Pope and Milk for a couple of hours before and after supper tonight.  Thermometer still down close to zero.

Friday, January 8, 1909
Joined the Y.M.C.A. here at the University this p.m. and bowled there for a while with Beardsley, Koontz and Morris.  Played bridge for a couple of hours after supper.

Saturday, January 9, 1909
Studied at the library for a little over an hour this a.m.   Saw “The Royal Chef” at the Illinois this p.m. with Burch, Pope and Fat Hazelwood.  Took Helen J. to see a basketball game between the varsity and Indiana after supper which former won by a score of 30-2.  Attended inter-fraternity smoker at the Armory after that.

Sunday, January 10, 1909
Meeting of the schedule committee on the bowling tournament at this house this a.m.  Called at Riley’s and Swigart’s this p.m.

Monday, January 11, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight.

Tuesday, January 12, 1909
Bowling meeting at the Delta Epsilon house tonight, schedule and rules were drawn up.

Wednesday, January 13, 1909
Down town for a short time this p.m.  Took Helen J. to see “The Top of the World” at the Illinois this evening.

Thursday, January 14, 1909
Read “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine” after supper tonight.

Friday, January 15, 1909
Bowled for about three hours in the Y.M.C.A. this p.m. and then studied for a while in the Univ. library.  Went down to the Crescent to a cheap show tonight with several of the fellows.

Saturday, January 16, 1909
Studied a little this a.m.  Went down to the Walker this p.m. with Art McKelvey and saw the “Flints” do some hypnotising stunts.  Went to basketball game tonight with Billy May and saw varsity defeated Wisconsin by a score of 28-19 in the fastest game I ever saw.  Watson, a Phi Delt, plays a forward on our team.

Sunday, January 17, 1909
Called on Ida M. and Alta S. this p.m.  Studied tonight.

Monday, January 18, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight.  Went down to Walker for a vaudeville show with Beardsley afterwards.

Tuesday, January 19, 1909
Nothing doing today.  Got letter from home telling me of some land that father has bought for me down in Texas in the Panhandle.

011909

This rather brief entry signals a major shift in his life. In Texas he met the woman he later married and that led to him living in Nebraska and that led to my father’s life and our heritage.

Wednesday, January 20, 1909
Nothing doing.  It has been fine sleighing now for about ten days which is about the record here for a while.
Temp just below freezing most of the time.

Thursday, January 21, 1909
Took Helen J. to see Otis Skinner in “The Honor of the Family” at the Illinois tonight.  Very good.  Played billiards with Pom Sinnock this afternoon for a short time.

Friday, January 22, 1909
Read most of the p.m. and played hearts tonight with Bill Watson, Ward and Polk.

Saturday, January 23, 1909
Played billiards this a.m. with Art Morris.  Bowled this p.m. with several of the fellows.  Played bridge tonight with Pope against May and Beardsley.  Temp over 70°  today.

billy may formal

Fraternity brother Billy May

Sunday, January 24, 1909
Called at Swigart’s and Riley’s this p.m. with Billy May.  Thermometer still up to 60°.

Monday, January 25, 1909
Classes all day.  Fraternity meeting tonight.

Tuesday, January 26, 1909
Nothing doing.  Took last astronomy constellation quiz tonight.  Got 100.

Wednesday, January 27, 1909
Classes till noon.  Studied all the p.m. and tonight.

Thursday, January 28, 1909
Took final exams in corporation finance (Econ. 10) and in political ethics (Phil. 9) this a.m.  Studied all the p.m. and tonight.

Friday, January 29, 1909
Took final exam in Econ 12 (The Labor Problem) this a.m.  Am twentythree today.  Heavy blizzard with snow all day.

Saturday, January 30, 1909
Took final exam in Pol. Science 8 (Law of Taxation) this a.m. and in accountancy this p.m.

Sunday, January 31, 1909
Staid around the house most of the time and studied.