In 1905 my grandfather, Amos Townsend Claycomb, was accepted for entry at the University of Illinois, Urbana. For this he received a certificate – with a gold seal! Just for being accepted. I think it’s nicer than my degree certificate.
These are photos of the United States School of Military Aeronautics, Champaign, Illinois, May 1918.
Our family representative is one of our Oaklands (third row, far right) – Milo Oakland, I think. I hope someone can find their family member here – they are all named!
This is the squadron photo.
These are the officers and instructors.
This is a fine little folder of the grades received by Amos Claycomb at the University of Illinois. He graduated in 1909. Please note this should be left on file in the Registrar’s office when not in use by the student. A duplicate will cost fifteen cents.
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.
The best part for a family historian are the cards slipped inside the cover. One has the patronesses of the fraternity.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, June 2, 1909
Studied this p.m. and tonight. Attended short meeting of a bowling committee at the Phi Gam house right after supper.
Thursday, June 3, 1909
Went out to country club with Alice Riley for dinner and staid for the dance. Louise sailed from New York for Europe today.
Saturday, June 5, 1909
Took final exams in “History of Philosphy” and “The Money Market” this a.m. Took final exam in Accountancy this p.m. “Unc” Harding gave the Senior Class a theater party at the “Walker” tonight and afterwards we ate lunch at McCormick’s.
Sunday, June 6, 1909
Attended dinner given to the Senior class by Mr. and Mrs. Swigart at their home this noon. Studied all this afternoon and tonight.
Monday, June 7, 1909
Took final exam in “Education 2” this a.m. Called on Alice R. tonight and we went to the Walker.
Tuesday, June 8, 1909
Studied off and on today and tonight.
Wednesday, June 9, 1909
Took final in “Economics 11” today. Went down town this p.m. and then to the Walker with Billy May. Played cards for a while tonight.
Thursday, June 10, 1909
Nothing special doing today.
Friday, June 11, 1909
Spent part of the a.m. in packing up. Played billiards this p.m. with Herbie Juul.
Saturday, June 12, 1909
Came into Chi- this a.m. with Helen Jordan. Ate dinner with Uncle Will Tapper at the “Hamilton Club.” Saw matinee at the “Troc” this p.m. and saw “The Sins of Society” at McVicketts after supper.
Sunday, June 13, 1909
Went out to Lincoln Park this a.m. for a couple of hours. Saw Chicago win from Boston in a rotten game 9 – 7 this p.m. at the West Side Park. Saw Mabel Barnson in the “Blue Mouse” after supper.
Monday, June 14, 1909
Got back in Champaign early this a.m. and went to the “Class Day” exercises at 10 a.m. Ten of the fellows are having a house-party at the house but I have not a girl. Took Alice R. down to a bank concert on the campus this p.m. Took Mrs. Swigart to watch the “Senior Ball” for a while tonight.
Tuesday, June 15, 1909
House-party bunch kept me up all of last night and so I slept a little this a.m. Went out driving with Alice R., Goat Reynolds, Buzz Ward, Beardsley and Miss Moffatt this p.m. Father and Uncle Will came down tonight.
Wednesday, June 16, 1909
Attended the “Commencement Address” and received my degree of “Bachelor of Arts” and my diploma this morning. Took father and Uncle Will out driving this p.m. and showed them the town. We all started home at 6:10 and father and I reach Syc- about one o’clock.
Thursday, June 17, 1909
Slept most of the morning and went up town this p.m. Attended “Commencement Address” for the High School this evening when father distributed the diplomas.
Friday, June 18, 1909
Pulled mustard out of the oats all day. Attended stated meeting of the Blue Lodge tonight. After this I went up to an Alumni dance for a while.
Saturday, June 19, 1909
Drove over to the Wickstrom farm with father this a.m. Planted pumpkin seed all the p.m. Attended dance given by the Park’s family tonight.
Sunday, June 20, 1909
Went to church this a.m. with father. Also with him over to DeKalb this p.m. to see a ball game between Sterling & DeKalb which broke up in a row when Sterling left the field because of some rotten umpiring in favor of DeKalb. Staid home tonight.
Monday, June 21, 1909
Attended Commandery meeting tonight.
Wednesday, June 23, 1909
Reached Valeria at six this a.m. and drove out to the farm which is eight miles away. Drove over the farm – 1100 acres – this forenoon, ate dinner there, walked around this p.m. and drove back to town about three. Took train to Marshalltown and ate supper there and then took a sleeper home on the Great Western.
Thursday, June 24, 1909
Got home about ten a.m. Hoed corn this p.m. Went up town tonight.
Friday, June 25, 1909
Hoed corn all the forenoon. Went up town this p.m. Staid home tonight.
Saturday, June 26, 1909
Hoed corn this morning and plowed this p.m.
Sunday, June 27, 1909
Went over to DeKalb with George this p.m. and saw DeKalb beat the White Rocks of Chicago 4 – 1.
Monday, June 28, 1909
Plowed corn all day. Played cards up at the Commercial Club for a while tonight.
Tuesday, June 29, 1909
Drove over to Maple Park in Rob Graham’s machine to look at some horses with father and Rompf. Went over to DeKalb to a band concert after supper with Maynard and Murphy.
Wednesday, June 30, 1909
Came into Chicago this a.m. Saw “The Candy Shop” at the “Studebaker” this p.m. and took Alice R. to see “The Blue Mouse” at the “Ganick” tonight. Ate a lunch at Rector’s after the show.
Sunday, May 2, 1909
Walked over to Urbana this a.m. and had my picture taken. Called at Swiggarts’ this p.m.
Monday, May 3, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight. Initiated Earl Rathburn. Called on Gert Humphrey at the Theta house this p.m.
Tuesday, May 4, 1909
Played ball for a while this afternoon. Called on Helen J. tonight and went to the “Walker” with Hardman and Marion M.
Wednesday, May 5, 1909
Have studied all day and tonight.
Friday, May 7, 1909
Played in match game against the Sigma Nu team this p.m. Was in center and got no chances there. In two times up I fanned once and then went out short to first. They beat us 12 – 3 in five innings. Wrote long essay on “Standard Oil Company” tonight.
Saturday, May 8, 1909
Started to rain about noon and has [not] quit yet. Studied down in the library this p.m. Played cards with Pope over at Lindgren’s tonight.
Sunday, May 9, 1909
Called at Mrs. Busey’s for a short time this p.m. with Alashire and Conrad. Then went over to A. Riley’s and staid there for supper and tonight.
Monday, May 10, 1909
Called on Gert Humphrey for a few minutes at the Theta house this a.m. Fraternity meeting tonight.
Tuesday, May 11, 1909
Attended dinner given to the Seniors of the Fraternity at the University Club by Mr. and Mrs. Rutt tonight. Then went to their home and played cards for a while.
Wednesday, May 12, 1909
Saw Chicago win from the varsity this p.m. by score of 3 – 1 in a poorly played game.
Thursday, May 13, 1909
Played ball for a while this p.m. Called on Helen J. tonight.
Friday, May 14, 1909
Senior – Junior party tonight.
Saturday, May 15, 1909
Played center in match game with the Kappa Sigs this p.m. which we won by a score of 6 – 3. In four times up I fanned, got a walk & scored, fanned and hit a fly to first. Took Helen J. to a fraternity dance at the Elks’ Aud. tonight.
Sunday, May 16, 1909
Called at Riley’s and Swigarts’ this p.m. Ate lunch at the latter place.
Monday, May 17, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight. Afterwards got Ida M. from Theta house and went to see the “Walker.”
Tuesday, May 18, 1909
Played in game between the 2nd and 3rd floors of the house this p.m. The third beat us by score of 20 – 12.
Wednesday, May 19, 1909
Watched the Hazelton and competitive drill for a while this p.m. Played a couple of games with Wolk McKee after supper.
Thursday, May 20, 1909
Attended the May Pole exercises tonight which were given on Illinois Field by some of the girls.
Friday, May 21, 1901
Took Helen J. to see track meet between Wisconsin and Illinois which we won by a score of to . Afterwards saw a ballgame between Chicago and the varsity which we won by a score of 7 – 2. Many high school kids and visitors are arriving today. Up town with Frank Hardman tonight.
Saturday, May 22, 1909
Watched the Interscholastic track meet this a.m. which University High of Chicago won. Saw the varsity win from Minnesota this p.m. by a score of 15 – 0. Circus tonight. After this a short meeting with the Northwestern Phi Delts. Paul Taylor down from there.
Sunday, May 23, 1909
Took Taylor over to call at Swigarts’ and Riley’s this p.m. Staid home tonight.
Monday, May 24, 1909
Nothing doing. Fraternity meeting tonight.
Tuesday, May 25, 1909
Took Helen J. to “Trolley Day” dance up at Illinois Hall tonight.
Thursday, May 27, 1909
Senior reception given by the faculty of the L. & A. School in the “Women’s Building” this p.m. Went with Billy May. Took Helen J. out to the Country Club for dinner and danced for a while afterwards.
Friday, May 28, 1909
Played ball for a short time this p.m. Went to the Walker after supper with Bubbles.
Saturday, May 29, 1909
Saw the varsity beat Purdue in a very good game this p.m by a score of 5 – 0. Went up town with Bubbles with a suit-case after supper.
Sunday, May 30, 1909
Ate dinner down at the Beardsley Hotel this noon where Mr. and Mrs. Lindgren gave a dinner to the Seniors. Called at Mrs. Swigarts’ after dinner.
Monday, May 31, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight. Called at Theta house afterwards for Alice R. and then went to the Walker.
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.
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.
Friday, 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, February 2, 1909
Staid around the house most all day and studied.
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.
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.
Friday, 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
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
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.
The 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.
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.
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.