Albert Sullard Barnes
Born: January 13, 1869
Died: July 17, 1935

The son of Willard C. and C.M. (Sullard) Barnes, Albert Sullard Barnes was born on 13 January 1869 in Franklin, New York. While a student at Cornell, he and others founded a law organization which became Delta Chi. Barnes also carries the dubious distinction as the man who lost the first Delta Chi badge, at a class reunion at Cornell in June 1916.

After graduating with the LL.B. degree in 1891, Barnes joined a series of successful lawfirms in Binghamton, New York. He practiced law in that city until 1931 when he retired to Franklin.

Barnes married Katherine L. Hermans of Binghamton on 30 October 1895. They had two daughters: Marjorie (Mrs. B.G. Durham of Washington, DC) and Helen (Mrs. John W. Brownfield of Binghamton).

During the controversy over general vs. law membership, Barnes sided with the general group. In an interview printed in the Quarterly in 1920, he argued that the fraternity was losing good men by maintaining the law restriction.

Barnes was one of only a few of the founders who continued to work closely with the fraternity. He, along with Sweetland, was a frequent guest of the Cornell chapter speaking at banquets and other functions. One of his best known quotations was: "Delta Chi is not a weekend or once-a-year affair but a lifelong opportunity and privilege."

In politics he was a Republican. Other organizations which Barnes joined include the Masons, the Shriners, the Scottish Rite, and the Red Men. He served on several corporate boards of directors. His hobbies included trout fishing and all outdoor activities. He was a lifelong member of the Franklin fisherman's club. A member of the Congregationalist church, he was active in the local church as well as the state convention.

Barnes died 17 July 1935 in Franklin, New York, at age 66 in the same house where he had been born. He was buried in the Floral Park cemetery, Binghamton.


Myron McKee Crandall
Born: August 27, 1867
Died: August 25, 1931

Born 27 August 1867 in East Winfield, New York, Crandall was the son of Otis N. Crandall and Flora (McKee) Crandall. As a youth, he attended the public schools of West Winfield, Cooperstown High School, and finally the Utica Free Academy. While a student at the latter, Crandall met Frank Thomas; they became close friends and remained so throughout their lives. Crandall and Thomas spent weekends at the Crandall family farm hunting and fishing. While students at the Utica academy, the founded Theta Phi Fraternity in 1885.

In the fall of 1887, Crandall and Thomas entered Cornell to study law. For several years they shared rooms on East Seneca Street in Ithaca. Crandall maintained that he and Thomas organized Delta Chi in the spring of 1889, but the new fraternity failed to meet.

Cornell's requirements for a student organization and thus was not officially recognized.Crandall claimed credit for the name Delta Chi and the design of the badge; it should be noted that Monroe Marsh Sweetland also claimed credit for the name and the badge.

Crandall earned an LL.B. degree in 1889 and an LL.M. in 1890. After being admitted the New York state bar, he associated with the firm Cookinham and Sherman of Utica, New York, for one year. He also worked for a law firm in Ithaca. Later he returned to West Winfield and set up a private law practice.

Crandall married Gertrude Hiteman in 1894. They had six children, four daughters and two sons.

Throughout his life, Crandall was involved in local politics as a Republican. At the time of his death he was President of the Board of Education and also served on the Library Board. He was a member of the Emmanuel Congregational Church of West Winfield, serving as superintendent of the Sunday School and as a trustee of the church. He was a Mason and had been Master of the local lodge.

Crandall died 25 August 1931, two days before his sixty-fourth birthday, in West Winfield. He was buried in the East Winfield cemetery. At Crandall's funeral, Albert Sullard Barnes, another founder of Delta Chi, represented the fraternity as an honorary pallbearer.

It was not until March 1929 that the Quarterly included the name of Myron McKee Crandall among those of the fraternity's founders. Beginning in May 1919, the Quarterly's masthead in each issue had printed the names of only ten men as founders; then in 1929, without fanfare and with only slight notice, our fraternity recognized an eleventh man as founder. In an account of his travels in central New York state, Albert S. Tousley, Field Secretary of the fraternity, wrote that after visiting with Founder Owen Lincoln Potter in Albany, Tousley and several brothers from the Cornell and Union chapters had visited Myron McKee Crandall, then in his early sixties, in West Winfield. Tousley reported that they discussed hobbies with Crandall and that: "It was the first time in years that any members of Delta Chi have called on Founder Crandall, and he was mightly pleased to have us as his guests." Although Delta Chis of the modern era would not think this observation unusual, the men who read this passage in 1929 probably pulled up short when they saw the term "founder" applied to Myron McKee Crandall. Prior to March 1929, Crandall had never been credited as a founder. On the masthead of the Quarterly that month, the list of founders, previously ten names, had suddenly grown to eleven. Nearly four decades after the founding, Delta Chi had finally recognized one of the men instrumental in the creation of the fraternity. Soon after this change, the fraternity's history was revised to recognize Crandall's contribution.

John Milton Gorham
Born: unknown
Died: unknown

Much of the life of John Milton Gorham is a mystery. After graduating from Cornell in 1891, he broke all contact with the fraternity. Throughout the 1910s and '20s, the Quarterly printed numerous requests for information of Gorham, apparently without success. In the September 1928 issue of the Quarterly, Gorham was listed as "missing," as O.K. Patton ("CC") prepared information for the publication of a new fraternity directory.Research on Gorham continues.



Peter Schermerhorn Johnson
Born: December 11, 1869
Died: September 23, 1947

Peter Schermerhorn Johnson was born 11 December 1869 in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. His father was Joseph W. Johnson, a pioneer in the oil and gas business in New York, and later Oklahoma. Founder Johnson attended grammar school at the academy in Claverack, New York.

Johnson contributed some of the secret work of the fraternity and penned the words to the song "Fovens Mater." He is also credited with the design of one of the fraternity's early symbols: the hand of humanity reaching for the key of knowledge, and the poem of explanation that accompanies the design.

Although he earned a law degree from Cornell in 1891, due to a severe hearing loss, Johnson chose business over the legal profession. After graduation, he formed a partnership with his father in an oil and gas business is Bolivar, New York. Johnson later moved to Woodfield, Oregon, where he was associated with Andrew Mellon in a natural gas business. He then operated a hardware business in Colorado. In 1908, Johnson moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, at about the time the commercial oil and gas business began to develop in that area.

In 1914 Johnson married Clara von Gonten of Tulsa. They had no children.

During the law vs. general membership debate, Johnson was clearly on the law side. The march 1920 issue of the Quarterly published his letter in which he argued strongly for a single-membership professional organization. He offered his opinion that the law alumni would not support the fraternity if eligibility for membership should be broadened to include non-law men. Further he wrote that a new general fraternity would need a new motto, ritual, coat of arms, and other symbols. He expressed his hope that the fraternity could find a way out of the conflict short of changing to a general fraternity. After the decision in 1922 to drop the law requirement for membership, Johnson gave his complete support to the re-organized fraternity.

At age seventy-seven, Johnson, the last surviving founder of Delta Chi, died 23 September 1947 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was buried in the Oaklawn cemetery of that city.

Edward Richard O'Malley
Born: March 13, 1863
Died: May 30, 1935

Edward Richard O'Malley was born 13 March 1863 near Medina, New York, the son of Michael O'Malley and Bridget (Whalen) O'Malley. While a child, he rarely attended school due to the financial condition of his family. As a teenager, he supported himself by working on a farm and laboring in a stone quarry. When he was aged twenty, doctors told O'Malley to give up hard physical labor due to a congential heart condition. He then began a program of reading to educate himself prior to entering Cornell Law School at age twenty-three.

While a student at Cornell, O'Malley was selected to assist the law professors working on a revision of New York state law, and he worked as an assistant in the law library. O'Malley was also recognized for his debating skills.

After graduating with the LL.B. degree in 1891, he moved to Buffalo and joined a law firm there. A stranger in the city, he entered local politics to meet people and build his legal practice. Making friends rapidly in Republican circles, he was appointed corporate counsel for the city. In 1901, he was elected to a two-year term in the New York State Assembly.

In 1910, O'Malley ran for Attorney General on the same ticket with gubernatorial candidate Charles Evans Hughes (later Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court). The Hughes-O'Malley ticked won easily. While Attorney General he settled several long-running disputes between the state and corporate interests. After one term as Attorney General, O'Malley was appointed to a state judgeship for several years. As judge or counsel, he preferred to handle civil rather than criminal cases. On the bench, O'Malley was popular with jurors because he was careful to explain the jury's duties without floundering in technicalities. Newspaper reporters liked Judge O'Malley because he rarely held court in camera openly hearing all cases in public.

In 1922, O'Malley ran successfully for the New York Supreme Court and served a ten-year term. He left the bench at the mandatory retirement age of 70. O'Malley credited his success to "Luck and an ability to make friends quickly and a sincerity to sustain these friendships." Edward Richard O'Malley died 30 May 1935 in Buffalo, New York, at age seventy-two and was buried in the Pine Hill Cemetery of that city. In tribute to O'Malley, former President Theodore Roosevelt said, "Mr. O'Malley is a mighty fine exhibit of good citizenship and has made a good record."

O'Malley's younger brother James (Cornell '02) was "AA" (international presiding officer) in 1902-3, and he also served as a judge on the New York Supreme Court.

Owen Lincoln Potter
Born: June 21, 1865
Died: May 11, 1934

Owen Lincoln Potter, a founder of the Delta Chi Fraternity, was born in Ithaca, New York, on 21 June 1865. After attending the public schools in his home town, he earned an LL.B. degree from Cornell in 1889 and the LL.M. from the same institution in 1890. While a student, he and others formed Delta Chi. Potter was the first "A" (chapter presiding officer) and the first "AA" (international presiding officer).

After graduation he was admitted to the New York Bar. Relocating to Albany, New York, he worked for the commission on the revision of New York state law for five years before going into private practice. In 1901 Potter began a long series of jobs for the New York state Attorney General and the Governor. These positions capitalized on Potter's knowledge of state law. In 1927 he accepted an appointment to the New York Court of Claims where he served until his death.

In 1895 Potter married Ameka Parcell. They had no children. After a long illness Owen Lincoln Potter died in Albany on 11 May 1934; he ws sixty-eight years of age. His death was reported on the front page of the local newspaper.

Potter's brother Horace was also initiated by the Cornell chapter.

Alphonso Derwin Stillman
Born: April 21, 1864
Died: August 24, 1937

Details of the early life of Alphonso Derwin Stillman are unclear at present. Stillman's obituary stated that he was born 21 April 1864 in Grand City, Oregon; however, neither nineteenth century maps of that state nor Census records show a town by that name. Research in this area continues.

Stillman is credited with writing much of the fraternity's ritual during the summer or early fall of 1890. Later a committee composed of Stillman, Barnes, and Fred Kingsbury Stephens completed the work. Stillman graduated from Cornell in the spring of 1891. His activities for the next several years are unknown.

In about 1902 he moved to the Kalispell, Montana area where he was a rancher and an attorney. Active in local politics, Stillman was a leader in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

About two years before his death, Stillman suffered a paralytic stroke which left him permanently incapacitated. At age seventy-three, Stillman died 24 August 1937 and was buried in the Conrad Memorial Cemetery in Kalispell. He was survived by one son, Adee Stillman of Kalispell.

Obituaries and other records suggest that Stillman's first name was actually Alphonso, rather than Alphonse.

Thomas Allen Joseph Sullivan
Born: July 6, 1869
Died: October 26, 1924

Thomas Allen Joseph Sullivan, a founder of The Delta Chi Fraternity, was born on 6 July, 1869. Born in Fishers, New York (near Rochester), he was the son of Thomas and Hannah (Doody) Sullivan, both of whom were natives of Ireland. The younger Sullivan attended public schools including the Fairport (New York) Union classical high school. He was graduated from Cornell in 1891 with the LL.B.

After being admitted to the New York Bar, he moved to Buffalo, New York, where he entered a series of successful partnerships. In 1905-06, he formed a partnership with Frederick G. Bagley, another early Delta Chi. From 1906 through 1912, Sullivan was county attorney for Erie County, NewYork.

Sullivan married Mary Van Ness of Fairport, New York in 1895. They had two children: a daughter (Katherine) and a son (Kreag). Mrs. Sullivan died after only eleven years of marriage, shortly after the birth of their son. Sullivan never remarried nor recovered from the shock of her death.

Tom Sullivan's hobbies included fishing, golf, botany, and history. He was a Republican, a Roman Catholic, and a member of the National Guard.

Noted for his Irish wit, he was popular with younger lawyers whom he encouraged in the law profession.

After a brief illness, Sullivan died 26 October 1924 in Buffalo. He was buried in Fairport, New York.

To this day, Kreag Sullivan, initiated by the Buffalo chapter on 5 January 1925, is the only Founder's son known to be initiated into the Bond.

Monroe Marsh Sweetland
Born: August 14, 1860
Died: February 12, 1944

The son of George James Sweetland and Hannah Lugenia (Marsh) Sweetland, Monroe Marsh Sweetland as born 14 August 1860 in Dryden, New York. He received the A.B. degree from Union College (1885), the LL.B. degree from Albany Law School (1886), and the LL.M. from Cornell University in 1980.

Sweetland, who as a Delta Tau Delta, was interested in fraternal work and ritual. Like Crandall, he claimed credit for originating the idea for the organization that would become Delta Chi. He also claimed sole credit for the design of the badge and for selecting the name "Delta Chi" because he liked the way the two words sounded together.

Along with Founders Gorham, Stillman, Barnes, Crandall, and Potter, Sweetland was present on the 13th day of October 1890 for the official chartering of the fraternity.

Sweetland spent his professional career in Ithaca. He held various elected and appointed positions including city judge of Ithaca and county judge of Tompkins county. In the 1917 election, in recognition of his efforts to streamline court procedure, he received more than one-thousand write-in votes, without campaigning, for a seat on the New York state Supreme Court.

In 1901, Sweetland married Georgia Smith of Ithaca. She died in 1929. They had no children.

In politics Sweetland was a Democrat who frequently gained endorsement of the Prohibition Party. Other organizations which he joined included the Odd Fellows, the Grange, the Masons, and the Knights Templar. He also belonged to the Methodist Church.

Sweetland was one of a few of the founders who stayed in contact with the fraternity. He was frequently a guest of the Mother Chapter, speaking at initiation and Founder's Day events.

During the debate over law vs. general membership, Sweetland supported the general side. "It was my idea not to restrict membership entirely to law men," he stated in an interview in the Quarterly.

At the 1940 convention, Sweetland originated the "hand shake across the country" to pass the greetings of the Founding Fathers to future generations of Delta Chi. This custom has continued into the present at banquets, regional conferences, and international conventions.

Aged eighty-three years, Sweetland died 12 February 1944 in Ithaca and was buried nearby. During the 1990 centennial convention held in Syracuse and Ithaca, many of those attending visited Sweetland's grave and placed a wreath of white carnations there.

Thomas David Watkins
Born: September 4, 1870
Died: December 25, 1912

Thomas David Watkins, the youngest Founding Father of Delta Chi, was born 4 September 1870 in Plainfield, New York, the son of John Watkins and Ellen (James) Watkins, both natives of Wales. Founder Watkins was the youngest of eight children and was reared on his parents' farm in Otsego county. After attending public schools, he studied at the West Winfield Academy, graduating in 1889. As a result of his academic record, Watkins entered Cornell law school on a total scholarship. He earned an LL.B. degree in 1892 and an LL.M. in 1893.

Watkins was admitted to the bar at Syracuse in April 1893. Over the next years he entered a series of successful partnerships; the most notable was a one-year partnership in 1895 with Albert T. Wilkerson, another early Delta Chi.

In 1898 Watkins and others formed a partnership which eventually became Watkins and Titus, a major law firm in the city of Utica. The law firm handled affairs for the New York Central Railroad, and Watkins became recognized for his knowledge of transportation law.

Politically, Watkins was progressive and independent. For many years he was a Democrat. He ran unsuccessfully for the state Assembly in 1894 and in 1898 he ran for the state Senate losing the election by only 67 votes. In admiration for Theodore Roosevelt, he became a Republican and later followed Roosevelt into the Progressive party.

In 1898 Watkins married Corinne Wheeler of Auburn, New York. They had three sons: John W., Thomas David, Jr., and Wheeler.

Thomas David Watkins was active in community affairs, including the Y.M.C.A., the Presbyterian church, and fraternal organizations including the Knights of Pythias.

After a brief illness, Watkins died in his Utica home on 25 December 1912 at age forty-two. He was buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery of Utica. The local newspaper printed the following lines in tribute to Founder Watkins: "He was respected by all who knew him, for 'Tom' Watkins was a loyal friend, a zealous attorney for all clients, whether their cases were small or large, and a good citizen in the best sense of the word."

Frederick Moore Whitney
Born: July 14, 1869
Died : October 10, 1942

A descendant of a pioneer New England family, Frederick Moore Whitney was the son of Abraham Johnson Whitney and Marietta (Parmelee) Whitney and was born in Bethel, Connecticut, located in the western end of the state. After graduating from the LeRoy Academic Institute (LeRoy, New York), he entered Cornell's College of Law in 1889. Whitney graduated from Cornell in 1891 with an LL.B. degree.

For two years Whitney worked in Colfax, Washington, constructing a water works for that city. He returned to Cornell in 1893 to study civil engineering and hydrology for one year (1893-94). For the rest of his life he was associated with successful law partnerships in and around Rochester, New York. Whitney preferred to represent corporations and handled few criminal cases. He also enjoyed success in real estate and financial investment.

In 1901, he married Hilda Jessie Fisher of Rochester. They had two children: a daughter, Helen Hamby (Whitney) Doud; and a son, Frederick Moore Whitney, Jr. Whitney was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed camping, hunting, and fishing. Other fraternal organizations which he joined include the Masons and the Elks. Shortly after World War I, Whitney helped reorganize the Rochester Alumni Chapter and was elected its president in 1919. He was an Episcopal and in politics, a Republican.

Founder Whitney died 10 October 1942. He was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Rochester, on 13 October 1942, the fifty-second anniversary of the founding of Delta Chi.

Distinguished Alumni

Frank Edward Thomas
Born: September 27, 1867
Died June 27, 1933

Frank Edward Thomas is a figure of controversy in Delta Chi. Other founders confirmed Thomas's role in the early development of the fraternity, but Thomas, have graduated, left the Cornell campus and was not present on 13 October 1890 when the constitution and by-laws were adopted. Although not currently listed as a founder, some students of our fraternity's history believe he should be so credited.

The son of Thomas R. and Mary (Richards) Thomas, Frank Edward Thomas was born in Utica, New York. While attending the Utica Free Academy, he became friends with fellow student Myron McKee Crandall. Their friendship lasted throughout their lives. Thomas and Crandall spent weekends at the Crandall family farm in East Winfield hunting and fishing. While students at the academy, they founded Theta Phi fraternity in 1885.

In 1887 Thomas and his friend Crandall entered Cornell to study law. For several years they shared rooms at 126 E. Seneca Street. Thomas was graduated with the LL.B. degree in 1889.

Myron McKee Crandall maintained that he and Frank Edward Thomas formed Delta Chi in the spring of 1889, but the new fraternity failed to meet Cornell's requirements for a student organization and thus was not officially recognized by the university.

After he was graduated with the LL.B. degree in the spring of 1889, Thomas was admitted to the New York bar and for a time practiced law in Utica. Later he joined his father in the wholesale fruit and vegetable business. The firm later became T.R. Thomas and Company enjoying commercial success. Thomas sold his interest in the firm in 1917 but continued as President of the Utica Canning Company. Along with his commercial ventures, he was also successful in trading stocks and bonds. He served on the local civil service board and the park commission. Other fraternal organizations which Thomas joined included the Masons, the Knights Templar, the Elks, and the Order of the Mystic Shrine. He also belonged to the Utica Curling Club

Thomas married Rose Beltz in 1897; she died in 1920. Thomas died in 1933 and is buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery of Utica near Thomas David Watkins. The _Delta Chi Quarterly_ printed the following words in tribute to Frank Edward Thomas (September 1933): "The devotion of Brother Thomas to the finer spirit of fraternalism will continue to live. ... His life truly exemplified the real spirit of brotherhood. His passing is a distinct loss to Delta Chi, which he dearly loved."

In recognition of his early influence in Delta Chi, Thomas was posthumously named to the Order of the White Carnation, one of the highest honors of The Delta Chi Fraternity.


Biographies compiled by:
Stephen Henson, Government Documents and Maps Librarian/Associate Professor,
Prescott Memorial Library, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272,
Phone: 318 257-4989; Fax: 318 257-2447; E-mail: