Sanguine et Purpure
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Each of the Founders were balanced men who went on to be great in their
own professional fields. They acted on their ideals and goals and set high
standards for all brothers to follow.
He graduated from Richmond College in June, 1902, and then taught for two
years at Chase City, Virginia, Military Academy and Richmond Preparatory.
He received a baccalaureate degree in the ministry at Crozer Seminary in
Chester, Pennsylvania, and served for more than 20 years as a pastor in
churches in Hampton, Norfolk, and Richmond, finally to become an
evangelist and conduct revivals throughout the United States. His gift for
inspiring oratory was so outstanding that the famed evangelist "Billy
Sunday" is reported on one occasion to have exclaimed, "If only
the Almighty had blessed me with the voice of Carter Jenkens!" His
twilight years were spent in Louisville, Kentucky, where he died on July
Ashton Jenkens was born in Oxford, North Carolina, on
April 9, 1882, and received his early education in New Jersey.
He had come from Stuart's Draft, Virginia, where he was born on August 20,
1870. He married and later received the bachelor of divinity degree at
Colgate. For six years thereafter, he was pastor at the West Washington
Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., and in 1917 was called to the First
Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. He died in Washington, D.C. on
January 10, 1919, from pneumonia. He is buried in Montgomery, Maryland.
Donald Gaw came to Richmond College, where he worked his
way through school, acting as pastor of the East End Baptist
Church of Richmond, to graduate in 1906.
His family moved to Salem, where he attended the public schools. For
one year, he taught in a public school in Roanoke County, Virginia, and in
September 1897, entered Richmond College to prepare for the Baptist
ministry. After being out of college for one year, he received his B.A.
degree from Richmond College in June of 1902.
Hugh Carter was born near Danville in Pittsylvania
County, Virginia, February 2, 1878.
Founder Carter's campus activities included debate,
YMCA, and varsity basketball. He became a teacher at Southside Academy in
Chase City, Virginia in 1902-1903 and was principal of the Chase City
Grade School for the next two years. During this three-year period, he
served as the editor of the Chase City Progress. In September, 1905, he
entered Crozer Theological Seminary, where Jenkens had gone, and received
the bachelor of divinity degree in May, 1908. He then became pastor of the
First Baptist Church, Winchester, Virginia, for six-and-a-half years.
Subsequent pastorates were at Hertford, North Carolina, three-and-a-half
years; Crewe, Virginia, ten-and-a-half years; and Marion Virginia, 18
Retiring from active pastorates, he served as field
worker for the Sunday School Department of the Varina Baptist Board of
Missions and Education. Brother Carter died in Salem, Virginia on January
5, 1971 at the age of 92.
He came from Gaw's hometown, Stuart's Draft, where he was born on May
7, 1882. He did not graduate but transferred to the Medical College of
Virginia for his M.D., on which campus he launched the dormant Virginia
Beta Chapter (now Virginia Commonwealth University), becoming its first
member. By this act, Sigma Phi Epsilon's expansion began.
Andrew Wallace, the second of the roommates at Ryland
Hall, was invited to join that group by Gaw, his roommate.
He left the Medical College for an internship in the
Boston Floating Hospital, which he left for another internship in a
hospital in Richmond. Later, in 1908, he located in Spartanburg, South
Carolina, continuing in practice to become one of the best-known medical
practitioners in the state, and a devoted SigEp until his death in 1929.
He was tutored at home, entered Richmond College in 1900, received the
B.A. in 1904, and was graduated from the Engineering College at Cornell
University, in 1907.
Temple Wright was born at Locust Grove, Caroline County,
Virginia, May 21, 1883.
Wright roomed with Jenkens at the
"Cottage." His intimate friends knew him as "Those,"
after the abbreviated form of his name. The fifth member of the
Fraternity, he was one of the two founders who returned to college in
September, 1902, and as treasurer of the group, signed the corporate
charter secured from the Commonwealth of Virginia on October 22, 1902.
Wright started his professional career as a United
States surveyor with the Mississippi River Commission in Vicksburg,
Mississippi. He later became a railroad civil engineer, first with the
Canadian Pacific Railroad in Ottawa, Canada, then with the Canadian
Northern Railroad on construction in Ontario, and finally with the
Baltimore and Ohio. In 1917, "Those," on leave from the B &
O, was construction engineer for the United States Army Camp Taylor at
Louisville, Kentucky. The following year, he became head of the Warsaw and
Fredericksburg offices of the Henrico Lumber Company, making his home in
Warsaw, Virginia. In 1933, he and his brothers formed Wright Brothers,
Inc., with offices in Richmond, West Point, Tappahannock, and
Philadelphia. He continued to be active with this firm for many years. He
died on February 15, 1958.
A study of the leadership pattern of the founding group reveals that
he is the one titan after Jenkens. The latter said to his brothers,
"This is how we must build our Fraternity." Phillips built it.
Born in Normal, Illinois, in 1873, William L. Phillips came to Richmond
College in September, 1901, to study law and the Bible. He attended one
year, dropped out a year, and then returned. His pursuit of legal studies
gave way to his devotion to Sigma Phi Epsilon and he never graduated.
Lazell Phillips devoted virtually all the mature years of
his life to Sigma Phi Epsilon.
The first Conclave at Richmond College in December,
1903, authorized the establishment of the Journal and appointed
Uncle Billy as its first editor. The first issue, March, 1904,
"Published by the Grand Council in the interest of the
Fraternity," reveals that Uncle Billy was determined to make the Journal
carry news from all chapters and thus add dignity and strength to his
In addition to his work as the first Journal
editor, he played some baseball and football (not on the college team),
attended the Philogian Literary Society, and attended classes in law. He
was the first secretary of Virginia Alpha in 1901-1902.
A complete record of his professional career tells
the story of his work for Sigma Phi Epsilon: Editor of the Journal,
1904-1912, 1919-1921; business manager of the Journal, 1904-1911,
1919-1942; member, Ritual Committee, 1907; editor of membership
directories, 1915 and 1921; trustee of the Endowment Fund 1925-1939,
1944-1949; trustee of the national Headquarters, 1927-1942; trustee of the
Student Loan Fund, 1930-1940; Grand Secretary, 1908-1942; Grand Secretary
Emeritus, 1942-1956; Grand Vice President, 1943; Grand President, 1944;
National Interfraternity Conference, founder, 1909; Vice Chairman,
1929-1930; member, War Committee, 1942; a founder and Chairman of College
Fraternity Secretaries Association 1939-1940.
Uncle Billy passed away at his home on June 20, 1956,
and left his personal estate to the Fraternity, which founded the Phillips
Fund within the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation. That fund
provides scholarships for members of the University of Richmond chapter.
He loved his Fraternity intensely and had attended
every one of the 24 Conclaves from the first at Richmond College, 1903, to
Cincinnati, 1955. William L. Phillips must be numbered among the first
handful of truly great builders of the American college fraternity system.
No one has achieved a greater record.
He attended a one-room public school, and worked at his father's farm
and sawmill. In September, 1898, he entered Richmond College, first as an
academic student and later as a law student, where he received a bachelor
of law degree in June, 1902.
Baum Cox was born on November 13, 1879, in Princess Anne
As an undergraduate, he taught Bible class in Calvary
Baptist Church on Sunday mornings and to a group of inmates at the
Virginia Penitentiary in the afternoons. In July, 1902, he began the
practice of law in Norfolk, Virginia.
Founder Cox wrote the application for the corporate
charter for Sigma Phi Epsilon. In 1939, he published his first edition of
Titles to Land in Virginia, and a second edition was published in 1947.
This book was followed in 1951 by his work on Principles and Procedure in
Equity. Brother Cox died in Norfolk, Virginia on June 10, 1971, at the age
When he graduated from Richmond in 1904, he spent four years at
Colgate Theological Seminary, to become a minister, graduating in 1907.
His career in the ministry called him to Baptist churches in Washington,
D.C., Roanoke, Virginia, and for four years, 1917-1921, as an instructor
in Fishburn Military Academy in Waynesboro, Virginia. Before his death on
July 6, 1950, he was trustee of the University of Richmond, Bluefield
College, and also of the Baptist Orphanage in Salem, Virginia.
Spurgeon Owens was a minister's son, and was born October
28, 1880, in Hempstead, King George County, Virginia.
He attended private schools in King and Queen County. After three
liberal arts years at Richmond, he completed graduate work in law in 1902.
He moved to Birmingham, Alabama, in October, 1902. After taking up
residence in Birmingham, Founder Allen practiced law in that city
steadily, serving as a judge in various courts until his death on March
21, 1945. He is buried in Birmingham.
Lee Allen was born on January 6, 1880, in Virginia.
He attended Granville County public schools; three years at Bethel
Hill Institute, North Carolina; four years at Richmond Collegeóreceived
a B.S. in 1902; received a bachelors of theology degree from the Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville in 1908, and an honorary doctor
of divinity degree from the University of Richmond in 1921.
Alfred McFarland was born on a farm near Oxford, North
Carolina, on January 31, 1876.
McFarland made the motion to found Sigma Phi Epsilon.
McFarland held important pastorates in three states.
In North Carolina, he was a member of the Baptist State Board, a trustee
of the Baptist Orphanage and Wake Forest College, and was vice president
of the Baptist State Convention. In Virginia, he served as a member of the
Baptist State Board, a trustee of the Baptist Hospital, the Fork Union
Military Academy, and the Southern Baptist State Convention.
McFarland was once written up in a London journal as
a "representative" minister of the United States. He died on
March 14, 1960.
A native Virginian, he was born October 2, 1876, in Buckland, Prince
William County, and at Richmond was a member of the Class of 1902. At the
time of his death, he was a chaplain in the Army. He had been pastor of
parishes in Buckingham and Middlesex Counties, and Chatham, Virginia;
Nowata, Oklahoma, and Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Webb Kerfoot, who died in an accident on August 29, 1918,
was another Baptist preacher.
He attended Richmond public schools, graduated from Richmond High
School, and entered Richmond College as a pre-law student in February,
1898. In September of that year, Uncle Tom returned to Richmond College as
a ministerial student, being convinced of a call to preach. He received
his B.A. from Richmond College in June, 1902; the masters of theology from
the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1905, and the M.A. from the
University of Virginia in 1908. The honorary degree of doctor of divinity
was conferred upon him by the University of Richmond and Stetson
Vaden McCaul was born in Charles City County, Virginia on
November 25, 1878.
While at Richmond College, Uncle Tom was active in
debates and oratorical contests. He won the writer's medal offered by his
literary society his senior year. He won the orator's medal at the
University of Virginia in 1907. Uncle Tom served as the first president of
Virginia Alpha in 1901-1902 and wrote the Fraternity's first song,
"Our Fraternity," in 1902. In the fall of 1902, he visited
Bethany College, West Virginia; Washington and Jefferson College,
Pennsylvania; and West Virginia University and formed a nucleus for
chapters in all three. He helped establish Virginia Eta at the University
of Virginia in 1907 and Florida Alpha at the University of Florida in
1925. He was appointed National Chaplain in 1947 and served until 1959.
Uncle Tom served as pastor of Baptist churches in
Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida. After more than 2 years
as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Florida, he retired
on January 1, 1949. He remained in Gainesville, frequently looking in on
his young Florida Alpha brothers. He continued to attend Conclaves, his
last being the 32nd Grand Chapter in Atlanta in 1971. On
November 18, 1972, he died peacefully in Gainesville at the age of 93. He
was the Fraternity's last remaining founder.
This information was found on the Headquarters