Alexander C. Earle,the youngest of the group of eight founders, went on to become a captain in the Second South Carolina Volunteers, where he commanded his own company. For many years, his whereabouts were unknown and he was believed dead, but he was finally located living in Arkansas. Earle’s spirit of courage is one we emulate today. He also set an excellent example for us through his commitment to lifelong involvement in the Fraternity by attending three Karneas.
Richard H. Alfred, at 26 the oldest of the group, became a minister and a physician. His involvement with Delta Tau Delta stemmed from a sense of moral duty to the truth, and his activities later in life continued this commitment.
William R. Cunningham, 25, was only a freshman at the time Delta Tau Delta was formed. Because he was older and had become a Mason, however, he exerted much influence in the group. Cunningham, the picture of integrity, was probably responsible for much of the early language in both the Constitution and the Ritual. He served as president of the Karnea in 1883. He was also a minister and held public office in the state of Washington.
John L. N. Hunt, was the scholar of the group. Yet another testament to the value of lifelong learning and growth, after graduating from Bethany, Hunt went on to become the valedictorian of his class at New York University’s School of Law. He then served for several years as New York’s Commissioner of Education.
Jacob Lowe, hosted the first meetings of the group in his quarters in the Dowdell boarding house, which has now become an international shrine for the Fraternity. Lowe, who became a professor and later a college president, has helped facilitate the initial bonds of brotherhood which still sustain us.
Eugene Tarr, a “local boy” whose home was only six miles from Bethany, stayed in West Virginia after college. A strong proponent of strengthening his community, Tarr became a noted speaker, lawyer, and editor of a newspaper.
John C. Johnson, was also a native West Virginian (although at the that time the area was still a part of Virginia). He became a lawyer and politician, a career which clearly displayed power. He was the political advisor to John W. Davis, the Democratic nominee for president in 1924. One of Johnson’s favorite pastimes was conducting tours of Bethany and pointing out the room where Delta Tau Delta was founded. He outlived the other founders by eight years.
Henry K. Bell, a Kentuckian, lived only six years after graduation. His contribution to the Fraternity was immense; without him, there would be no Delta Tau Delta today. Bell responded to a call for help from the last remaining members of the Bethany chapter who were leaving to join the armed forces. It was Bell’s faith, integrity, and understanding of the importance of maintaining brotherhood and a strong community that led him to two Jefferson College students. Bell initiated Rhodes Standbury Sutton and Samuel S. Brown during a raging snowstorm on February 22, 1861. Upon the collapse of the Bethany chapter following its members’ departure, the new Jefferson chapter assumed management of the Fraternity.