I was born on March 15, 1822 near Greensboro, Pennsylvania, a little over fifty miles from Pittsburgh. My family, soon thereafter, moved west to Knox County, Ohio. My father cleared that land and soon had a thriving farm. I was diligent in my pursuit of education, and I was eventually awarded my county’s scholarship to attend Ohio University in Athens. After two years there, I began teaching at a school in Butler County where Oxford is located. I was drawn to Old Miami, so I enrolled in the spring of 1846. The University was costly, but I was able to finance my education with profit I gained from work at the school bookstore. I had the good fortune to graduate Magna Cum Laude, and I was asked to deliver a valedictorian address.
Wilson was the first man I approached with the concept of our Fraternity. He agreed with it, and we invited the other four to join us in our endeavor. Together, we authored The Bond of which I was the first to sign, and we designed the badge together; Wilson choosing the scroll and I, the shield and eye. I chose our secret Greek motto.
After commencement, I taught and preached in various capacities in Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio, and finally settled in Fulton, Missouri. There, I built Woodlawn, my home. I joined the Chapter Grand on Sunday, July 27, 1902.