Alpha Chi Omega

DIGITAL HISTORY

Tag : 1880s

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The History of Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity, Vol. 1, 1885-1910

The History of Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity, Vol. 1, 1885-1910

The History of Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity, Vol. 1, 1885-1910

The History of Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity, Vol. 1, 1885-1910

Early Alpha Chis and Two Men Studying Cabinet Card

Early Alpha Chis and Two Men Studying Cabinet Card

Two unidentified Alpha Chis and two young men pose together studying.

Bertha Deniston Cunningham Badge, 1885

Bertha Deniston Cunningham Badge, 1885

The only original badge known to still be in existence, this badge belonged to Founder Bertha Deniston Cunningham (Alpha, DePauw University) and was created in 1885. The 3/4-inch badge features 28 pearls and seven garnets. Unlike many later badges, which feature twisted lyre strings, the strings on this badge are flat. Each new chapter is presented a copy of this badge for the chapter president to wear during her term. The president's badge is then passed from president to president.

Louise Stuckey and Jennie Garver Flirting in the Park Cabinet Card, June 1887

Louise Stuckey and Jennie Garver Flirting in the Park Cabinet Card, June 1887

Louise Stuckey and Jennie Garver pose together in front of a backdrop made to look like a park. It is unclear whether the two women are members of Alpha Chi Omega.

Bertha Deniston Cunningham Portrait Cabinet Card

Bertha Deniston Cunningham Portrait Cabinet Card

When Bertha Deniston Cunningham's (Alpha, DePauw University) parents decided their musically advanced daughter should continue her studies at DePauw, she had to play for Dean Howe to determine just how advanced she was. She went on to become the envy of the school’s music students because of her composing skills. She also was an accomplished performer and successful teacher in the School of Music for 10 years. Hers is the only one of five original badges that exists today.

Bessie Grooms Keenan Portrait Reproduction Photograph

Bessie Grooms Keenan Portrait Reproduction Photograph

Bessie Grooms Keenan (Alpha, DePauw University) began studying music as a young child and was an accomplished pianist by the time she entered DePauw. Near the end of her first year there, she strained the muscles of her left hand from over-practice and had to give up the ambition of her life. However, she gave much of her time to help build Alpha Chi Omega. Her daughter, Hannah Keenan, eventually became director of Alpha Chi’s central office, today known as headquarters.

Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity Second Soiree Musicale Program, October 20, 1887

Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity Second Soiree Musicale Program, October 20, 1887

Anna Allen Smith Portrait Cabinet Card

Anna Allen Smith Portrait Cabinet Card

Anna Allen Smith (Alpha, DePauw University) lived her entire life in Greencastle, Indiana, and was childhood friends with Bessie Grooms Keenan (Alpha, DePauw University and Olive (Ollie) Burnett Clark (Alpha, DePauw University). She was always interested in music and was the youngest student to do advanced work at DePauw's School of Music. She was just 15 years old when Alpha Chi Omega was founded. Anna was the Founder most associated with Alpha chapter and until her untimely death in 1932, she knew every initiated Alpha (all 700 of them).

Alpha Chapter Photograph, c. 1889

Alpha Chapter Photograph, c. 1889

Alpha (DePauw University) chapter members pose together for a formal portrait. Four of the women are identified: Lillian Moore Cottingham (Alpha, DePauw University, upper right corner), Anna Allen Smith (Alpha, DePauw University, second row, left), Daisy Steele Wilson (Alpha, DePauw University, lower left corner) and Mary Janet Wilson (Alpha, DePauw University, lower right corner).

Table of Alpha Chis and Fijis Cabinet Card, Fall 1887

Table of Alpha Chis and Fijis Cabinet Card, Fall 1887

Alpha (DePauw University) chapter members sit with men from Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity during a dance.

Starr, Hough, Rude, Paul and Burnett at Thanksgiving Photograph, November 1888

Starr, Hough, Rude, Paul and Burnett at Thanksgiving Photograph, November 1888

Four Alpha (DePauw University) chapter members and a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma pose together at Thanksgiving. They are: Sidelia Starr (KKG), Anna Hough, Maud Rude Link, Grace Paul Kerr and Olive Burnett Clark.