Elder Watson Diggs, born in Christian County,
Kentucky, was a graduate of Indiana State Normal
(now Indiana State Teachers College) and Indiana
University, the birthplace of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
He served as Grand Polemarch for the first six consecutive
years of the Fraternity's existence. For this and
other outstanding contributions to the Fraternity,
he was awarded the Fraternity's first Laurel Wreath
in December, 1924. An educator by profession,
he taught in the public schools of Indianapolis,
Indiana, where he was elevated to a principalship.
After his death on November 8, 1947, the name of
the school where he taught was changed to the Elder
Diggs School in his memory. Upon America's
entrance into World War I, Diggs resigned his principalship
to enter the Nation's first Officer's Training Camp
at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, and was commissioned a
lieutenant. After European service with the 368th
Infantry, he became a captain in the Reserve Officers
Training Corps. Diggs was instrumental in having
the Indiana Constitution amended to permit Negro
enlistment in the Indiana National Guard.
John Milton Lee, born in Danville, Indiana, September
7, 1890, was graduated from the Danville High School
in 1910 and entered the University of Indiana and
there completed three years of pre-medical work.
He later became a student at Temple University (1915)
but was compelled to leave school because of a death
in the family. He enlisted in the 349th Field Artillery
in March of 1918 and served overseas as a First
Class Sergeant and Gunner. His battery enjoys the
unique distinction of having been the first battery
of Negro Artillerymen ever to open fire upon an
enemy. John Milton Lee fired the first shot.
He helped organize, and for several years was president
of, the Fairview Gold Club, the first Negro Golf
Club in Pennsylvania. In 1931 he married Mary Walker
Robinson. Vocationally, he was engaged in
several enterprises. For eight years, he conducted
a successful catering business in Philadelphia;
he organized and served as Vice-president and Secretary
of the Mutual Emergency Union, a mutual aid company
in Philadelphia. He was also a member of the board
of Managers of the Columbia Community Branch of
Byron K. Armstrong, born in Westfield, Indiana,
entered Indiana University where he studied philosophy,
mathematics, and sociology. After finishing Indiana
University, he earned his Master's degree at Columbia
University in 1913, and subsequently the Doctor
of Philosophy degree from the University of Michigan.
He held teaching positions in Florida, Indiana,
Kansas, and Oklahoma. During World War I, he served
as an investigator for the Department of Labor.
He was awarded the Laurel Wreath in 1935.
Guy Levis Grant, born in New Albany, Indiana,
attended public schools in that city, was graduated
from Scribner High School in 1909, and later entered
Indiana University. While there, he majored in chemistry,
graduating with the A.B. degree in 1915. In 1920,
he received the D.D.S. degree from Indiana Dental
School, then a part of the University of Indiana;
he practiced dentistry in Indianapolis. In 1929,
he married Laura Hammons. He served as a member
of the Grand Board of Directors and was the Fraternity's
Historian. In addition to his activities with Kappa
Alpha Psi, Brother Grant held memberships in several
civic, professional, and business organizations.
He was a member of the Second Baptist Church in
Ezra Dee Alexander was born in Bloomington, Indiana
in 1892, the site of Indiana University. He was
graduated from Bloomington High School in 1910.
He matriculated at Indiana University in the fall
of 1910 and was graduated from Indiana University
in 1917 with the A.B. degree. He received his M.D.
degree from the Medical School of Indiana University
in 1919. He practiced medicine in Indianapolis.
In 1920, he married Mary Hunter, a teacher in the
Indianapolis Public School system. Alexander served
several terms as a member of the Grand Board of
Henry T. Asher, born in Woodburn, Kentucky in
1892, was graduated from the Bloomington High School
in 1910. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts
from Indiana University in 1914 and the next year
was an instructor at Lincoln Institute at Jefferson
City, Missouri. He was a graduate student at the
University of Minnesota in 1917. He received the
degree of LL.B. at the Detroit College of Law in
Marcus Peter Blakemore, born in Franklin, Indiana
in 1889, attended common and high schools in Anderson,
Indiana. He was graduated from High School in 1909
and entered the University of Indiana the following
year. After leaving the University, he organized
the Electric Engineering Company, which he operated
until he enlisted in World War I. He later entered
the Dental School of the University of Pittsburgh,
from which he was graduated in 1923. At the
time of his death in October 1959, he was residing
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he maintained
his practice of dentistry.
Edward Giles Irvin, born in Spencer, Indiana,
on August 13, 1893, was graduated from Kokomo, Indiana
High School in 1910 and entered the University of
Indiana the same year. After leaving school, he
pursued a Journalistic career in various cities
throughout the country until World War I. Aside
from his success as a Journalist, Brother Irvin
was a pioneer in promoting basketball and track
athletics in the small town schools of Indiana.
He was an active member of the Methodist Church
of Chicago and a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows
Lodges. He organized and operated the Afro-American
Manufacturing Company in Chicago, which produced
novelties, candies, and specialties.
Paul Waymond Caine was born in Charleston, Indiana,
in 1891 and attended grade school and high school
in Greencastle, Indiana. He enrolled at Indiana
University in 1909 and helped the other Founders
in organizing Kappa Alpha Nu. Because of a disastrous
fire in the Fraternity house in which he was employed,
he never finished his sophomore year. Brother
Caine went into the catering business in his hometown,
later attended Columbia University, set up a catering
business in Gary, Indiana, and published a book
on catering, which was copyrighted in 1919 by the
Hurst Publishing Company. Brother Caine was
instrumental in setting up the Gamma, Delta, and
Zeta chapters. He later went into business in Peoria,
Illinois and was fatally burned during an explosion
of gaseous materials in his business in 1922.
George W. Edmonds was born in Vandenburgh County,
Knight Township, Indiana on August 13, 1890. He
entered Carver Elementary School and Clark High
School in Evansville, graduating in 1910. In the
fall of 1910, George entered Indiana University
at Bloomington. He joined nine other students in
founding Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
After George returned home for the summer of 1911,
his father became ill with pneumonia and died. His
father had worked in the coal mines of Vandenburgh
County for many years. George, being the eldest
son, became head of the family, thus preventing
his return to school. With the new responsibility
of supporting the family, George took a job with
the area coal mines and worked with the coal mines
and the railroad until he died of pneumonia on June
13, 1962. George married the former Willa
Mae Forte and settled in Stevenson, Indiana. They
became the parents of one son, Noel.