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Lives of the Founding Fathers


This look at each of the Founding Fathers of Acacia shows that in many respects they were not much different than the Acacians of today — some went on to great prominence, others fell through the cracks and some died too early. Nevertheless, each man was responsible in his own way for making Acacia what it is today.

Brother James M. Cooper

Born in 1877, James Cooper was the first founder to pass on to Chapter Eternal. Because of this fact, the information on Cooper is shorter than the other Founders, but his life, both in and out of the fraternity, was well spent.

  • Graduated with an M.D. from the University of Michigan 1903
  • Immediately after graduating, spent time researching the typhoid fever epidemic relating to the Spanish-American War
  • Entered the New York Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Infirmary as an intern
  • Entered practice in Detroit specializing in eye, ear, nose and throat
  • Died from complications from bronchial pneumonia on December 30, 1923

Brother Benjamin E. DeRoy

According to fellow Founder Charles A. Sink, Deroy "was a businessman...sharp as a tack." It was DeRoy who came up with the first badge for Acacia, as his connections allowed for communication with jewelers in New York City. The first pin was given to Sink and at five dollars, as Sink recalls, "both DeRoy and I thought them to be rather handsome for the price." DeRoy was second on the roll of the Michigan Chapter.

  • Born in Pittsburgh, PA on January 27, 1879
  • Graduate of Willard Preparatory School at Pittsburgh
  • Started out at Muskingham College in 1900 where he earned a Ph.D. He moved on to Franklin College in 1902, Michigan University (1902-04), Washington and Lee University (1905) and the University of Mississippi (1906)
  • Began his career as a reporter for the Scranton, PA Republican in 1907
  • Was a Lieutenant in Philippine Constabulary (1908-12) and a commanding officer and inspector for the Province of Ifugao, Philippine Islands (1912-13)
  • Married Francis Goodman and had two sons
  • Entered business in the United States in Portland, OR in 1914, and retired to Sonora, CA in 1927
  • Died on April 21, 1949 of a heart attack at age 70 — survived by his wife, two sons (Benjamin E. DeRoy, Jr. and Albert F. DeRoy) and two granddaughers (Tamar and Linda).

Brother Edward E. Gallup

  • Born in Jackson, MI on November 29, 1872
  • Graduated from Jackson High School
  • Earned a B.S. from the Michigan Agricultural College
  • Earned his A.B and M.A. from the University of Michigan
  • Was superintendent of schools for Chelsea, Adrian and Monroe City all in Michigan
  • In 1918, was appointed State Supervisor of Vocational Agricultural Education for the State of Michigan
  • Served as past president of the Michigan High School Oratorical Association, theMichigan High School Principals Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Agricultural Training
  • Died in 1940

Brother Jared W. Hawkins

Hawkins, along with fellow founders Walter S. Wheeler and Benjamin E. DeRoy, was on the original committee to "ascertain the legal requirements for forming a fraternal organization to be national in scope." From his work was laid the foundation of what would soon become Acacia Fraternity. He would go on to be one of the first directors of Acacia, and along with Founder Walter S. Wheeler would help install Acacia's second chapter at Leland Stanford University.

  • Born in Hollister, CA on May 22, 1880
  • Earned his L.L.B. from the University of Michigan in 1904
  • Admitted to the California Bar in 1903, and entered general practice at Woodland, CA in 1904
  • Moved to Modesto, CA in 1905, where he continued to practice law
  • In 1908, started the firm of Hawkins and Hawkins with his father (later his brother would join)
  • Listed in Eminent Americans and Eminent Judges and Lawyers of the American Bar
  • Married Bettie Ora Stephens in 1905, and had four children: Bettie Lee Simmonds, Orlena Kathryn Adams, Jared W. Hawkins, Jr. and Lewis N. Hawkins (both sons would go on to practice in the firm of Hawkins and Hawkins that their father helped start)
  • Charter member of the Modesto Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Charter Commander Modesto Commandery 57, and a Scottish Rite Mason
  • Former Governor and secretary-treasurer of the State Bar of California and past president of the Stanislaus County Bar Association
  • Served as a president of the Midway McKittrick Oil Company, director of the Stanislaus County Abstract and Escrow Company and a member of the Advisory Board, Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association
  • Died on July 15, 1959 in Modesto, CA

Brother Clarence G. Hill

When a Masonic club formed at the University of Michigan back in 1894, interest was keen. By 1896, the club had 94 members. Yet by 1903, due to lackluster efforts at organization and leadership, the club was nearly dead. In fact, at the first meeting of the 1903-04 year, only three men showed up. Clarence G. Hill was one of those men. The other two were William J. Marshall and Charles A. Sink. These three men would, by themselves, agree to reorganize the club on a more stable and permanent basis and to seek cooperation with similar clubs known to exist in other institutions. Hill, Marshall and Sink were on the road to forming Acacia Fraternity.

  • Born in Unionville, MI on September 15, 1881
  • Graduate of Ithaca High School, Ithaca, MI, 1901
  • Attended Kalamazoo College in Michigan (1901-02)
  • Earned his L.L.B. from the University of Michigan in 1905
  • Entered law practice in Detroit in 1908
  • Married Minnie Giles in Detroit on June 30, 1909
  • Member of the State Board of Accountancy (Michigan), 1920-24
  • Knight Templar and Scottish Rite Mason
  • Acting National Treasurer of Acacia (1904-05) and National Secretary (1904-08)
  • Installed chapters at Ohio State, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania and Cornell
  • Died in 1947

Brother Harvey J. Howard

Dr. Harvey J. Howard's contributions to America and China have revolved around Ophthalmology. He was once the physician of the Chinese Boy Emperor Pu Yi (1921-25) — the subject of the 1987 film The Last Emperor. He also devised the critical depth perception test for the selection of flying personnel in the Army, Navy and the Department of Commerce before it was adapted worldwide. He was also quite fond of recalling his capture, ransom and near death at the hands of Chinese bandits, from which he wrote a book in 1926 — Ten Weeks With Chinese Bandits — that went into eight printings and was translated into seven languages. He is listed in a dozen or more national and international biographical dictionaries, including International Who's Who, Who's Who in America, American Men of Science andWho's Who in American Medicine.

  • Born in Churchville, NY on January 30, 1880
  • Family is directly descended from the Duke of Norfolk line (the Howard family of England can trace its lineage to the 9th century, farther back than any other family in Europe)
  • Earned his A.B. from the University of Michigan in 1904; his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1908; his A.M. from Harvard in 1917; and his Oph.D from the University of Colorado in 1918
  • Author of approximately 100 clinical and scientific contributions to ophthalmology
  • Married Maude Irene Strobel on June 25, 1910 in Philadelphia, and had three children: Margaret Howard Jackson, James Howell Howard and Martha Howard Blake (after the death of his first wife in 1948, he married Alice Tilson Eastes)
  • Resident physician, Bryn Mawr Hospital (1908)
  • Resident ophthalmic surgeon, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (1909-10)
  • Head of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Medical School, Canton, China (1910-13)
  • Ophthalmologist, Canton Christian College (1912-16)
  • Fellow, China Medical Board of Rockefeller Foundation at Harvard University (1916-18)
  • Fellow, the University of Vienna (1923-24)
  • Ophthalmic assistant, Harvard Post-Graduate Medical School and Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary (1917-18)
  • Professor and head of Department of Ophthalmology, Peking Union Medical College (1917-27)
  • Professor, Head of Department of Ophthalmology and Executive Directory of the Oscar Johnson Institute of Research in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, Washington University (1927-33)
  • Entered private practice in 1933
  • Medical Director for the Missouri Commission for the Blind (1931-1948)
  • Captain, Medical Corps, United States Army at Hazelhurst Field, Mineola, NY (September 1918 to June 1919)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Medical Reserve Corps (1921-41)
  • Awarded "Tiger" Fifth Class by the Chinese government (1926)
  • Commisioned a Colonel in the Medical reserve Corps (1941)
  • Fellow, the American Medical Association and the American College of Surgeons
  • Member, the American Ophthalmological Society
  • Member, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology
  • Member, the Southern Medical Association
  • Member, the Pinellas County, Florida Medical Society
  • Member, the Florida Medical Association
  • Member, the St. Louis Writers Guild (President, 1937)
  • Member, the Society of St. Louis Authors (President, 1942-45)
  • Member, the St. Louis Kiwanis Club (President, 1935)
  • Member, the American Legion and American War Dads
  • Member, Air Board of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Directors, Washington University Branch of the Y.M.C.A
  • Chairman, St. Louis Chapter of the William Allen White Committee (1940-41)
  • Chairman, St. Louis Chapter of the United China Relief (1938-42)
  • Died in Clearwater, FL on November 6, 1956

Brother George A. Malcolm

When he arrived in the Philippines in 1906, Brother Malcolm knew not a single person and had less than ten dollars in his pocket. Yet he worked his way up from the position of a temporary voucher clerk to the Dean of the College of Law. From his students came three Presidents of the Philippines, one Chief Justice and seven Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and many other influential people. He later served on the Supreme Court of the Philippines himself — first as an Associate Justice and later as Chief Justice. He would later move on to Puerto Rico to serve as Attorney General. All in all, he made about twelve world trips during this time.

  • Born in Concord, MI on November 5, 1881
  • Earned his A.B. from the University of Michigan (1904), as well as his L.L.B. (1906)
  • Received an Honorary J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1921
  • Earned his L.L.D. (Hogaku Hakushi) from Imperial University, Tokyo (1922)
  • Earned a subsequent L.L.D. from the University of Philippines (1949), and an Litt.D. from the National University of Manila (1949)
  • Founder and dean of the College of Law, University of Philippines
  • Assistant Attorney General of the Philippines (1911)
  • In 1917, appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines by President Woodrow Wilson (later became Chief Justice) — served on the Court for 28 years, until the Constitution of the Philippines passed and required all Justices to be native born
  • Staff member of the United States High Commissioner (1936-40)
  • Attorney General and Executive Council Member, Puerto Rico (1940-42)
  • Member, the American Bar Association (past vice-president for the Philippines)
  • Past President, the Philippine Bar Association
  • Past President, the Philippine Society of Southern California
  • Past President and honorary member of the Rotary of Manila
  • First District Governor for the Philippines
  • Member of the Hollywood Rotary
  • Honored with the 33rd degree by the Masonic Fraternity in Manila in 1961
  • Author of more than 18 books on law and the social sciences
  • Married Lucille Wolfe on December 13, 1932, and had one daughter, Mary MacKenzie
  • Died May 16, 1956 in Los Angeles, CA — "honorary pallbearers" sending special messages included: General Douglas MacArthur, Luis Munoz Marin (Governor of Puerto Rico), Ambassador Carlos P. Romulo of the Philippines, Ricardo Paras (Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court), Carl P. Miller (president of Rotary International), Dr. Fred Stevens (Grand Master for the Grand Lodge of the Philippines), and noted author Paul Wellman

Brother William J. Marshall

Acacia would never have existed if not for Dr. William J. Marshall. It was his idea of a Masonic Fraternity that eventually culminated into what is now known as Acacia Fraternity. Without Marshall's insight and leadership, Acacia might never have been born. Even after the founding, Marshall kept the spirit of Acacia alive while serving in the Medical Reserve Corps in WWI and later at his medical practice in Montana. As stated by a friend and fellow brother, Dr. Roy J. Ely:

"If [Marshall were] emulated by every member of Acacia, [it] would exert a tremendous impact for good throughout the entire nation."

  • Born in Shaiwassee County, MI on September 9, 1875
  • Graduate of Chesaning High School (1892)
  • Earned his A.B. from the University of Michigan (1900), as well as his M.S. (1901) and his M.D. (1904)
  • Married Maud M. Briley in Detroit on December 31, 1902, and had one son
  • Instructor of zoology and physiological chemistry, University of Michigan
  • Entered into the general practice of medicine in Polson, MT in 1910
  • Past mayor of Polson, MT
  • President of the Polson, MT School Board
  • Master of the Polson Masonic Lodge
  • Moved to Missoula, MT in 1920, where he became a partner in the Western Montana Clinic, having charge of Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Department
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy
  • Member, the Montana Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Life member, the Montana Medical Association
  • Authorized medical examiner, United States Department of Aviation
  • Major, United States Army Medical Officers Reserve Corps
  • Eye doctor for the C.M. & St. Paul Railway and Pacific Railway
  • Past mayor of Missoula, MT
  • Missoula, MT health officer
  • Member of the Missoula City Council
  • Chairman of the Missoula Park Board
  • President of the Missoula School Board
  • Past Grand Master of the Montana Blue Lodge and 33rd degree Mason
  • Died on September 23, 1952, at the age of 77, survived by his wife, one son and two brothers

Brother Ernest R. Ringo

  • Born in Springfield, NE on March 19, 1881
  • Earned his A.B. from Fremont College in 1901
  • Earned his L.L.B. from the University of Michigan in 1904 (class valedictorian)
  • Married Mary C. Logan on December 19, 1906
  • County Attorney for Sarhy County, NE (1906-10)
  • Moved to Portland, OR in 1910, where he started a law practice
  • Moved to Salem, OR in 1913, where he was special counsel for Governor Oswald West
  • Appointed District Attorney for Marion County in 1913
  • Moved to Portland, OR In 1917, serving one year as State Counsel for the Allen Property Custodian
  • Withdrew from practice in 1918 due to ill health, and moved to a farm in Idaho to get more outdoor exercise
  • Re-entered practice in 1924 in La Grande, OR, where he continued to serve until he retired from practice in 1944.

Brother Harlan P. Rowe

Although Harlan Rowe served as Acacia's first National President — and helped install many of the early chapters — information about his life after Acacia is somewhat limited, as he lived predominately in Europe at a time when communication wasn't easy. However, it is apparent Rowe took his experience in Acacia and made a good life for himself and his wife.

  • Born in Bay City, MI on August 9, 1881
  • Family moved to Montana in 1883; moved back to Bay City, MI in 1888; and then moved to Bad Axe, MI in 1894, where Rowe attended High School
  • Graduated from the University of Michigan in 1905
  • Moved to Chicago to pursue journalism, finding work with the City Press Association
  • Returned home to Bad Axe one year later due to father's illness
  • Took over the family retail business in 1912, following his father's death (he sold the business in 1914, moving back east to Detroit)
  • In 1915, he joined the wholesale department of the J.L. Hudson Co. in Detroit — Rowe described his position as a sort of "handy man" to the general manager
  • In 1918, he spent a year in France with the Y.M.C.A. Transport Services
  • In 1919, Rowe came back to the J.L. Hudson Co., where he was given the task of organizing a factory in the Philippine Islands and doing a market study for China and Japan
  • In 1920, he moved back to the U.S. and married Eleanor Mitchell
  • The newlyweds traveled extensively in Europe, finally taking up residence in Chamant, a village near Paris
  • Died in 1950

Brother Ralph B. Scatterday

In October of 1938, when The Triad began a quest to update its members and alumni on the original Founders of Acacia, Ralph Scatterday was nowhere to be found. In fact The Triad had been trying for 10 years to get information on Scatterday. Even his death in 1943 went largely unnoticed, primarily due to World War II.

  • Born near Saunemin, IL on October 6, 1878
  • Moved to Pontiac, IL where he attended high school
  • Worked for two years in the office of the circuit clerk before going to college
  • Graduated from the University of Michigan in 1904 with a law degree
  • Married Helen M. Scouller in 1908, and moved to Caldwell, ID (son, George, was born in 1910)
  • Entered a law practice in Idaho, and soon became a prominent attorney
  • In 1930, served as Chairman of the Republican Party for the State of Idaho
  • 32nd degree Mason of the Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 39, A.F. and A.M.
  • In 1936, his son joined him in his practice
  • Died in Caldwell, ID on February 16, 1943 — survived by wife and son, two brothers and one sister

Brother Charles A. Sink

Acacian, musician, politician, educator — these are just some of the roles that founder Charles Sink played during his long life. Under his leadership as its longstanding president, the University of Michigan Musical Society became known as one of the finest performing arts presenters in the country. Sink's contribution to the School of Music at the University of Michigan placed it among the leading musical institutions in the country, both in its ability and integrity of the faculty and its curriculum. With his service in the Michigan House of Representatives and State Senate, Brother Sink brought new meaning to the Acacia motto, Human Service. He was the last surviving Founding Father of Acacia, and was bestowed the title of Honorary National President of Acacia Fraternity at the 1968 Conclave.

  • Born July 4, 1879 in Westernville, NY
  • Married Alva Joanna Gordon in Ann Arbor, MI on June 18, 1928
  • Graduate of Churchville, NY High School (1898)
  • A.B., University of Michigan (1904)
  • Honorary M.E., Michigan State Normal College (1929)
  • Honorary L.L.D., Battle Creek, College (1930)
  • Honorary D.H. from Wayne State University (1957)
  • Secretary, University School of Music (1904-07)
  • Secretary and business manager, University School of Music (1907-27)
  • President, University School of Music (1927-40)
  • Secretary, manager and president of Choral Union and May Festival Concert Series
  • Served as President of the University of Michigan Musical Society (1927-1972)
  • Member, Ann Arbor City Council (1912-18)
  • Member, Michigan House of Representatives (1919-20, 1925-26)
  • Member, Michigan State Senate (1921-22, 1927-28, 1929-30)
  • Candidate for Lt. Governor of Michigan (1932)
  • Member, Republican State Central Committee of Michigan (1929-36)
  • Delegate or Guest to Republican State Conventions since 1912
  • Delegate or Guest to Republican National Convention since 1920
  • Chairman, Michigan State Teachers Retirement Fund Commission
  • Chairman, Michigan State Historical Commission
  • Member, Mackinac Island State Park Commission
  • Member, George Washington Bicentennial Commission
  • Member, Ann Arbor Historical Commission
  • Co-Founder, director and past president of the National Association of Concert Managers
  • Member, International Association of Concert Managers (Chairman of the Board, 1962)
  • Honorary member, American Opera Society
  • Member, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Mu Alpha, Sinfonia and Alpha Epsilon Mu
  • Mason and Rotarian
  • Author, Music in Our Colleges and Universities and Michigan's Teachers Retirement Law
  • During WWI, was a member of the County War Board and active in all patriotic campaigns
  • Organizer of the "Dollar-A-Month Club" for the relief of destitute Belgian children — recipient of theKing Albert Medal for his services
  • Received citations for bringing the Danish National Orchestra and the Concert-gebouw to America — as well as for meritorious peacetime service by Erwin Prieskorn Post of the American Legion
  • Brother Sink died in 1972

Brother Harry B. Washburn

The true enigma of the original Founders of Acacia. Next to nothing is known about Washburn's life inside or outside of the fraternity,

  • Born in 1880 in Southern California
  • Moved back to California after graduating from the University of Michigan in 1905

Brother Walter S. Wheeler

Along with Founder William J. Marshall, Wheeler led a group who wanted a Masonic group back at the University of Michigan. Wheeler was one of the strongest supporters of a new Masonic Fraternity, as indicated by this quote from the first Acacia Journal:

"By constant association with men imbued with Masonic principles and ideas, as well as by practicing the fraternalism taught in Masonry, its members may derive a substantial benefit. In a sense it will be exclusive even among Masons."

Using this guideline, early Acacia chapters were able to recruit prestigious members into our fraternity. Another Founder whose life is largely a mystery, details on Wheeler are scant.

  • Born in 1875
  • Worked his way through college by running a hamburger stand at night
  • Earned his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1904
  • Prominent attorney in Detroit
  • Died in 1941