Known Initiates of Phi Gamma Delta at Soule University

Charter Members


  1. William S. Oldham, Jr. is listed as a freshman in the 1859-60 University catalogue. In the Civil War served as a private in Company B, 8th Regiment Texas Cavalry, then as A.A.P. in the Adjutant General’s office with General Smith for twelve months. Finally he was promoted to 1stLieutenant and served on General Maxey’s staff until the end of the war. Evidence suggests that he moved to Houston and may be the same W.S. Oldham, Jr. who, according to The Texas Handbook, acted as administrator for a the estate of a wealthy relative, possibly his father (William Oldham, 1798-1868).
  2. Asa Evans Stratton[Jr.] is listed in the freshman class in the 1859-60 University catalogue. A speech given at Soule in 1860 by him is found in the University of Texas Archives.  He was born in Mississippi January 13, 1844, son of Asa Evans Stratton, by second wife Amanda (Gibbons) Wood Stratton (d. 1847).  They moved to Texas in 1859, residing in Bastrop County one year, then Brazoria County, near Cedar Lake.  Asa Jr. enlisted with Confederate forces in 1862, "serving with the Trans-Mississippi department until the close of the war rising from the rank of private to that of sergeant major. He was a member of Colonel Joseph Bate's legion, and subsequently of Company G, 39th [or 30th?], Texas Cavalry."  [Another source says he served "as orderly sergeant of Company G, Brown's regiment of Texas cavalry, and as sergeant-major of that regiment."]  "He was admitted to the bar in Texas, and was judge of the county court of Brazoria County, and subsequently United States attorney for the eastern district of Texas.  He was a member of the State senate of Texas for two terms, during the eighteenth and nineteenth legislatures [1880 to 1884], and resigned his office in 1884 to accept the appointment as United States attorney."  Stratton moved to Alabama in 1897, where he "became collector of internal revenue and United States commissioner."  He soon moved to Montgomery, "where for more than 20 years he made his home, serving for 14 yeas as referee in bankruptcy . . . ."  Stratton was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of Alabama in 1906.  He died in April, 1921. Sources: Montgomery Advocate, April 27, 1921; and biographical information from the Alabama Department of Archives.
  3. Alex G. Beaumont joined Company I, "Texas Aides", 5th Texas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Hood’s Texas Brigade, as a private in Chappell Hill on August 3, 1861. He was twenty years old and gave his occupation as "student." He was discharged at Richmond, Virginia on September 25, (or Oct. 5, depending on the document) 1862 due to tuberculosis. He married Isadore Theodocie Franklin on June 30, 1869 in Washington County, Texas.
  4. E. T. Giddings: The Giddings were a respected early family in Brenham, Texas in the same county as Chappell Hill. J.D. and D.C. Giddings were prominent Brenham attorneys and businessmen; J.D. was an active Methodist and donor to Soule University. Prairie Lea Cemetery in Brenham bears the following tombstone: "Edmond T. Giddings, Son of J.D. and Ann A. M. Giddings died January 27, 1863, Age 17 yrs. 10 mos."  This would have made him just short of his sixteenth birthday at the time of Soule chapter's chartering.
  5. Thomas T. Norris: No information. In a 1905 letter, John H. McLeary (see below) recalled "S. Thomas Norris" as a member, and "afterward a business man in Austin, Texas . . . ."


  1. D. D. Felder was a member of the chapter at Soule according to a letter written by Edwin T. Dumble in 1925. While we do not currently have any additional information on Felder, Soule University’s board of trustees at different times included a Gabriel Felder and later M.M. Felder. At the laying of the main building’s cornerstone, a R. Felder spoke.


  1. Duncan M. McIntyre, was born November 13, 1843, to H.C. and Sarah McIntyre. He returned to Texas in late 1866, according to Edwin Dumble, who wrote that the climate was "too severe" back in Virginia.  McIntyre died on January 2, 1867, and is buried in Prairie Lea Cemetery, Brenham, Texas. Dumble noted that the only Phi Gamma Delta badge among the new chapter at Washington had belonged to McIntyre.
  2. "Christopher C. Garrett, son of Oliver Hazard Perry and Nancy M. Garrett, was born at Chappell Hill, Texas, on February 3, 1846. He attended Soule University and Baylor University before he enlisted in the Confederate Army, in which he served for two years but never saw active duty. After the war he entered Washington College [now Washington and Lee], from which he graduated with honors in June, 1869. He taught school and studied law for two years before he was admitted to the bar in Brenham in 1871. He established his practice in Brenham and soon was known throughout the state as an outstanding attorney. Garrett had continued his interests in education, assisting in the organization of graded schools at Brenham, and in August, 1886, Governor John Ireland appointed him to the board of directors of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas [now Texas A and M]. In May, 1887, he was made president of the board. In 1888 Garrett was elected judge of the twenty-first judicial district, which position he held until May 2, 1891, when Governor James S. Hogg appointed him to the Commission of Appeals. Garrett married Lora Rial on September 27, 1870; they were the parents of nine children. He died at Brenham on September 15, 1905." From The Handbook of Texas, Volume I (Austin, Texas: The Texas State Historical Association, 1952), p. 672. A more thorough biography is found at the on-line The Handbook of Texas. It states he was president of the board of Texas A&M University starting in 1887. See McLeary's information, below, for more on Garrett.
  3. Edwin T. Dumble was not initiated at Soule, but attended school there and later transferred to Washington with Garrett, McIntyre, and McLeary. He later joined Phi Gamma Delta after its founding at Washington. A letter he wrote in 1925 describes the connection between the chapters at Soule and at Washington and Lee. A complete biography is found at the on-line The Handbook of Texas.
  4. John Harvey McLeary (pictured) attended Soule and was initiated there in May, 1861, according to a contemporary source. Phi Gamma Delta's  1898 Chapter Rolls and Directorystates "In 1859 he was sent to Soule University, at Chapel [sic] Hill, Texas, where he remained until 1861."  It further states that after serving in the Confederate forces,

In September 1865 he again entered Soule University, and there spent another year in study.  It was during his year that he joined Phi Gamma Delta.  The chapter there at the time consisted of a few bright fellows who were leaders in their classes and college affairs in general.

The next year, 1866, saw the young student at Washington-Lee University, then Washington University.  He and C. C. Garrett . . . were at Washington-Lee together, and being already brothers in Phi Gamma Delta, they applied for a charter for Zeta Deuteron Chapter, which they founded and of which they were charter members.  McLeary was made [president], and Garrett, [secretary].

The original minute book of the Washington and Lee chapter, however, differs from this account. It states that McLeary was initiated in May, 1861, and that Garret was initiated in June, 1866. This would seem to be the more authoritative account.

McLeary's biography is found at the The Handbook of Texas. He was an attorney who eventually served on the Supreme Court of Porto [later Puerto] Rico. He died in 1914 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
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