For this year’s Founders’ Day blog series, we asked each member of the staff to go back to their days as a pledge class remember and learn about Chi Psi’s founders to tell us which one they most relate to. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes inspiring and always educational (about the founders and the staff). Next up, is Justin Froeber:
Witherspoon was a cousin of another Founder, Robert McFaddin. An eminent man in his community, Witherspoon was a planter and served as a Confederate Major in Menison’s Regiment and Cabell’s Brigade. He rose high in the legal profession, becoming a member of the state legislature, several times special circuit judge, once special supreme-court justice, and later attorney general of his state. From Wallaceburg, Arkansas, he was a true southerner of the old type.
Samuel Titus Taber
Br. Taber was descended from an old New England family whose ancestral home was in Massachusetts. He was born on 13 April 1824 at chestnut Ridge, New York. He received his A.M. from union and his LL.B from Harvard in 1843. After clerking with a Poughkeepsie law firm, he was admitted to the bar in 1845, although he was never in active practice. He married Katherine C. Hiller of Chautauqua County in 1845 and listed his occupation for the rest of his life as “country gentleman”. Taber was interested in modern agricultural methods and the development on the best strains of poultry, swine, and cattle. He was quiet and studious, but an earnest and generous supporter of all schemes for public and political improvement. On the boards of a bank and several transportation companies, Brother Taber was vice president of the State Agricultural Society.
I had trouble picking one founder that I most relate to. However, I think that a combination of Brs. Samuel Titus Taber and James Lafeyette Witherspoon would represent me well. Both me were incredibly hardworking men who valued the finer things in life.
Br. Witherspoon wore many hats while representing the state of Arkansas in legislature and the supreme court. While Br. Witherspoon also worked hard, you can tell he took plenty of time to himself. He was a planter and enjoyed the outdoors as a “southerner of the old type.” For those of you who may not know, my degree is in Horticultural Sciences and Landscape Design so I can relate to Br. Witherspoon’s passion for agriculture. The phrase “southerner of the old type” really stands out to me as well. I can imagine Br. Witherspoon on a cool summer evening, finely dressed holding a glass of sweet-iced tea, front porch sittin’ and listenin’ to some country tunes and talking about the good ‘ole days. It is also important note that Br. Witherspoon passed away just a month after helping open the 25th Alpha of Chi Psi, Alpha Delta. I think Br. Witherspoon and I would get along just fine.
I also mentioned that I think I could relate to Br. Taber. Br. Taber also had a background in agriculture. I believe that Br. Taber was a very ambitious man and that at an early age he set goals for himself and as soon as he would check something off the list he would move on to the next thing. It is evident that Br. Taber wanted to be a lawyer at some point in his life but after gaining the since of achievement of being admitted to the bar, Br. Taber never actually actively practiced. It think he enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment through setting out to achieve his goals but ultimately family and the finer things in life would lead him to even greater satisfaction. So instead of practicing law he met a young lady and moved out to the country to enjoy the some of those finer things in life. Br. Taber listed his occupation as a “country gentleman”. I think that would be a great way to be remembered.