Frank Reed Horton the founder of Alpha Phi Omega or APO, alpha phi omega founder, apo founder, founder of alpha phi omega, founder of apo
Alpha Phi Omega

Zamboanga City, Philippines
Αα Alpha | Ββ Beta | Γγ Gamma | Δδ Delta | Εε Epsilon | Ζζ Zeta
Ηη Eta | Θθ Theta | Ιι Iota | Κκ Kappa | Λλ Lambda | Μμ Mu | Νν Nu | Ξξ Xi | Οο Omicron | Ππ Pi | Ρρ Rho | Σσς Sigma | Ττ Tau | Υυ Upsilon | Φφ Phi | Χχ Chi | Ψψ Psi | Ωω Omega | Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Associations

The Founder|Tradition|About Each Chapter|Apo History|Who's Who|Pledge Manual|Comments|Live Long and Prosper|Toast Song

Frank Reed Horton...The Early Days

  Frank Reed Horton - Apo Founder
Frank and his mode of transportation in about 1909.
 
Frank Reed Horton Apo founder
After the war Frank spent time managing his fatherís farm.

The following article was written by Paul M. H. Lienhardt, '51, Alpha Psi Chapter, Lehigh University, Lehigh, Pennsylvania. (Copyright © 2001, Alpha Phi Omega. All rights reserved.) Brother Lienhardt spent many hours of research on the early life of our Founder, and has given us a detailed view of Frank Reed Horton that might have remained hidden with the passage of time. We have all read "The Story of the Founding," written by our Founder, in the Pledge Manual. Here is the rest of his story. We are very gratefull for the dedicated work, zeal, and determination that Brother Lienhardt has devoted to compile this historical aspect on the early life of our Founder, Frank Reed Horton.

Frank Reed Horton Apo Founder
Frank Reed Horton with his mother and father

Early Years


Frank Reed Horton was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, (near Pittsburgh), on July 17, 1896. By the time Frank was 13 years old his family had moved to Easton, Pennsylvania. The year was 1910 and he was enrolled in preparatory school studies at Lerchs Academy, situated in downtown Easton, just a few blocks from Lafayette College. When the family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut, Frank continued his prep school studies at Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts. In the two years he attended Worcester Academy he played football, basketball and baseball. He also excelled in other school activities. He served as the Business Manager of the academy's weekly paper, THE VIGORNIA, and excelled in debate. He became a member of Sigma Zeta Kappa Debating Society. On June 7, 1913, presenting his topic "The Man Without a Country" by Edward Everett Hale, Frank won the annual Dexter Award and a $25 prize. In May 1914, Frank was elected to serve as president of the debating society.

In 1915 after leaving Worcester Academy Frank worked the next two years during the day as a law clerk for Robert A. Fosdick, Esquire, in Stamford, Connecticut; and at night he studied law extension courses from LaSalle College in Chicago. In the fall of 1916, at the age of 20, he enrolled at Boston University Law School, where his freshman courses were criminal law, agency, torts, sales, contract and property.

One of the more significant events in his life at this time was his joining in Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity on November 4, 1916. It would be a few years later when, as a war veteran returning to school, he would find himself on the Lafayette College campus and residing at the SAE house. That would be the place where he would begin Alpha Phi Omega.

As with many young people, Frank's parents were major influences in his life. Frank was close to his mother mainly because his father traveled a lot in his professional life. But even so, his father continued to wield heavy influence on Frank's law studies. Just as it would appear that Frank would continue his pursuit of law, the world war in Europe was felt in America. On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war against Germany. The War Army Act, a selective draft of 1,000,000 men ages 21 to 30, was passed by congress on May 1 S, 1917. Frank was 21. World War I would change Frank's focus forever.


Masonry and the War Years

Although Horton's Masonry and war related experiences are not really interrelated they were both significant events occurring at the same time period. On June 18, 1918, Frank entered the Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite Masonic order Western Star #37 A.F.&A.M. in Norfolk, Connecticut. Several years later he would expand his Masonic life while on naval duty in Kirkwall, Scotland.

On June 21, 1918, Frank R. Horton enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force at New London, Connecticut. He reported for training on July 22, 1918, in Newport, Rhode Island, as a Radio Electrician. He transferred October 5, 1918, to the naval unit at Boston University for additional studies. While there he achieved Chief Boatswain's Mate rating on December 19, 1918. It should be noted that Germany signed the Armistice effectively ending the war on November 1 1, 1918, yet many tasks for the military, especially for the Navy, needed to be completed. With a commitment to the Navy for almost two more years Frank continued to improve himself, taking and passing competitive exams to become an officer. In 1919 he entered Naval Offficers-Material Training School, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Frank Reed Horton was commissioned an Ensign on April 17,1919. He immediately reported to the First Naval District in Boston for active service on the USS Whippoorwill, a newly commissioned minesweeper. The first duty assignment for the ship was to the North Sea to participate in the detonation of 57,000 magnetic mines strung from Orkney Islands, just north of Scotland, and due east to Stavanger, Norway. Frank would serve as a Watch Offficer, Navigation Offficer, Signal Offficer and Inspection Offficer while on sea duty.

But it was Frank's previous legal training that drew him away from his regular assignments and into special duties with the navy court martial system involving young seamen. More than a few, who, facing dangers and being away from home and lacking personal guidance, found themselves in trouble with navy rules and regulations. The matter of strengthening principles in young men would influence Frank forever. Here we see another significant event that would allow him to readily accept the principles of Scouting in his life as well as those of Rotary, Masonry and other organizations.

On August 8, 1919, at Kirkwall, Scotland, in the Orkney Islands, he entered the Royal Arch Chapter #209 of the York Rite. He would later receive Life Member Militia Templi Preceptory St. Magnus recognition on April 23,1922, upon returning to the United States.

The USS Whippoorwill returned March 1920 to Charleston, South Carolina, with Frank obtaining his naval discharge June 23, 1920, in Philadelphia. He would earn the World War I Victory Medal and the Minesweeper Clasp. From 1920 to 1922 after leaving the Navy Frank managed his father's 11-acre hog and chicken stock farm, known as Stoneacre, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. While in Carlisle he joined Kiwanis and the Knights of Pythias.

Lafayette College
Scouting
Alpha Phi Omega


In the summer of 1922 Frank moved to Columbus, Ohio. This information was gleaned from Masonic records showing his change from Norwalk, Connecticut to affiliation in the East Gate Lodge #603 in Galena, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. In the ensuing years he received the 32nd degree Prince of the Royal Secret (Scottish Rite) Masonic Order from the Ordo ab Chao Supreme Council 33rd Jurisdiction at Grand East, in Boston, Massachusetts. Masonic Orders were a continuing vital part of Frank Reed Horton's life. Later Frank would resign from Valley of Scranton Masonic Lodge, March 8, 1926, to enter the Valley of Allentown Masonic Lodge on June 3, 1927, while still maintaining his ties to the Blue Lodge at East Gate #603 in Ohio.

In the fall of 1923 Frank enrolled at Lafayette College as a sophomore. That year his course of studies included history, English, psychology, ethics and religion. He was 27 years old. In November of 1923 Frank attended the American Legion Armistice Ball held at the Easton armory, where he met another naval veteran, 10 years his senior, Herbert George Horton, who had served as a lieutenant on a destroyer. In sharing military stories and discussing the events of the day Herb, then Easton Area Council Scout Executive, told Frank about Scouting and launched Frank on his first Scouting assignment as Deputy Scout Commissioner for South Side District and as interim Scoutmaster for a Scout Troop. Later Frank would state, "In the Scout Oath and Law, I found the standard I had been seeking, a standard of manhood that would stand the test of time, and it was worldwide for friendship, understanding and world peace."

The events of Frank Reed Horton's life throughout this time period, his family life, religious faith, study of law, military experience, membership in Masonry and newly found ideals of Scouting allowed him to have the energy, conviction, dedication and vision to provide the leadership necessary for the next stage. Frank Reed Horton had the conviction, dedication and vision to lead a group of 14 fellow students who worked creatively and diligently to lay the foundation and structure our Fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.
 

The Story Behind the FoundingFrank Reed Horton - Apo Founder

by Frank Reed Horton, Founder  

During the first world war, I served as an ensign in the United States Navy aboard a minesweeper in the North Sea. Our ship and its partner exploded more than 1,000 magnetic mines. My law school background at Boston University led to my appointment to try court martial cases in our Division. When we reached ports some of the sailors ran wild. Many court martial cases resulted. I saw young boys in their teens getting into trouble.

Because of these experiences, I made a firm resolution within myself that if I returned alive, I would try to do two things and do them with all my power. First, do my best to help young people get the right start in life by holding up before them a "standard of manhood" that would withstand the test of time! Second and just as important, try to help the nations of the world settle their disputes in a more sensible and legal manner than by war.

After the war, I became a student at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania. One evening, while attending an American Legion banquet during my sophomore year, I sat next to an inspiring man named Herbert G. Horton. We were not related but we became fast friends. He, too, had been a naval officer but was now serving as the local Scout Executive. He helped me to become a Deputy Scout Commissioner. One of the troops needed a leader, so I became a Scoutmaster as well.

Through these experiences, I found that the Scout Oath and Law were what I had been seeking - a standard of manhood that would withstand the test of time and a code of ideals created and accepted by some of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.

The summer of my junior year was spent as an Associate Camp Director at the Easton Scout Reservation. Here I was impressed with the religious tolerance in the hearts of the boys. This I have not found so easily among older people. Scouts of the Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant faiths worked together in everything at camp, and everyone had an opportunity to worship on his Sabbath in his own way.

My Brothers in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity house, where I lived, who were outstanding for high ideals and clean living, were all former Scouts. I felt a college organization should be formed that would strengthen men in these ideals, and give them an opportunity for Leadership experience and for Service to others.

As a senior at Lafayette College, I talked to some of the men with a Scouting background and the response was good. These men would join an organization based on the ideals of Scouting. I created the name Alpha Phi Omega, the motto and the Greek words and their meaning and wrote the Ritual. Everett W. Probst designed the pin and drew the Coat-of-Arms. Thane S. Cooley suggested the handclasp. Ellsworth S. Dobson and Gordon M. Looney helped write the Constitution and Bylaws.

Fourteen undergraduates signed as charter Members. Scouting advisors were Dr. Ray O. Wyland and Herbert G. Horton.

The Lafayette College Faculty approved the petition for recognition. On December 16, 1925, I conducted the Ritual Initiation at Brainerd Hall, second floor, and Alpha Phi Omega was born.

My purpose was to make Alpha Phi Omega an organization for college men who cooperated with all youth movements, especially Scouting. I also anticipated that our Service program would expand to help people in need everywhere and to do service on the campus of each Chapter.

As Scouting is worldwide, so should Alpha Phi Omega be worldwide, gradually in the colleges and universities of all the nations. Alpha Phi Omega can help bring about, through the future statesmen of the world, that standard of manhood and international understanding and friendship that will lead to a better, more peaceful world in which to live and in which to make a living and a life.

Founding Members of Alpha Phi Omega

One of the founders of Alpha Phil Omega
 
One of the founders of Alpha Phil Omega
 
One of the founders of Alpha Phil Omega
 
One of the founders of Alpha Phil Omega
 
One of the founders of Alpha Phil Omega
 
One of the founders of Alpha Phil Omega
 
One of the founders of Alpha Phil Omega
 
One of the founders of APO Fraternity
 
One of the founders of APO Fraternity
 
One of the founders of APO Fraternity
 
One of the founders of APO Fraternity
 
One of the founders of APO Fraternity
 
One of the founders of APO Fraternity
 
One of the founders of APO Fraternity
 

Founding Advisors

One of the founding members of Alpha Phi Omega
 
One of the founding members of Alpha Phi Omega
 
One of the founding members of Alpha Phi Omega
 
One of the founding members of Alpha Phi Omega
 
One of the founding members of Alpha Phi Omega
 
One of the founding members of Alpha Phi Omega
 


Visit the Store of our Sponsor