Colgate Scrapbook – 1. Cover & Introduction

This post begins a new series of articles chronicling an effort to document and share a unique scrapbook of historical material assembled by Philip Allen Munro over nine years, including his time as a student at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. The scrapbook is huge and could be a full research project in itself. It contains announcements, articles, calling cards, clippings, invitations, letters, photographs, train tickets and more. The material spans the period from 1890-1899, glued into a 169 page hardcover journal measuring 9.5″ x 15″. While the material is certainly of interest to Squire Munro Descendants, especially those in the Isaac Hill Munro branch, it will also have far wider appeal. Many items presented in this series of posts will likely be of interest beyond the family and we will be sharing our progress with historians from Central New York, Colgate University, Syracuse University, the DKE Fraternity and more.


Philip Allen “Phil” Munro (1876-1963) was a 3rd great-grandson of Squire Munro (1758-1835). He was born on March 26, 1876 in Camillus, New York, the son of Isaac Hill Munro (1848-1922) and Edwena Knapp (1849-1888). Phil and his older brother Fayette Smith “Faye” Munro (1874-1963) were members of the Class of 1895 at Colgate University and the Delta Kappa Epsilon (ΔΚΕ) fraternity, commonly known as DKE. For now, we will simply introduce him with a quote from the Rev. Daniel Clare, known as Dan Clare to classmates; “Everyone had a warm spot in his heart for the genial young athlete who bore all his honors so lightly and kept through all his college years that simplicity of spirit and transparent sincerity and sterling integrity which impressed the whole college.” Phil saved a staggering collection of ephemera during his time at school and organized it into an impressive journal. Although we have extensive biographical information about both Phil and Faye, we will let this scrapbook tell their stories and will share more information in the context of the story it tells.


We begin our journey through this impressive volume, starting with the cover where Phil inscribed his initials and those of the fraternity — PAM and ΔΚΕ respectively — and his abbreviated class year; 1895. Opening the cover, we see the title page with his inscription, “Philip A. Munro, Camillus, New York DKE ’95.”

On the inside cover, a stamp partially obscured by a sticker that indicates the journal book was printed by Lucius Jared Ormsbee of Syracuse, who founded Ormsbee’s Statoner’s Hall in 1846 according to an advertisement found in the Official Minutes of the United Methodist Church Central New York Conferences published in 1880. Ormsbee was a well known business that offered an assortment of fine stationary. At the bottom of the page a stamp indicates that the journal was printed on December 11, 1888.


In a paper loop with a DKE sticker we find two tickets for the First Night of a D.K.E Comic Opera Company’s presentation of an original comic opera titled “Pair of Kings” dated May 31st, 1899. According to the tickets, there was a performance at 8 p.m. and dancing at 10 p.m at the event which was held at the Woman’s Union Hall. The original comic opera by H.S. Lee and G. W. Elderkin was described favorably in a fraternity periodical as amusing and apparently a hit for the two hundred guests who attended that first performance.

“The opera, which was written and composed by H. S. Lee and G. W. Elderkin, was most amusing and was thoroughly enjoyed by the 200 guests. The hall was prettily decorated and nearly all of those present at the play remained for the dancing which followed.”

The Deke Quarterly (volume 17-18, 1899)

It is likely that Philip attended the event since a program was found among a stack of items thought to have either become disconnected from a page or were never connected in the first place.

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