Our National Founders

The only Conclave held from 1930-1935 was at the Hotel Baker in St. Charles, Illinois in 1935. This Conclave, which was postponed each year for financial reasons, instituted for the first time a program of addresses during the sessions and at lunches and dinners. However, the most significant measure adopted at this twentieth Conclave was the recognition of Lester H. Martin, L.W. Tuesburg, William Wilson, and Wallace G. McCauley for their dedicated and untiring efforts in the building of Tau Kappa Epsilon. These four men were named National Founders for their work in making TKE truly a "national" fraternity.

Lester H. Martin

Lester H. Martin was one of the members of the original Knights of Classic Lore. He held a number of offices in the Fraternity during his active career, and was easily its most influential member up to the time of his graduation from the law school, which took place in 1903. He was admitted to the bar the same year and took up the practice of law at Colfax. He later moved to Winfield, Kansas, where he made his home for several years, but returned to Illinois where he resided at Normal. Martin was elected to be the first Grand Prytanis at the first Annual Conclave and, at the second Conclave, was re-elected to serve another term.

Wallace G. McCauley

Wallace G. McCauley was born at Rankin, Illinois, July 21, 1882. He was raised there and concluded public schooling, graduating from Rankin high School in June 1899. In 1901, he entered Purdue University and the following year, entered Wesleyan as a sophomore. At commencement of his senior year in literary, he entered freshman law and was president of the class that year. He graduated taking a B.S. degree and spent the succeeding year in Chicago attending lectures at John Marshall Law School and working in law offices there. He was admitted to the practice of law at Lafayette, Indiana. He was the first to launch the idea that TKE should be a national fraternity and delivered the famous address entitled "Opportunity Out of Defeat" at the Alpha chapter initiation banquet in October 1907.

William Wilson

William Wilson was born on March 3, 1884. His career was uneventful until he entered the law school of Illinois Wesleyan on September 17, 1902. He was one of the youngest members of the Fraternity at the time and continued to be an active member until his graduation from the law school in June, 1905. Frater Wilson was admitted to the Bar in the year of this graduation, and at once became associated with the firm Cheney & Evans in Chicago. In the fall of 1908, he was invited to join the firm of White & Tuesburg at Pontiac, Illinois, and remained with them until the spring of 1909. He returned to Chicago to rejoin the firm of Cheney, Evans & Wilson and became a successful trial lawyer.

L.W. Tuesburg

L.W. Tuesburg was born at Lowell, LaSalle County, Illinois, on September 28, 1878. He lived at Farm Ridge, in the same county, until the year 1894, when he came to Pontiac, Illinois, and resided with an uncle while attending Pontiac High School. He graduated in 1898, being the first student of the institution to complete a four-year course in three years. Frater Tuesburg entered the Wesleyan Law School in September, 1902, and remained there one year. He pursued his further studies in law in the office of Fred G, White, of Pontiac, and was admitted to the Bar in October, 1904, and on January 1, 1905, became a member of the firm of White & Tuesburg, practicing law at Pontiac, Illinois. During his fraternity career, he held only one office, that of treasurer, and he was also president of the Freshman Law Class.