The society was founded in November 1897 by eight men. They were Royall Hill Switzer, Thomas Benton Marbut, Gurry Ellsworth Huggins, William Frank Wilson, Clarence Martin Jackson, Horace Beckley Williams, Antoine Edward Russell, and Galius Lawton Zwick. Royall Hill Switzer organized the first class of the society, and he is therefore credited as being the founder of the QEBH.
The introduction of class societies to the Missouri campus is generally attributed to Luther DeFoe, an 1881 graduate and then junior member of the faculty. Defoe was a primary organizer and inspiration for a chapter of Theta Nu Epsilon at Missouri in 1895, and he played an advisory role to the founders of QEBH as well.
QEBH's workings, purposes and affairs are known only to its members. The underlying idea of the society is to bring together a few men of recognized standing among their fellows, men who have been long enough on the campus to be in sympathy with the whole body of students, and sufficiently broad and advanced in spirit to take the viewpoint of Alma Mater in their university interests; and through these few men and concerted example to instill in the undergraduates a real affection for their University, a sentimental loyalty, enduring in adversity and defeat as in prosperity and victory. Membership in the society comes only after significant accomplishment.
Throughout its history, QEBH has maintained a rivalry with MU's Mystical Seven society. This rivalry has often involved the two societies playing pranks on each other. In one instance in 1985, members of QEBH disguised themselves as members of Mystical Seven and surprised Mystical Seven's yet to be initiated candidates at 4:30am one morning. The new candidates were convinced the activity was part of their initiation process, and they were taken to Jefferson City, Missouri where they were dropped off and abandoned by the disguised QEBH members.
The primary symbol of QEBH is winged sphere. The symbol's origin is that of the winged sphere that was once the distinctive mark of Jesse Hall. The wings broke from the top of the dome when a patriotic student scaled the dome one night around the time of World War I and fastened the staff of a large American flag to the structure. The flag caught enough wind to tear the wings from the dome, leaving only the golden sphere, which is still in place. The original winged sphere has direct symbolism to the meaning of "QEBH". The destruction of the wings from the dome was foreshadowed in the 1901 Savitar where mention is made of QEBH's secret meetings at the top of the dome, but followed later by stating that "QEBH didn't take the wings off the dome." The hundreds of names carved into the inner walls of the Jesse Hall dome are well known to be those belonging to the members of QEBH; however, those affiliated with the society will not give out any information regarding the mystery of what takes place inside the dome.
The tradition of the Victory Bell originated in 1927. The bell was originally stolen from a church in Seward, Nebraska by Phi Delta Theta and Delta Tau Delta in 1892. The two fraternities shared housing at the time, but when the groups later acquired their own individual houses they began an annual tradition of awarding the bell as a trophy to the winner of a specified athletic or academic contest. When then Missouri athletic director Chester Brewer suggested a trophy be established for the winner of the annual Missouri–Nebraska Rivalry football game, the bell was chosen to fill the role. An "M" was then engraved on one side of the bell and an "N" was engraved on the opposite side. QEBH is the caretaker of the bell at Missouri, and the Innocents Society is the caretaker of the bell at Nebraska.
Chapter of 1898
- Royall Hill Switzler (ΦΔΘ, ΦΒΚ)
- Thomas Benton Marbut
- Antoine Edward Russell (ΒΘΠ, ΦΔΦ)
- William Frank Wilson (KA, ΘΝΕ, ΦΔΦ)
- Clarence Martin Jackson (ΦΒΚ, ΣΞ)
- Gurry Ellsworth Huggins
- Horace Beckley Williams (ΦΔΘ, MU Football)
- Galius Lawton Zwick (ΣΑΕ, ΘΝΕ, ΦΔΦ, MU Baseball)
Chapter of 1899
- George Harrison English (ΦΔΘ, ΘΝΕ, ΦΔΦ)
- Raymond Saufley Edmonds (ΦΔΘ, ΘΝΕ, ΦΔΦ)
- George Gordon Robertson (MU Tennis)
- Irvin Victor Barth (ΘΝΕ, ΦΒΚ, ΦΔΦ)
- Don Carlos Guffey (KΣ)
- Libsom Elwood Durham
- Joe Shelby McIntyre (ΘΝΕ, ΦΔΦ)
- Frank Young Gladney
- Richmond Laurin Hawkins (MU Baseball)
- Merritt Kimbrough Salmon (ΣΑΕ)
Chapter of 1900
- John Louis Deister (ΦΒΚ)
- Elmer C. Peper (ΦΔΘ, ΘΝΕ)
- Charles Shumway Ruffner (ΦΔΘ, ΘΝΕ, TBΠ)
- Forest Shepard Lyman (KΣ, TBΠ)
- Arthur Graham Ficklin
- Lee Utley (KA, ΘΝΕ)
- William F. Switzler (ΦΔΘ)
- William Cardwell Lucas (ΣΑΕ, ΘΝΕ, ΦΔΦ)
- Gilbert Barlow (ΒΘΠ)
- Francis Marvin Motter
Notable student members
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- Ben Askren, 2006 NCAA individual national wrestling champion and Sports Illustrated Collegiate Wrestler of the Year
- Forrest C. Donnell (Chapter of 1904), former Missouri governor
- Harvey P. Eisen (Chapter of 1964), Chairman of Bedford Oak Advisors
- Martin Frost (Chapter of 1964), Democratic representative to the U.S. House of Representatives for Texas's 24th congressional district from 1979 to 2005
- John R. Gibson (Chapter of 1950), Senior Federal Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Kenny Hulshof, U.S. Congressman
- Richard D. Kinder (Chapter of 1966), CEO of Kinder Morgan, former president of Enron, currently ranked #41 on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. Kinder's net worth is more than $2.9 billion.
- Derrick Peterson (Chapter of 1999), US Olympic Track and Field Athlete in 2004
- Ike Skelton, U.S. Congressman
- Sam M. Walton (Chapter of 1940), founder of Wal-Mart
- Kellen Winslow, NFL Hall of Fame Tight End
- Hardin Cox, Missouri House of Representative (1964-1974), Missouri State Senator (1974 1982), Member of 1945 Missouri Tiger's Football Team and Big Six Champions
- Tim Kaine, Senator (VA), former Governor of Virginia
Notable honor taps
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- Christopher S. "Kit" Bond, U.S. Senator
- August Busch, Jr., American brewing magnate and former owner of the St. Louis Cardinals (Chapter of 1969)
- Thomas F. Eagleton (Chapter of 1964), former U.S. Senator
- Chuck Graham (Chapter of 2006), Missouri State Senator
- Warren E. Hearnes (Chapter of 1966), former Missouri governor
- Pinkney Walker (Chapter of 1962), former MU economics professor who was appointed to the Federal Power Commission by President Nixon. Walker brought his former student Ken Lay to Washington and mentored him in the energy industry.
- Darwin Hindman, former Mayor of City of Columbia (MO)
- Brady Deaton, former University of Missouri-Columbia Chancellor
- The Maneater - Tap Day reveals society inductees
- Handy Williamson, Vice Provost, Receives Double Tap
- Mizzou On Canvas: A Portrait in Leadership
-  Theta Nu Epsilon website
- "Five Honor Societies Initiate New Members". Columbia Missourian. April 18, 1985.
- The Maneater - Mystery of Jesse Dome
- Innocents: Members
- University of Missouri, Official Athletic Site of the Mizzou Tigers Traditions
- The Maneater - Senator Graham gets tapped