Jacob Broughton Nelson

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Jacob Broughton Nelson (born July 1898, date of death unknown) has been proclaimed the titular founder of Phi Kappa National Fraternity.

What is Known About Him[edit]

Nelson was born in July 1898 in Brundidge, Alabama. In the 1900 census Nelson was listed as the son of Jacob Boone Nelson and Laura Hill Locke Nelson in Summerfield, Alabama. In 1910 he was living with Jacob and Laura as their son in Dellwood, Jackson County, Florida. He later lived with them at 234 South Three Notch Street in Troy, Alabama. Jacob Boone Nelson (31 Jan. 1851-11 Dec. 1916) was a circuit preacher for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and is thought to be Jacob Broughton Nelson's uncle.

In the years 1914-1916 Nelson attended the Southern University Preparatory School in Greensboro, Alabama. There, he was a member of the Glee Club and the Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa National Fraternity. He has been described as being an ambitious and popular young fellow who was about 5' 6" tall with brown hair, a medium build, and who wore round, wire-rimmed spectacles. After his tenure at Southern, Nelson moved back to Troy, where he founded the Upsilon Chapter of Phi Kappa. Over the next few years, he oversaw the chartering of Phi Kappa chapters at the Emory University Academy in Oxford, Georgia (Gamma Beta) and at the Gulf Coast Military Academy in Gulfport, Mississippi (Mu Theta).

Nelson's Fate[edit]

One historian has stated that Nelson died of Tuberculosis in Colorado, but the Bureau of Statistics in Colorado has no record of this. Some rumors claim that Nelson simply moved to Texas, but this is also unverified. Regardless of whether he died or disappeared, there was no one in Troy or any Phi Kappa chapter who remembers seeing Nelson after 1920.