The Chapter

sigmas of the ‘ville | epsilon beta sigma chapter


In 1925, Tau Chapter of the fraternity was established at Simmons University ( now Simmons College of Kentucky). Two years later in 1928, Epsilon Beta Sigma grad chapter was established by members of Tau Chapter.

National Conclave in Louisville Kentucky

In 1928 Phi Beta Sigma 11th national conclave was held in Louisville Kentucky. ( Alain Leroy Locke is standing on the 2nd row center. I L Scruggs far right first row.)

Additional notable members include John Benjamin Horton, journalist and newspaper publisher, Dr. Samuel Robinson, former director of the Lincoln Institute; and Samuel Plato, Louisville architect, and contractor.

John Benjamin Horton

Member of Epsilon Beta Sigma Graduate Chapter
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : April 27, 1997

Born in Georgia, Colonel J. B. Horton came to Kentucky in 1940 to become an advertising salesman with the Louisville Defender newspaper, then advanced to advertising director. Horton left the newspaper in 1954 and founded J. Benjamin Horton & Assoc., Inc., Advertising and Public Relations Consultants. He also published three magazines: Louisville Buyers Guide, News Digest, and Kentucky Negro Journal. He also published books: Not Without Struggle, Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers in Kentucky, and Old War Horse of Kentucky

Bro. Colonel John Benjamin Horton (Epsilon Beta Sigma Chapter in 1945 – Louisville, KY) was appointed the National Director of Publicity for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, under the administration of Bro. President Ross Oliver “Ras” Johnson (1948-1950).

In his autobiography “Flights From Doom”, Bro. Horton talks about his role as Publicity Director and recounts Founder Taylor’s account of starting the Fraternity. Flights of Doom, I believe is OUT OF PRINT, but is on file at a few libraries in the state of Kentucky. Bro. Col. Horton is one of the most noted African-American Journalist in the history of Kentucky. You can get copies of his other publications on Amazon and Bookfinder.

Bro. Colonel J. Benjamin Horton, African American Journalist, Author and Publicist and he served as National Director of Publicity for Sigma for 11 years and served under six administrations.

Dr. Samuel “Sam” Robinson

Member of Epsilon Beta Sigma Graduate Chapter
Birth Year : December 1935 Memphis Tennessee – Present

Bro. Dr. Sam Robinson is career educator and a past National Director of the Phi Beta Sigma Education
Foundation and member of Epsilon Beta Sigma Graduate Chapter.  He is a Distinguish Service Chapter member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and is known for his 26 years as Executive Director and President of the Lincoln Foundation where he developed the outstanding Whitney M. Young Scholars Program.

  • Distinguished Service Chapter Member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
  • Past National Director of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Educational Foundation
  • Wall of Fame at Tennessee State University
  • National African American Hall of Fame
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indiana University’s School of Education
  • Humanitarian Award from the Louisville Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews
  • Acacia Award from the Office of African American Catholics of the Archdiocese of Louisville
  • Co-founder of the Louisville Chapter of One Hundred Black Men
  • Co-founder of the Kentucky Minority AIDS Council

Bro. Samuel Plato

Born: 1882, Waugh, Alabama
Died: 1957, Louisville, KY Education: Simmons College of Kentucky
Structures: Simmons University Municipal College Campus

According to Plato’s obituary in the Louisville Courier-Journal, Plato was active in several professional and community groups including the Y.W.C.A, the Urban League, Phi Beta Sigma fraternity (founded at Howard University, Washington, D.C.—a predominantly black university) and the National Business Men’s League. According to an article in the Broad Axe, Plato was also elected vice president of the National Negro Builders Association in 1927, and he spoke at the group’s annual conference that year.

**Taken from, Indiana Historical Bureau

Bro. Plato was the first African American to be awarded a contract to build a post office, Bro. Plato would go on to build a total of 39 post offices across the country. He was one of a few African-American contractors to build federal government defense housing projects during World War II. Plato designed William H. Steward Hall, the main building of the Simmons University campus, in 1924.

Bro. Plato undoubtedly had a gift for architecture; however, his success is also credited to his persistent efforts and his reputation for quality and integrity. Plato designed numerous public buildings, including churches and government buildings. A number of his designed structures are now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, including the Broadway Temple A.M.E. Zion Church, located at the corner of 13th Street and Broadway, and Swallow-Robin Hall on the campus of Taylor University in Marion, Indiana.

The Pythian Temple in Columbus, Ohio was built by Plato in 1926. Now the Martin Luther King Performing and Cultural Arts Complex, it is the only historic building in the city designed by an African.

“My whole goal in life has been to improve and help others who come up behind me. “ ~Samuel Plato~