Tutt, Harold Lindsay (enrolled 1923-25)

Headshot of Harold Lindsay Tutt

Harold Lindsay Tutt was born on 10 December 1903 to Ryle Tutt and Minnie Wynn, in Higbee, Missouri. A member of Alpha-Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha while at ISC, Tutt was a fraternity brother of John “Jack” Trice. At the start of October 1923, Tutt was the newly appointed Alpha Nu Chapter Correspondent to The Sphinx, looking forward to a banner year, unsuspecting of the tragedy to come: the death of Brother Trice on 8 October of that year (Tutt, 1923). Within the coming weeks, Harold had alerted Cora to the dire health of her injured husband (Greene, 1988); joined the funeral party that accompanied Jack’s remains to Hiram, Ohio, for burial; helped to organize the program for the African American community’s memorial service at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Gater in Ames on 21 October; and reported to those assembled on the campus memorial service and the Ohio burial service (“Tribute Is Paid,” 1923).

The Alpha-Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha expressed condolences when Tutt’s father passed away in January of 1925 (“Alpha Nu Chapter, Des Moines, Iowa,” 1925), and by the time of the Iowa Census that year, Harold was rooming at 2522 Chamberlain Street, the Ames home of his grandmother, Louise Wynn, mother-in-law of the home’s owner, Arthur Marshall. Living with them in 1925 were Tutt’s fellow ISC students Holloway Smith, the second African American football player at ISC; Benjamin Crutcher; and Thomas Whibby.

Tutt left ISC before graduating and completed his college career at Michigan State College (MSC; now Michigan State University) in 1927. There he sought a degree in physical education, not completing it due to the death of his fiancee (“The Onlooker,” 1951). He went on to work in Lansing, MI, as a porter in Al and Paul’s shop and, before that, The Looking Glass barber shop. According to the MSC alumni magazine, he was well-known in the community for his tutoring of African American youths at the college and coaching of Lincoln Community Center sports teams in basketball, softball, and baseball, among others. (“Necrology,” 1951).

As the Lansing State Journal reported upon his death, “[Harold Lindsay] Tutt became known as a gentleman’s gentleman and earned the affection of all races and creeds” (“The Onlooker,” 1951, p. 46). When he passed away on 15 April 1951, at St. Lawrence Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, his death was mourned by many members of the Lansing community, Black and White alike, because Tutt was such a likable man. He is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Lansing (Find a Grave, 2012).


Photo credit: Alpha Nu chapter State College of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa. (1923, June). The Sphinx, 9(3), p. 17. ISSUU. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/192300903

Alpha-Nu chapter, Des Moines, Iowa. (1925, Feb.). The Sphinx, 11(1), p. 40. ISSUU. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/192501101

Find a grave [database and images]. (2012, Mar. 14). Memorial page for Harold Lindsay Tutt (1903–1951), Find a Grave memorial ID 86762358. Retrieved from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/86762358/harold-lindsay-tutt. Maintained by JLL (contributor 47314524).

Necrology. (1951, June 1). The Record. p. 13. Michigan State College. Retrieved from https://projects.kora.matrix.msu.edu/files/162-565-904/19510601sm.pdf

The onlooker. (1951, Apr. 19). Lansing State Journal, p. 46. Newspapers Online. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/14055947/lansing-state-journal/#

Tribute is paid to late football star: Negroes honor dead in fitting memorial service. (1923, Oct. 22). The Ames Daily Tribune and Ames Evening Times, p. 1. Newspaper Archive. Retrieved from https://newspaperarchive.com/ames-daily-tribune-and-ames-evening-times-oct-22-1923-p-1/

Tutt, Harold L. (1923, Oct.). Alpha Nu chapter, Des Moines, Iowa. The Sphinx, 9(4), p. 3. ISSUU. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/192300904

Trice, John “Jack” G. (studied Animal Husbandry, d. 1923)

John “Jack” G. Trice was born 12 May 1902 in Hiram, Ohio, to Green Trice, a farmer, and Anna W. Trice. When Jack entered Iowa State College in January 1922, he was enrolled in a two-year non-collegiate Agricultural program so that he could obtain the necessary credits in missing preparatory classwork to enter the Animal Husbandry degree program. He attained that goal in Summer 1923 after a strong performance in his preparatory courses. Trice was active in the the Alpha-Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha in 1923, belonging alongside Iowa State brothers A.C. Aldridge, J. R. Otis, FD. Patterson, L. A. Potts, J. L. Lockett, J. W. Fraser, and R. B. Atwood (Aldridge, 1923).

In Fall 1923, Trice’s transcript notes that he “Dropped” his 15 1/3 credits of coursework on 9 October 1923. What that transcript note doesn’t say is that Trice’s credits were dropped because Jack, an athletic standout and the first African American member of the Iowa State football squad, had died on 8 October 1923 after injuries sustained in the October 6th Iowa State-University of Minnesota football match-up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Iowa State College Department of Hygiene issued a statement concerning Trice’s official cause of death, attributing it to “Traumatic Peritonitis, following injury to abdomen in football game” (quoted in Schwieder, 2010, p.39). The tragedy of this event is compounded by the aspirations and pride expressed by Trice’s fraternity brothers. Brother A. C. Aldridge, writing for the fraternity’s journal, The Sphinx, in June of 1923, only months before Trice’s death, praised Trice’s abilities as an all-around athlete and his potential to be one of the athletic greats:

Among the new brothers that have filled the ranks of Alpha Nu is brother John Trice, who is destined to reach great heights in the athletic world. Winning his numerals in football last fall, did not satisfy Brother Trice. This spring, his work on the “Prep” track squad was a revelation to the most keen fans of that sport. He has frequently thrown the discuss (sic) one hundred and thirty-five feet and passing the forty foot mark with the shot, seems to be an easy matter with him. Trice has not only shown ability on the track and gridiron, but his aquatic habits have obtained for him membership to the Iowa State College Lifesaving Corps. (Aldridge, 1923).

Indeed, Jack had won the shot put event in the Missouri Valley Conference meet as a freshman in 1922 . He’d also been a solid academic performer, with average grades of 93 (Tutt, 1923b).

Jack Trice’s memorial service on central campus at ISC, on 9 October 1923, was attended by several thousand people, according to news reports, no small number for a school with slightly over 3,000 students (Schwieder, 2010). The African American community of Ames held its own memorial service, organized by Jack’s fraternity brothers, on Sunday, October 21, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Gater (“Tribute Is Paid,” 1923). Money was collected at each event to help cover funeral expenses and to transport Jack’s body to Ohio. On the trip back to Hiram, Trice’s wife, Cora; his mother, Anna; and others from ISC, were accompanied by Trice’s fraternity brother Harold L. Tutt (Schwieder, 2010). John G. “Jack” Trice is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Hiram, Ohio.

Following Trice’s death, his teammates on the 1923 ISC football squad installed a bronze plaque in the Iowa State College gymnasium bearing the words of Jack’s last letter, found in his coat pocket after he passed (Tutt, 1924). The December 1923 edition of the fraternity’s national magazine, The Sphinx, was dedicated to Brother Trice’s memory (The Sphinx, 1923).


Photo Credit: Photo of Alpha-Nu chapter State College of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa. (1923, June). The Sphinx, 9(3), p. 17. ISSUU. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/192300903

Aldridge, A. C. (1923, June). Alpha Nu chapter State College of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa. The Sphinx, 9(3), p. 17. ISSUU. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/192300903

Greene, Cora Mae Starland Trice. (1988). Cora Mae Trice Greene letter to David Lendt, August 3, 1988, p. 3. Iowa State University Library Digital Collections. Retrieved from http://n2t.net/ark:/87292/w9n872z9b

In memoriam. (1923, Dec.). The Sphinx, 9(5), p. 2. ISSUU. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/192300905

Schwieder, D. (2010). The life and legacy of Jack Trice. The Annals of Iowa 69(4), p. 379-417. doi:  https://doi.org/10.17077/0003-4827.1474

Tribute is paid to late football star: Negroes honor dead in fitting memorial service. (1923, Oct. 22). The Ames Daily Tribune and Ames Evening Times, p. 1. Newspaper Archive. Retrieved from https://newspaperarchive.com/ames-daily-tribune-and-ames-evening-times-oct-22-1923-p-1/

Tutt, Harold L. (1923a, Oct.). Alpha Nu chapter, Des Moines, Iowa. The Sphinx, 9(4), p. 3. ISSUU. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/192300904

Tutt, Harold L. (1923b, Dec.). Alpha Nu chapter, Des Moines, Iowa. The Sphinx, 9(5), p. 28. ISSUU. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/192300905

Tutt, Harold L. (1924, June). Alpha-Nu chapter, Des Moines, Iowa. The Sphinx, 10(3), p. 17. ISSUU. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/192401003

Greene, Cora Mae Starland Trice (studied Home Economics, 1923)

Headshot of Cora Mae Starland Trice Greene in high school graduation hat and robe 1919

Cora Mae Starland was born in Denver, Colorado, the daughter of Alberta R. Little Starland and Samuel W. Starland. The exact year of Cora Mae’s birth is unclear, as different documents list her birthdate as 19 February 1907 (her death record), 1903 (her marriage certificate), and ca. 1910 (the 1930 Census). Given that she graduated from high school in 1919, 1903 seems the most likely of these dates.

The Starlands moved their family to Ravenna, Ohio, shortly before they divorced and Alberta remarried to Claude Curtis. Cora Mae graduated from Ravenna High School in July 1919 and began work at the Annevar Mill that summer. There she put in 12-hour shifts working in the woolen mill (Gelber, 2022). While working there, Cora Mae met co-worker Anna Trice, mother of John G. “Jack” Trice.

In 1921, Jack Trice spent the summer in Ravenna and encountered Cora Mae Starland before returning in fall 1921 to Cleveland to finish his senior year at East Tech High School (Gelber, 2022). After Jack’s graduation in spring 1922, he moved to Ravenna and spent time with his mother and Cora Mae. As summer passed, Jack’s high school football coach Sam Willaman offered Jack the opportunity to play ball with him at Iowa State College while studying agriculture. Before Jack left for ISC, Cora Mae and he traveled to Monroe, Michigan, where they could be married quickly before Jack left for college. They married 27 July 1922 in Monroe, and the following September, Jack left for Ames and his first year at ISC, where he became a standout in freshman football and track and field. When he returned to Ravenna in summer 1923, the couple reunited, and Cora Mae joined Jack in Ames to begin their lives together (Gelber, 2022). She entered ISC as a home economics student in fall 1923. She also worked to help pay for the couple’s education since there were no athletic scholarships at that time.

A local Masonic group secured space for the couple to live at a local temple because they were unable to obtain housing on campus. Tragically, Cora Mae’s marriage to Jack was brief. Jack, a member of ISC’s varsity football team, died on 8 October 1923, from injuries sustained in an away game against the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Cora Mae later remembered Jack’s return to campus, injured, after the game, and how Jack’s fraternity brother Harold Tutt came to find her and delivered the message that she was to go to the campus hospital. There, she found her husband on the edge of death. As Cora Mae recalled, “I said, ‘Hello, Darling.’ He looked at me but never spoke. I remember hearing the Campanile chime 3 o’clock. That was October 8th, 1923, and he was gone” (Greene, 1988).

Following Jack’s memorial service on campus, Cora Mae and Jack’s mother, Anna, traveled with a funeral party, including Harold Tutt, back to Ohio to bury Jack in Hiram. By 1924, Cora Mae had moved back in with her mother and stepfather in Youngstown, OH. She had left ISC without her bachelor’s degree, though she did return to Ames and is listed in the 1925 Iowa State Census as residing with the Edwin Gater family, one of the first African American families in Ames and the family who had hosted the Ames Black community’s memorial service for Jack on 21 October 1923 (“Tribute Is Paid,” 1923).

Cora Mae married Homer Lee Greene on 24 November 1926. The couple had two daughters and a son, and Cora Mae kept house for her family.

Cora Mae Starland Trice Greene later lived in Los Angeles, California, before returning to Youngstown, Ohio, her old age. She died of a stroke on 26 December 1993 at the age of 86 (or older), leaving behind Mrs. Betty Armstrong of Youngstown, Mrs. Peggy Thomas of Pomona, California, and Homer Lee Greene, Jr., of Girard, Ohio. She had five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild at the time of her passing. She is interred in the Pomona Valley Memorial Park, Pomona, CA, with her husband Homer (Find a Grave, 2016).


Photo credit: Cora Mae Starland. (1919). Private Collection of Leigh A. Greene, Courtesy of Ames History Museum.

Find a Grave, database and images. (2016, Nov. 9). Memorial page for Cora Mae Starlard Greene (19 Feb 1907–26 Dec 1993), Find a Grave Memorial ID 172487252. Retrieved from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/172487252/cora-mae-greene. Maintained by Will Carrick (contributor 47399798).

Gelber, Jonathan. (1922). The idealist: Jack Trice and the battle for a forgotten football legacy. Triumph Books.

Greene, Cora Mae Starland Trice. (1988). Cora Mae Trice Greene letter to David Lendt, August 3, 1988, p. 4. Iowa State University Library Digital Collections. Retrieved from https://n2t.net/ark:/87292/w9dc8v

Tribute is paid to late football star: Negroes honor dead in fitting memorial service. (1923, Oct. 22). The Ames Daily Tribune and Ames Evening Times, p. 1. Newspaper Archive. Retrieved from https://newspaperarchive.com/ames-daily-tribune-and-ames-evening-times-oct-22-1923-p-1/

Cain, William Milton “Bill” (B.S., Horticulture, 1917)

Headshot of William Milton "Bill" Cain

William Milton Cain was born, in Waco, Texas, on 17 January 1895, the eldest of five children born to William D. Cain, a postal clerk, and his wife, Mary A. Blocker Cain. William the elder, an influential individual in the Waco Black community, later had the local NAACP Chapter named in his honor for his advocacy on behalf of African Americans in Waco and throughout Texas (Duncan, 2013). The younger William studied Horticulture at Iowa State College, where he lived at the Sigma Nu Fraternity house at 905 Douglas Avenue in Fall 1913, possibly working there as a waiter as Frederick Patterson’s experience suggests was a common employment for cash-strapped Black students at ISC (Patterson, 1991). From spring 1914 until his graduation in 1917, he resided at 1008 Burnett Avenue, the home of local Ames lawyer Chaucer Gory (C. G.) Lee and his wife Emma McCarthy Lee. While at ISC, Bill participated in the Horticultural Club and the ISC Cadet Corps, which he noted when he registered for the World War I Draft in Waco, Texas. According to Frederick Patterson, many male Black students stayed the full four years in the Cadet Corps to receive the subsidy to pay for their education at the school as Patterson did, and as one assumes, Cain did also (Patterson, 1991).

As a member of the Horticultural Club, Cain was on the Apple Judging Team. His membership was the focus of a racist incident during the interstate-judging competition in 1916, when students from Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri competed at the state capitol (“Ames Team Wins,” 1916). The team from Missouri refused to compete against a Black student when they learned about Cain’s membership on the Ames team. Initially, the judges from the state horticultural society, the competition’s hosts, asked Cain to leave the team, which would have allowed Missouri to compete. It’s unclear what transpired after that decision, but the society changed its ruling in time for Cain to compete. Missouri withdrew from the competition and Iowa State went on to win (“Ames Team Wins,” 1916).

After graduation, Cain returned to Waco to be a farm laborer, likely at Prairie View Normal and Industrial College, as The Iowa State Bystander announced that Cain, employed at Prairie View, and his wife had welcomed their first child, a daughter, in September 1919 (Ames News, 1919). It’s unclear what happened to his first wife, but Cain eventually moved north and was employed by the U.S. Government as a railway clerk. He married Fostoria Dewey Logan in Chicago, Illinois, on 2 January 1931. He died 21 May 1977 in Dowagiac, Michigan. Cain was a Methodist at the time of his death. He is buried in Dailey Cemetery, La Grange, Michigan.


Photo Credit: Iowa State University. (1917). 1917 Bomb, p.83.  https://n2t.net/ark:/87292/w9m05s 

Ames news. (1919, 26 September). The Iowa State Bystander. n.p.

Ames team wins: Missouri students draw color line. (1916, 15 December). The Iowa State Bystander. p. 2.

Duncan, Robert J. (2013). Cain, William D., 1867-1939. Texas State Historical Association Handbook of Texas. Updated 2020.  https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/cain-william-d 

Patterson, F. D. (1991). Chronicles of faith: The autobiography of Frederick D. Patterson. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama Press.

Berry, George Othello (B.S. , 1935[?]; D.V.M., 1938)

Graduation headshot of George O. Berry

George Othello Berry was born 15 July 1913 in St. Paul, MN, the second child of George W. Berry, a carpenter, and Bertha Oldham Berry, a waitress in private service. Young George attended Mechanic Arts high School in St. Paul before attending Iowa State College. Though Berry’s undergraduate days at ISC are not currently known to this project, his Northern Pacific Railway personnel file indicates that Berry received a B.S. from Iowa State University (sic), which suggests that he returned to ISC later to embark on a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (Ancestry, n.d.).

As a summer job, after graduating from ISC with a Bachelor’s of Science in 1935, Berry worked as a waiter for the Northern Pacific Railway Company from August to September that year (a job his father also held by that time). His subsequent seasonal employment as a railway waiter–June-September 1936, June-September 1937, June-October 1938, and December 1938-January 1939–carried him through his D.V.M. coursework, which he completed in spring 1938, and also tided him over after graduation, before he was hired as a junior veterinarian with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January 1939 (Ancestry, n.d.). The Winter 1939 edition of the Iowa State Veterinarian tells us that Dr. Berry was hired to work on Bang’s Disease (aka Brucellosis) with the Bureau of Animal Industry (Kuennen, 2022; “Alumni News,” p. 61). Minnesota was ramping up focus on that devastating disease in farm animals in 1939 as part of a state-federal partnership with the Bureau of Animal Industry (Fitch and Boyd, 1940). 

Later in 1939, after securing a full-time position with the U.S.D.A., Dr. Berry married Thelma E. Sayles in Hennepin County, MN, on 22 June. The newlyweds were living with George’s parents in St. Paul, MN, at the time of the 1940 Census. By the time of the 1950 Census, the couple had divorced, and Dr. Berry, continuing his work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was married to Rozelle. The couple had three children (“Berry,” 1993).

Dr. George Othello Berry died 22 March 1993 in Hennepin County, MN, and is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Maplewood, MN.


Photo credit: Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. (1938). [Graduation portrait of George O. Berry]. Iowa State University. Retrieved from https://instr.iastate.libguides.com/c.php?g=1224480&p=8958316

Alumni news. (1939, winter). The veterinary student. Iowa State University. Retrieved from https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/server/api/core/bitstreams/ed908fb2-507b-456d-94da-4c1f762fceb5/content

Ancestry.com. (n.d.). U.S., Northern Pacific Railway company personnel files, 1890-1963 for George Othello Berry, File Number 174619.

Berry. (1993, Mar. 23). Star Tribune, p. 16. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/image/193121705

Fitch, C. P.,  and Boyd, W. L. (1940, June). Brucellosis or Bang’ s Disease of farm animals. (Bulletin 348). University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/163963/mn-ext-bltn-348.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y 

Kuennen, Brad, ISU Veterinary Medicine early graduates of color, University Library, Iowa State University,. Retrieved from https://instr.iastate.libguides.com/c.php?g=1224480&p=8958316