The day after the funeral, Charles J. Chandler (Cumberland 1925) wrote to Eminent Supreme Recorder William C. “Billy” Levere (Northwestern 1898). The service began at 2:30 pm on November 16 at the First Methodist Church of Frankfort with internment following at the Frankfort Cemetery. Six members of Kentucky Epsilon and Kentucky Kappa served as pallbearers. Flowers sent from across the country carpeted the cemetery where Lucy was laid to rest next to her youngest brother, Jack. The badge that Levere had given her two years before was pinned to her chest. Before the funeral, Chandler and several other brothers were at Lucy’s home and spoke with her other brother, Dr. Coleman D. Pattie (Kentucky Military Institute 1870), who was touched by the chapter’s attendance.
“He seemed very much interested in the Fraternity and reminiscence [sic] back to his college days and the days when Kentucky Kappa was in Richmond, Kentucky where he said that he was very active in Fraternity life.
“He spoke of his sister’s great love and interest in her Fraternity. He said no one knew she was preserving the records until the war was over and that her being taken into the Fraternity was one of the great joys of her life.” (Chandler, Charles J., Letter to William C. Levere, November 17, 1922.)
The Life of Lucy Pattie
Lucy Phenton Pattie (Kentucky Military Institute 1868) was born on December 4, 1842. Throughout her life, she was well-liked by those who knew her and was remembered for her kindness, genteel manners and the rare ability to bring out the best qualities in those around her. She grew up on a farm in Farmdale, Franklin County, Kentucky, a farming community six miles southwest and across the Kentucky River from the state capital at Frankfort. The Patties were members of the elite planter class, owning five slaves: one man, two women and two small children. When the Civil War began in 1861, Lucy was 18 years old and lived on the farm with her parents, two sisters and two brothers.
Since they lived close to the strategic state capital, the war soon arrived at the Pattie farm. Significant political turmoil existed just across the river in Frankfort. Governor Berian Magoffin wanted Kentucky to secede, but primarily Union men composed the General Assembly. So far, Kentucky was officially neutral. Its location, rivers and rail lines made the state critical to the strategy of both armies. Union men rushed to Ohio to enlist, and secessionists, including some of Lucy’s friends, left to do the same in Tennessee. The Kentucky Military Institute, only a mile from the Pattie home1, soon emptied and officially closed at the end of the 1860-61 academic year. Her good friends, John B. Kent (Kentucky Military Institute 1860) and Ben Marston (Kentucky Military Institute 1860), were some of the last to depart. The young men stayed with the Patties for a few weeks while they made their final preparations to leave for Tennessee.
Coleman spoke of his sister’s great love and interest in her Fraternity. He said no one knew she was preserving the records until the war was over and that her being taken into the Fraternity was one of the great joys of her life.
In addition to the usual preparations of leaving for war, Kent had the added responsibility of tying up Kentucky Chi’s business before they departed. The chapter had only been around for a few months and thus far had only initiated seven men. Important documents, including the minutes and by-laws – at this time, a combination of what we now think of as the Fraternity Laws and The Ritual – would be required to get the chapter back on its feet when the war was over. Kent asked Lucy for a favor2. Would she make a waterproof envelope for some “secret” documents of the chapter and sew it into the lining of his coat, and would she keep the “by-laws, rules and regulations and minutes of all meetings” safe until the school and the chapter were reorganized after the war? (Pattie, Lucy Phenton, letter to William C. Levere, September 3, 1919.) Kent told her to “…give them to no one unless he can give you this grip of the hand.” (Levere, The Record, p. 295) Lucy agreed to her friend’s request and stored the documents safely away. Kent and Marsten left in July for their new commands with the 15th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry.
1 Levere noted the Pattie home as less than 1,000 yards from KMI, and Joseph W. Walt wrote that it was less than a third of a mile between the Pattie home and KMI. An 1882 map of the Cedar Run District, which contained Farmdale, showed a mile distance between the Pattie home and KMI.
2 Much has been made of the relationship between Lucy and Kent. Some authors, Lucy’s cousin Ermina Jett Darnell included, have called them sweethearts or indicated that they were engaged. In a letter to Levere, Lucy indicated that their relationship was “one of an admiring little sister and an indulgent big brother.”