South Slope. Asheville.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Watty Espy, Toastmaster

I got an e-mail out of the blue a few weeks ago that led to getting these scans.  My replies are in yellow.
I read your short essay on Major Watt Espy.  Thanks for that.  He sounds like an inspiring man.  
Tell me, was there a name change in the family, from Espey to Espy?
The reason I ask, is that we had a Major Watt "Watty" Espey at the Phi Sigma Kappa chapter at Alabama, where he was a member of the class of 1957.
Either we have the last name wrong in several places, or the man changed his name.  I'm sure it was the same person.  I have a photo in case you wish to see it.
Any light you can share on this subject would be helpful. 
Would love to see the photo and learn anything else you remember about Uncle Watty.  Please see my blog link here, and click on the family tree.  The name ESPY has been the spelling for many generations.  However, in an ESPY genealogy book, the origin in Ireland is ESPEY.  But way, way back the second 'e' was dropped.  So the spellings in the fraternity papers would be misspellings.
Here is the article from Phi Sigma Kappa's "The Signet" magazine, May 1955.  It shows a nice photo of Watty at the front table, if indeed this is him.
Would you confirm that this is him?  

That is indeed my uncle!  Wow!  Definitely a misspelling.  Since it was a magazine article I can see how that slipped by the editor.  The university yearbook and fraternity photo I have both have the correct ESPY spelling.  Tell me more about yourself, if you don't mind.
I understand your interest in learning more about an noteworthy family member. Watty sounds like he was a very interesting man. 
My involvement here is slight; I'm not an Alabama grad, nor was I in Watt's chapter.  Rather, I am a somewhat diligent Wikipedia editor from Minnesota, about 50 years old, who has been working on my college fraternity's several Wiki pages, including the List of Notable Brothers where I had listed your uncle.  I am in the process of reviewing all pages of our century-old fraternity magazine, issued quarterly, in order to capture and list any missing famous alumni on those same Wikipedia pages.  

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