Beale Street marker honoring fraternity founder missing - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Beale Street marker honoring fraternity founder missing

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MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) - The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded by a Memphis native 99 years ago Wednesday, but the historic moment is tarnished because the founder's Beale Street marker sign is missing.

The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded on brotherhood, but members said their historic marker missing on such an important day is not very brotherly at all.

Memphis Councilman Harold Collins said he spent his fraternity's Founders' Day filing a police report.

"We believe one of the historical markers on Beale Street has been stolen," he said. 

Since 1914, the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity has attracted more than 200,000 members worldwide.

Principal Founder A. Langston Taylor was born in Memphis, so the fraternity erected his marker on historic Beale Street.

"On that location is where he conceived the dream of establishing Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity," said Collins. 

A neighbor, who lives inside apartments next door to the marker, said he saw the marker in the grass during the Africa in April celebration. 

Then, after the celebration was over, it was gone.

"It maybe weighs close to 200 pounds, so I'd be interested to see how they carried it away and where is it now," said Collins. 
 
Collins said the marker was worth $2,600.

So if someone stole it, it's a felony with a penalty of up to six years in prison.

The Tennessee Historical Commission executive director said it's daunting that history is missing from this mark.

The state has a running daily list of about 200 markers that need replacement or repair, so it could take a long time to be restored, unless the fraternity sponsors it's replacement. 

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