Knight Commanders

Samuel Zenas Ammen

2nd Knight Commander

Alpha–Washington & Lee University, 1867

A Confederate veteran, Ammen was born in Fincastle, Virginia, in 1843 to Benjamin and Naomi Cross Ammen and was initiated by Alpha Chapter in October of 1866.  Known as the Order’s Practical Founder because of his seminal influence on the organization, he is credited with developing the ritual, paraphernalia, explanation of the symbols, the meaning of KA, the office of the Knight Commander, the direction of initiation, the chapter, Knight Commander’s and Grand Historian’s seals, coat of arms, crest, grip, button, flowers, motto, flag, Special Messenger, and the organization of the chapters.  During Ammen’s six terms as Knight Commander, he installed or reestablished twenty-two active chapters and four alumni chapters.  Ammen would make his professional mark as the literary editor of the Baltimore Sun.  He also wrote Latin Grammar for Beginners, A Scientific Description of the Luray Cave, and History of Maryland Commands in the Confederate Service.  he died on January 5, 1929, in Daytona Beach, Florida, and is buried in Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia.