Bettie and Her Family: Genevieve Hartley Cones, 1918-2002

Category: Heritage

Noraleen DuVall Young

Alpha Chi, Purdue

The exhibit "Bettie and Her Family: Four Generations of Thetas" highlights the lives of Bettie Locke Hamilton; her daughters, Edna and Eulalia; her granddaughter, Genevieve Hartley Cones, and her great-granddaughter, Carole Cones Bradfield. Over the next few months, I'll share in this blog the story of Bettie's descendants, their connections to Theta, and their lives as leading women.


Genevieve Hartley was born in May 1918 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Her parents later moved to Arcadia, Indiana, where she attended the local schools. She began her college career locally, at Indiana State University, because funds were tight during the Depression years. She transferred to DePauw in 1937 and was initiated at Alpha Chapter in 1938.

Genevieve followed in the footsteps of her grandmother, Bettie, and mother, Eulalia, and became a teacher, serving in Jackson County, Indiana, schools and at Thorntown High School for more than 40 years. She married Charles "Dick" Cones in 1946 after a very short courtship.

The Coneses lived in Thorntown, Indiana, where Genevieve, or Jennie to her friends, was active in the community. She served on the Thorntown Public Library Board, volunteered with the local historical society, and worked in the Kappa Alpha Theta archives with Mary Edith Arnold, then-Fraternity archivist. Genevieve was also active in P.E.O. Sisterhood, which promotes educational opportunities for women.

Genevieve, along with her daughter, Carol, participated in Theta's centennial celebration, attending events in Greencastle and the 1970 Grand Convention in Coronado, California. Genevieve died in 2002.