Alice Allen Brant Alice Allen Brant Hero Image

The Learner

Alice O. Allen was born on September 16, 1849, into a farming family that believed strongly in education. She attended Waveland Academy, a college preparatory program, in Waveland, Ind. Along with Bettie Locke, she was admitted to Indiana Asbury College (later DePauw University) as one of the first five women students.

Alice lived about five miles from Greencastle and reportedly rode her horse each way every day her freshman year. One story that Alice liked to tell is that on occasion, the horse, named Kate, would break her halter and head home before Alice was ready, leaving her to walk the five miles home. During 1868-1869, Alice taught in the local one-room school house, with many of her students her younger brothers and sisters. Alice returned to Indiana Asbury to continue her education and roomed with Hannah Fitch. Upon graduation, she returned to teaching, again at her local schoolhouse. She eventually became principal of Attica (Indiana) High School. She completed the testing to obtain a permanent teaching certificate and later taught in Plymouth, Ind., Evanston, Ill., and Fremont County, Ia.

In 1878, Alice married Thomas J. Brant, a former classmate from Indiana Asbury and superintendent of Fremont County (Iowa) schools. A daughter, Edith, was born, and the family moved to Ottawa, Neb. Alice wrote a column in the local newspaper on temperance, and was active in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. She visited the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, and the Chicago World’s Fair, in 1893. She died in 1894, and is buried at the Brick Chapel Cemetery in Putnam County, Ind.

A Look into Alice's Life

  1. September 16
    Alice Olive Allen Born

    Alice was born on a farm five miles northwest of Greencastle, Ind.

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  2. September 11
    Alice Entered Indiana Asbury

    Alice was among the first five women to enter Indiana Asbury (DePauw University).

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  3. January 27
    Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity Founded

    Along with Bettie Locke, Bettie Tipton, and Hannah Fitch, Alice held the first meeting of Kappa Alpha Theta. The date book pictured belonged to Alice.

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  4. March 14
    First Time Theta Badge Is Worn in Public

    The four founders wore their badges to chapel for the first time.

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  5. January 01
    Alice and her family lived in Putnam County, Ind.
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  6. March 30
    Elected First Debator

    Alice was elected lead debater by the Philomathean Society. Thetas Bettie Locke, Jennie Allen, Ella Jones, and Mary Simons were also members.

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  7. June 21
    Alice Graduates from Indiana Asbury

    Alice was among the first four women to graduate from Indiana Asbury.

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  8. July 01
    Earned Indiana State Teachers License

    She received a First Grade (best) certificate as well as a certificate to teach Latin.

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  9. January 01
    Principal of Attica, Ind. High School
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  10. December 28
    Attended Indiana State Teachers' Association meeting in Indianapolis
  11. August 11
    Teacher at Evanston, Ill. High School
  12. February 22
    Alice Married Thomas J. Brant

    Alice married Thomas J. Brant, who served in the Civil War and was a fellow classmate at Indiana Asbury.

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  13. June 16
    Attended Commencement Exercises at Indiana Asbury

    Alice returned to her alma mater for the graduation ceremonies and was noted as "one of the first lady graduates of the University." She also returned for the 1881 commencement.

  14. January 01
    Alice and Thomas Reside in Essex, Iowa

    Thomas served as superintendent of schools, and Alice also taught in the Essex schools.

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  15. August 21
    Daughter, Edith Brant, Born

    Edith Brant was a member of Alpha/DePauw, initiated in 1901 alongside Eulalia Hamilton Hartley, youngest daughter of Bettie Locke Hamilton.

  16. October 03
    Son, Marion Logan Brant, Born

    The family had moved to Utica, Neb., by the time of Marion's birth.

  17. June 10
    20th Reunion of the Class of 1871

    Alice spoke on the topic "Those Early Girls."

  18. August 25
    Visited Greencastle, Ind., for Extended Stay

    Alice didn't return to Nebraska until October.

  19. August 10
    Alice Allen Brant Died

    Alice Allen Brant died in Omaha, Neb. She was buried at Brick Chapel, Ind.

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  20. January 01
    Alice Allen Brant Social Service Fellowship Awarded

    Jean Slavens, Beta Delta/Arizona, was awarded the Alice Allen Brandt Fellowship. Focusing on higher education administration, she earned her PhD from Columbia University. Slavens later served as dean of women at the University of Utah.

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  21. January 27
    Alice Honored in Theta's Centennial Year

    Graveside ceremonies marked the 100th anniversary of the Fraternity. Fraternity President Norma Anderson Jorgensen placed flowers at Alice's gravesite.

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  22. January 01
    First Alice Allen Brant Founders Memorial Scholarship Awarded

    Karen Lafferty Hendricks, Alpha Gamma/Ohio State, received the first Alice Allen Brant Founders Memorial Scholarship.

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  23. January 01
    Year of Scholarship

    In honor of Alice Allen Brant, 2017 was named Theta's Year of Scholarship.

A message from Alice Allen Brant's great-niece:

“We have a common bond, not just within Theta but in our desire to grow.”

Julie Brant Gordon
Alpha Chi/Purdue

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