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
Alice Olive Allen Born
Alice was born on a farm five miles northwest of Greencastle, Ind.
Alice Entered Indiana Asbury
Alice was among the first five women to enter Indiana Asbury (DePauw University).
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.
First Time Theta Badge Is Worn in Public
The four founders wore their badges to chapel for the first time.
Alice and her family lived in Putnam County, Ind.
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.
Alice Graduates from Indiana Asbury
Alice was among the first four women to graduate from Indiana Asbury.
Earned Indiana State Teachers License
She received a First Grade (best) certificate as well as a certificate to teach Latin.
Principal of Attica, Ind. High School
Attended Indiana State Teachers' Association meeting in Indianapolis
Teacher at Evanston, Ill. High School
Alice Married Thomas J. Brant
Alice married Thomas J. Brant, who served in the Civil War and was a fellow classmate at Indiana Asbury.
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.
Alice and Thomas Reside in Essex, Iowa
Thomas served as superintendent of schools, and Alice also taught in the Essex schools.
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.
Son, Marion Logan Brant, Born
The family had moved to Utica, Neb., by the time of Marion's birth.
20th Reunion of the Class of 1871
Alice spoke on the topic "Those Early Girls."
Visited Greencastle, Ind., for Extended Stay
Alice didn't return to Nebraska until October.
Alice Allen Brant Died
Alice Allen Brant died in Omaha, Neb. She was buried at Brick Chapel, Ind.
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.
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.
First Alice Allen Brant Founders Memorial Scholarship Awarded
Karen Lafferty Hendricks, Alpha Gamma/Ohio State, received the first Alice Allen Brant Founders Memorial Scholarship.
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