Bettie Tipton Lindsey Bettie Tipton Lindsey Hero Image

The Doer

Born in Mt. Sterling, Ky., on November 6, 1852, Bettie Tipton attended local schools and was known for her aptitude in mathematics and science. Her maternal grandfather moved to Greencastle, Ind., soon after Bettie's birth. During a visit, she became aware of Indiana Asbury College (later known as DePauw University). Her schoolwork was complete enough that it allowed her to start in in the fall of 1869 as a sophomore, which is when she became friends with Bettie Locke and Alice Allen.

Bettie did not return to Indiana Asbury in the fall of 1870, and instead attended Millersburg College in Kentucky, along with her sister, graduating in 1871. She established a short-lived chapter at Millersburg, and wore her Theta badge at the graduation ceremonies. She was married in 1873 to John Lindsey, first residing in Mt. Sterling, and then in 1883, moving to Sturgeon, Mo.

In Sturgeon, she became active in church groups and in the community. One story says that a friend of Bettie’s stepped on a loose board on the town sidewalk and injured herself. Bettie reportedly encouraged her friend to sue the city, and then took up the case in her friend’s name, pled the case, and won.

Bettie passed away in 1909, and is buried in Mt. Sterling, Ky.

A Look Through Bettie Tipton's Life

  1. November 06
    Mahala Elizabeth Tipton Born

    Born in Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Ky., to Burwell and Amanda Black Tipton.

  2. 1860
    Bettie Lived in Kentucky

    Bettie lived with her parents. "Bella Houton, school mistress" lived with the family.

  3. September 01
    Entered Indiana Asbury (DePauw University)

    Bettie lived with her grandparents while attending Indiana Asbury.

    450 X 450  Page Btl0001
  4. 1870
    Resided in Greencastle, Ind.

    Bettie lived at the home of Miller Black, her maternal grandfather, a farmer, along with George and Sara A. Miller.

    450 X 450  Page Btl 1870 Census
  5. January 27
    Kappa Alpha Theta Founded

    Along with Bettie Locke, Alice Allen, and Hannah Fitch, Bettie was initiated.

    450 X 450  Page Alph0073
  6. March 14
    Wore Badge Publicly

    All four founders wore their badges for the first time during chapel.

    450 X 450  Page Alph0022
  7. September 01
    Attended Millersburg College in Kentucky

    Bettie did not return to Indiana Asbury, but joined her sister, Maggie, at Millersburg College. She established a short-lived chapter at the school, and it is said she wore her badge at her graduation.

    450 X 450  Page Btl0004
  8. September 08
    Married John H. Lindsey

    The ceremony took place in their hometown of Mt. Sterling, Ky., where they resided for several years.

  9. 1880
    Bettie lived with her husband in Camargo, Ky.
    450 X 450  Page Btl 1890 Census
  10. March 19
    Moved to Sturgeon, Mo.

    Bettie and her husband were farmers. At this time they adopted Cora Johnson.

    450 X 450  Page Btl0005
  11. October 15
    Visited Mt. Sterling, Ky.

    They traveled from Sturgeon, Mo., to visit family in Kentucky. This was one of many trips between Sturgeon and Mt. Sterling.

    450 X 450  Page Mt Sterling Advocate 15 Oct 1895 Pg 5 1
  12. September 20
    Wedding Anniversary

    The couple celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with a party.

    450 X 450  Page  Mt  Sterling  Advocate 20 Sept 1898 Pg 3
  13. January 01
    1900 U.S. Census

    U.S. Census showed that she lived in Bourbon Township, Boone County, Mo., with her husband and two wards, Oscar Alcorn and Addie Gentry.

    450 X 450  Page Btl 1900 Census
  14. July 19
    Bettie Tipton Lindsey Died

    Bettie died while visiting her sister in Mt. Sterling, Ky. She was buried at Machpelah Cemetery, Montgomery County, Ky.

    450 X 450  Page  Bettie  Tipton  Lindsey Obit2
  15. 1934
    Bettie Tipton Lindsey Fellowship Awarded

    Esther Porter Lane, Alpha Nu/Montana, was the first recipient. She used the fellowship to travel in China, studying theater. She returned to the U.S. and worked in the Federal Theater Project during the Depression, serving as director of the Seattle Negro Theater and Children's Theater. During World War II, she served as director of the Henry Street Settlement Playhouse in New York. After Lane's death in 1993, a scholarship in her name was established at the Santa Fe Community College for non-traditional female college students over age 25.

    450 X 450  Page Anu00010
  16. 1948
    Bettie's Badge Donated to the Fraternity

    Betty Cason Daily, daughter of Cora Johnson Cason (adopted daughter of Bettie Tipton Lindsey), donated badge.

    450 X 450  Page  Btl Badge
  17. January 27
    Marker Placed at Bettie's Gravesite on Theta's 100th Anniversary

    Local Thetas gathered at the Machpelah Cemetery in Mt. Sterling, Ky., for the dedication.

    450 X 450 P8266
  18. June 25
    Founders Memorial Scholarship First Awarded

    Gloria McVay Cochran, Beta/Indiana, was selected as the first Bettie Tipton Lindsey Scholar.

  19. 2016
    150 Day Celebration of Service Kicks Off Theta's 150th Anniversary Celebration

    The first of four years leading up to the 150th celebration honored Bettie Tipton Lindsey.

    450 X 450  Page  Kao

A message from Bettie Tipton Lindsey's great-niece:

“Bettie would be so proud that Theta has blossomed.”

Susanne Bush Heusner
Gamma Pi/Iowa State

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