Field, Mary Moore Stewart

Birth Date

10/19/1852

Death Date

06/21/1898

Minnie Stewart graduated from Monmouth Academy 1869 and entered Monmouth College, 1869, receiving an AB in 1872. It was Minnie who originated the idea of Kappa Kappa Gamma in 1869 after leading suffragette, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, visited Monmouth. She invited Lou Bennett, Jennie Boyd, and Anna Willits to organize what she thought was the first Greek fraternity for women. She is listed on Fraternity rolls as Alpha 3 and her home (now the site of a Kappa Museum) was the site of many early meetings, especially for writing the first constitution and signing the charter Spring 1870. Minnie Stewart presided over the first KKG initiation and is said to have selected the iris as the official flower. She was also the first president and first Grand President, 1870-72 (Alpha was Grand Chapter 1870-75).

Minnie was described as popular, having “sunny, warm-hearted disposition,” and enjoyed singing and painting. She worked as a teacher in Monmouth public schools from 1882-89 and as a high school principal in Eustis, Florida from 1890-93.

Minnie first married William W. Nelson in 1873. They had two children: Harvey, the first Kappa baby, born in 1873 and Isabella born in 1875. Both children died in 1881, just five months apart. Minnie and William were divorced in 1878 and, in 1889, she married Lucius A. Field. Minnie died on June 21, 1898, in Cincinnati, Ohio and was buried in the Stewart family plot with her two children in Monmouth Cemetery on September 21, 1898. Her tombstone reads, “If I am bereft of my children! I am bereft.”


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