Boyd, Mary Louise Bennett

Birth Date

05/25/1852

Death Date

01/17/1947

Lou Bennett was one of the four original organizers who began as early as 1869 and signed the charter in the Spring 1870. She has always been listed as Alpha 1, the first name on the permanent Fraternity roll of membership. In 1871, she co-founded, along with Minnie Stewart, the second chapter, Beta, at St. Mary’s Seminary in Knoxville, Illinois, which marked the beginning of the Fraternity extension program. Lou attended the Alpha reinstallation in 1934. She is credited with the phrase that “the Fraternity was the mighty oak that sprang from the little acorn of Alpha."

Lou Bennett entered Monmouth College in 1868, receiving her AB-AM in 1872 and later becoming a teacher. Described as “helpful,” Lou married Rev. M. Joseph Newton Boyd, brother of Founder Jennie Boyd, in 1876. They had no children and she was widowed in 1932. The longest surviving Founder, Lou died on January 17, 1947, at age 95. She is buried with her husband and Jennie Boyd, her sister-in-law, in Hickory Grove Cemetery, Green Cove Springs, Florida.


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