Miller, Martha Louisa Stevenson

Chapter

Alpha

Initiation Date

04/01/1870

University

Monmouth College

Birth Date

09/23/1854

Death Date

12/03/1937

Lou Stevenson is officially listed as Alpha 6, the sixth member added to the original group at Kappa’s first formal initiation that took place at Sue Walker’s home with Minnie Stewart presiding (April 1, 1870). She did not, however, sign the Alpha Chapter charter because she had lost her galoshes and it was a rainy night. The first Alpha business meeting to discuss the badge and select a jeweler and the first Alpha social, a Halloween party in 1872, took place at Lou’s home.

Lou Stevenson attended Monmouth Academy from 1869-1871. She entered Monmouth College as a sub-freshman in 1871, receiving a BS in 1874. She married William Oliver Miller, a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, in 1874. Lou and William had three sons and one daughter. A niece, Annabelle Stevenson McClanahan, and a cousin, Louise M. Patton, were initiated as alumnae by Alpha Deuteron in 1934. Lou's granddaughter, Sarah Johnson, was initiated at Theta Chapter in 1954. Lou died on December 3, 1937, in Kansas City, Missouri, and is buried in Tarkio, Missouri.

There is some question about Lou's year of birth. Lou provided a hand-written biography claiming that she was born on September 23, 1855. In an oral interview for The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma (Whiting-Westermann, 1932) Lou divulged that she was born in 1854. Her obituary states that she was 83 years old at the time of her death in 1937 – which would have made her birth year 1854. Unfortunately, Peoria, Illinois, where Lou was born, has no birth records before 1877.

Note: Lou always insisted that there were 12 members who appeared in chapel on October 13, 1870. There were six members at the first business meeting although the group had seven members at the time; the seventh may have been the one who was dismissed. Six members were immediately added to the group because the jeweler insisted that the order be for 12 badges.


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