Bessie Mortimer was born and schooled in Waterville, Maine before graduating Colby in 1887. She attended school at a time when co-education and capital punishment were divisive issues for the students. She was a Sigma Kappa sorority member, and a member of the Colby Committee on Odes. “Bess” then went on to teach in Waterville from 1887-1893 before retiring and moving to New Rochelle, New York. Her Colby classmates knew her to enjoy rules and orderliness.