Select Page


RG0771.AM:  Bette (Rathburn) Davis, 1920-1997

Papers: 1905; 1926-1946

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska: Student; dancer

Size: 0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box and 2 volumes


Born June 9, 1920 at Lincoln, Nebraska, Elizabeth Constance “Bette” Rathburn was the daughter of Howard and Elizabeth (Gaylord) Rathburn. She married Thomas Holman Davis at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, on October 8, 1945. She passed away on January 20, 1997 in Pensacola, Florida. She is buried next to her husband at Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.


This collection consists of one box and two volumes of manuscript material arranged in two series: 1) Scrapbooks, 1926-1946; and 2) Miscellany. This material relates primarily to the dance and dramatic performances of Betty Rathburn and her sister, Lois and to the social life she led at the University of Nebraska in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.

The Scrapbooks of series one trace Bette Rathburn’s performances as a dancer and actress during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Miss Rathburn was a student of Flavia Waters Champe during this period. Material relating to Miss Rathburn’s years at the University of Nebraska is also included, particularly items pertaining to social events in which she participated. Miss Rathburn was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority. Newspaper clippings and memorabilia from her marriage to Thomas H. Davis and other Rathburn and Davis family items are in this series as well.

The Miscellany of Series Two includes a recipe book, ca. 1905; war savings bond pledge information, 1943; military materials of Tom Davis; and newspaper clippings and other mementos of the Davis and Rathburn families.

Acc: 1989.280

Related collections include the papers of Thomas Holman Davis [RG5441] and Elizabeth (Gaylord) Rathburn [RG1351].


Series 1 – Scrapbooks, 1926-1946

Vol. 1 – 1926-1946

Vol. 2 – 1938-1943

Series 2 – Miscellany

Box 1


    1. Recipe Book, ca. 1905

    1. War savings bond information, 1943; military materials; newspaper clippings


Subject headings:

Champe, Flavia (Waters), 1902-1992

Davis, Bette (Rathburn), 1920-1997

Davis, Thomas Holman, 1921-1999

Delta Gamma Sorority — Nebraska

Greek letter societies — Nebraska

Lancaster County (Nebraska) — History

Lincoln (Nebraska) — History

Rathburn family

Students — Nebraska

World War, 1939-1945


AIP/ksa                 01-1990

Revised TMM      01-16-2016