Alice came to Adams County in 1882, where her parents took the last tree claim in the county. She was a teacher for eight years before getting married. However, getting married and having children did not stop her from getting a degree of Doctor of Optometry from Cotner College. For the next few years she worked alongside her husband, a pharmacist, in several Kansas drug stores. In 1903, they bought a drug store in Hastings on the corner of Second Street and Hastings Avenue, which is where the Art Bar is located today.Alice was Hastings’ first female optometrist and served as police matron. This meant she could be called at any hour—night or day—when the police had a case involving women or children.
Alice was a member of the Bethany Home, a haven for abandoned and homeless, until it closed in 1906. Soon after, she joined the Hastings Woman’s Club and served as the head of the charity department. In this role, she rallied for a home for the elderly called Sunnyside. Using $300, Sunnyside opened its doors in April 1914 on the corner of 14th Street and Hastings Avenue, the current location of Crossroads Homeless Shelter. Before Sunnyside, the poor farm was the only resource elderly individuals had for end-of-life care. Sunnyside offered more dignity and allowed married couples to stay together.