Born Harriett Elizabeth Thomas on April 23, 1859, "Bettie" was the third child of Mark Theodore Thomas and Anna Louisa Abell. She grew up with her older brother William Aloysius or "Losh", older sister Matilda, younger sisters Josephine, Eliza, Annie, Eugenia, and younger brothers, Alfred, Oscar and Marcus Theodore. They lived in District #2, Post Office New Market, Marion County, Kentucky.
On November 7, 1879 she married Joseph T. Spalding. Together they had 6 daughters and 3 sons, 2 of them died very young.
- Mary Louise "Lou" (1880-1953)
- Stella Josephine (1881-1972)
- William Thomas (1883-1885)
- Mary Edith (1884-1972)
- Mark Thomas (1886-1950)
- Susan Frances (1888-1973)
- Annie Cora (1890-1983)
- Mary Eugenia (1892-1966)
- Leroy (November 26, 1896)
Bettie died giving birth to her youngest son on November 26, 1896 at only 37 years of age.