She was the youngest daughter of Arville Daniels and Sarah McCully. She had an older sister, Mabel who had been born three years earlier in 1883. She also had another sister, Myrtle who had been born in 1873 and was a child from Arville's first marriage to Mary Bowden.
Bess met Hudson Joshua Creighton Allison on a train in 1907. They married later that year in her home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Allisons were devout Methodists. They taught Sunday school, Bible Classes, and Hudson often served as a lay preacher. Their daughter, Helen Loraine, was born 5 June 1909, and their son, Hudson Trevor, on 7 May 1911. The same year they began the Allison Stock Farm near Winchester, Ontario, and built a new house in Westmount, Quebec.
Mr. Allison was on the board of the British Lumber Corporation, and sailed to England for a directors' meeting. While there, they had Trevor baptized at Epworth in the church where Methodist Founder John Wesley had preached. They took a side trip to the Scottish Highlands where Hudson bought two dozen Clydesdales and Hackney Stallions and mares for the stock farm. At the same time, they picked up furniture and recruited household staff for their two residences - George Swane was hired as a chauffeur, Amelia Mary Brown as a cook, Alice Cleaver as a nursemaid for Trevor and Sarah Daniels as a Lady's maid for Bess.
Like many others, the Allisons had altered travel plans to sail back with old friends on Titanic. They paid £151 16s for three cabins on the Upper Deck C-22/24/26. (ticket number 113781). Mr and Mrs Allison were in one suite, Sarah Daniels and Loraine in another and Alice Cleaver and Trevor in the third. The other household servants travelled second class .
On the last night of their lives, Hudson and Bess Allison sat down to dinner with Major Peuchen and Harry Molson, and Bess brought Loraine briefly into the Jacobean dining room so she could see how pretty it was.
After the ship struck the iceberg, Hudson left to find out what was going on. While he was gone, Alice took Trevor and went to get the rest of the servants in second class. Hudson returned to find them gone. He delivered Bess and Loraine to Lifeboat 6 and apparently left before it was launched. Major Peuchen recalled how they were almost rescued:
|“||"Mrs. Allison could have gotten away in perfect safety, but somebody told her Mr. Allison was in a boat being lowered on the opposite side of the deck, and with her little daughter she rushed away from the boat. Apparently she reached the other side to find that Mr. Allison was not there. Meanwhile our boat had put off.||”|
Trevor Allison was the only survivor having been rescued by the child's nurse Alice Cleaver. Hudson, Bess, and Loraine, as well as George, were lost in the sinking. Whether or not George found his employers and informed them that Trevor was safely off the ship is unknown, but if he did, it is likely the information came too late for any of them to leave the ship. Hudson, Bess, and Loraine were last seen on deck smiling. Bess's body, if recovered, was never identified.
- Main article: Allison family in popular culture