October 20, 2014

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Wow, what a legacy!
Written by Caesi Bevis   
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 6:05 PM

Thanks to Terry Veil for writing an article about my great great Aunt Nanie, Mary A. Curran, published Oct. 24,
Wow - who would think she would still make news? She died May 5, 1962. It touched my heart that you wrote about her. I don’t know if you knew it? Nanie started teaching school at age 16.

Nanie, and her sister, Nell Curran, who started the first library in Harrison, were strong role models for the Bevis girls (and their brother) as women as they went on to have their own families. Both chose career lives over getting married, which was unusual in that day.

What legacy does a woman like Mary Curran - and a woman like Nell - leave? I know some of the history but not all.

On her great niece Eileen Klemm’s side - two daughters and a son graduated university- two with a masters level and one of these two with a PhD.

Mary Eileen Bevis went on to be Dean of University of Chicago Nursing Program. Her son, Bob Bevis, went on to be VP Cincinnati Milicron Milling Machine. The other daughter, Betty, I believe also taught university for awhile.

I’m the daughter of the fourth child and eldest daughter, Dorothy or “Dotty”.  My mom opted for family life after graduating secretary school.

Education was very heavily stressed in my home years. I knew I was expected to contribute to community work, get a masters or PhD and likely run for office ... all by when  I was six years old.

While this may seem normal now, this push came mostly from my mother born in 1920. Her father, CD Bevis had been a member of the House of Representatives so my mother saw “serving as a politician” as being one of the highest honors.

My mom, unlike other mothers of the day, never encouraged me to “play dumb” around boys in class. I was expected to earn top grades.

Frequently, I was reminded of her aunt’s and fatger’s accomplishments. They were very much “kept alive” to me ... sort of mentoring from their graves ( in a happy way).

I was also so proud of my Aunt Mary for going back to school late in life to complete her PhD. This was still before the time when women did this in high numbers.

Nanie and Nell left a strong legacy. All of Eileen’s kids and their kids went on to be successful. Most of my mother’s plans for me came true so far.

At some point, it would be nice to “bring home” Curran/ Bevis artifacts that presently are with me in California. Let me know if you ever open a museum. Presently, many items are on my walls  or tables here.  For example, I have the statue the graduating class of, I think, 1890 gave to  Mary Curran. It’s of Sapho.

Caesi Bevis