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MCKELVEY, DOROTHY MARKS

MCKELVEY, DOROTHY MARKS

MCKELVEY, DOROTHY MARKS (24 Oct. 1902-14 July 1993) was the founder, president and trustee of the Berea Area Historical Society (BAHS). She was the caretaker of Berea history and historian of BALDWIN-WALLACE COLLEGE.

Born in Berea to Thomas and Mary (Benton) Marks, Dorothy was a fourth-generation descendant of Berea pioneers. She graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1924, then taught drama and public speaking at Maple Heights High School for five years before leaving to marry and raise her family.

In 1950 McKelvey became the full-time historian and college archivist at Baldwin-Wallace College, remaining in that position until 9 April 1993. In 1959 she helped found the Berea Area Historical Society, serving as its first president from 1959-1970s, and as a director until her death.

In 1980 McKelvey was designated the official Historian of Berea (a non-paying position) by Mayor Jack Kafer and the City Council. She gave illustrated lectures on Berea for groups and schools and became the person newspapers called to verify facts about Berea's past.

Dorothy was enamored of the life of Queen Victoria. She began a collection of Victorian furniture and glassware and gave lectures on the Victorian Period and its influence. In 1979 the BAHS dedicated an exhibit room in her name in its Mahler Museum. In 1984 Berea honored her by placing her name on a park in the center of the city.

Dorothy married Wilfred McKelvey in 1929. They had two sons, Thomas and Wilfred. Dorothy belonged to the United Methodist Church of Berea. She is buried in Woodvale Cemetery.