"Maria," portrayed by her great-great granddaughter in period attire, will look back at her life as a prairie pioneer.
A free program, "Maria Rodaway: Prairie Pioneer," will be presented by Karen Drevo at the Neligh Public Library on Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Seven generations of Drevo’s family have lived in Otoe County, Neb. She grew up on a farm north of Unadilla and received her early education in one-room Otoe County schools. Drevo has degrees in English and history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently lives in Norfolk, where she is a librarian at Norfolk Public Library. Her life-long interest in her family history was sparked by the family stories told by her grandmothers.
Drevo will portray Maria, her great-great grandmother, as she looks back at her life as a prairie pioneer in Otoe County, where she homesteaded in 1867. Maria crossed the Atlantic Ocean with seven children to reunite her family after a 7 ½ year separation. She endured grasshoppers, hail, drought, tornadoes, blizzards, and the loss of her husband and six of her 13 children as she worked to become a citizen and a land owner in a new country. Resilient and resourceful, she lived a life of usefulness to her family and large circle of friends with her loving deeds and kind acts, delivering babies and nursing the sick. This program is suitable for children grade 4 to adult.
This presentation is made possible by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and the Neligh Library Foundation. It is one of approximately 300 programs offered through the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau. The more than 165 available speakers include acclaimed scholars, writers, musicians, storytellers and folklorists on topics ranging from pioneer heritage to ethics and law to international and multicultural issues, making it the largest humanities speakers bureau in the nation.
Speakers are available to any non-profit organization in Nebraska. Each program lasts 30 minutes to an hour, plus a question-and-answer period.