Ohio Biographies

Roeleff Bevier, M.D.

Roeleff Bevier, M.D. was born Feb. 27, 1813 in Cayuga County, New York. His early education was in the district school and he enjoyed the advantage of a private tutor and also that which came to him from the instructions of his own father, whose profession he adopted. He graduated at Fairfield Medical College in Herkimer County of this Empire state in 1838, and began his practice in the town of his nativity, but Ohio, to his mind, opened up greater promise, so taking [sic.] to wife Annie Cuykendall, in 1840, he founded his home at Plymouth, the border village of Huron and Richland, and there lived a long life, departing into the unseen country on July 24, 1882, having nearly compassed his three-score and ten years of allotted life on earth. He dedicated himself to his chosen profession, and with the years of his preparatory study, filled out more than a half century therein. His work was not in any sense perfunctory, but a work of zeal, knowledge, activity, faithfulness. The special dominant controlling principle of his life was faithfulness, and the quality of his service was such as could be expected when to knowledge was added zeal, and to zeal a profound love of his work, and to that absolute faithfulness. It has been remarked that very often do we find tastes, aptitudes, habits of thought, transmitted from father to son, and though I have no personal knowledge of the father of Dr. Bevier, I venture the opinion that like the son was the father, and that much which distinguished the son was also the possession of the father. The children of Dr. Roeleff Bevier were all daughters. They are now known as Mrs. George B. Brown, of Toledo, O., Mrs. W.C. Breckenridge, of Hamilton, Ontario, in the Dominion of Canada, and Mrs. F.W. Kirtland, of Plymouth, O., all women of transcendent worth. In his church relations Dr. Bevier was a Presbyterian, and his party affiliations were with the Republican party, from its organization, an active working member thereof, but never a mere partisan. His knowledge of men and things, his innate love of liberty, lead him to cast his lot politically; yet never noisy, never faulting his neighbor because forsooth he did not see as he saw. His life work was that of the physician. No other occupation in life affords a better test of character, a greater opportunity for usefulness, and Dr. Bevier measured up the full measure of a man. Fifty long years, including his preparatory study, he devoted to his profession. Fifty years, how much he saw, how much he accomplished. How much is there in one life of one single good man to emulate? The fifty years witnessed the wonderful growth of the republic and extended its boundaries so that the billows of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans alike surged and broke on our distant shores. The fifty years of his activities marked the progress of the people of the earth and the advancement of some from semi-savage life to a condition of civilization, while the advancement in sciences and art were equally marvelous. Dr. Bevier, though a quiet man, was not a careless observer or indifferent actor in the realm of human endeavor and accomplishment. He was active, alert, physically and mentally. He was gifted with a superb physique and good health and his labors were abundant, sometimes excessive, but the good he did humanity was almost immeasurable. Faithfulness in all he undertook was the guiding star which illuminated the way and lightened the labor. Since the day when he was called away the months have grown into years, but his works of love and deeds of kindness are not forgotten of men. It was my fortune to know him well, and if in the series of sketches of the early men I failed to write of Roeleff Bevier, I would fail in duty, however imperfectly, the duty may be performed. Dr. Bevier was a true man, a faithful friend, an able physician, a genuine follower of the lowly man of Nazareth, his Lord and Savior, and a patriotic citizen.


From Richland Shield & Banner: 20 April 1895, Vol. LXXVII, No. 49