Bemis granddaughter will share memories

One presentation to be held at namesake library

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Pictured is Katherine Prescott Bemis, grandmother of Maya DeBus. DeBus will talk about her Bemis grandparents on July 29 at Bemis Library and Aug. 1 at Englewood Library.
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Edwin Bemis at the then-future site of the Littleton Library named for him.
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Katherine Prescott at the piano.
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Edwin Bemis stands next to the Bemis home next to Sterne Park.
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Maya DeBus has happy childhood memories of spending summer days with her grandparents in their home in Sterne Park, now a local historic landmark called the Bemis House.

She and her sister and cousins played in the spacious yard and in the cozy house, with attentive Ed and Katherine Bemis on hand to read, play, do art projects, shoot photos and enjoy small-town Littleton.

She will share memories and memorabilia in two upcoming local programs, both open to the public:

● 7 p.m. July 29 — “Ed Bemis, My Grandfather,” will be presented at Edwin A. Bemis Public Library, 6014 S. Datura St., Littleton, by Historic Littleton Inc. DeBus will give a PowerPoint presentation and share some artifacts she has treasured. DeBus is a Los Angeles resident, but still visits Littleton fairly frequently. 303-795-3961.

● 3 p.m. Aug. 1 — DeBus will speak at the Englewood Public Library, 1000 Englewood Parkway, Englewood Civic Center, presented by the Englewood Historical Society. 303-762-2560.

The Littleton Museum offers these insights:

Ed Bemis was publisher of the Littleton Independent newspaper, as well as being very active in city affairs and statewide journalism education and organizations. He apprenticed at the newspaper at age 11 and later, took over management, editing, publishing and ownership. In 1926, he hired recent college graduate Houstoun Waring, who became a nationally and internationally famous editor.

In 1911, he married Katherine Prescott Bemis of Litteton, who was known as “Mumsey” to her grandchildren. She was “an opera singer, artist, sculptress and poet, as well as supportive of my grandfather,” DeBus writes.

Bemis launched the active Colorado Press Association and devoted time and energy to it for many years, as well as to other trade associations, as well as a journalism department at the University of Colorado. Independent local newspapers were a focus.

A history buff, he was the first “Sheriff,” or president, of the Denver Westerners, an ongoing organization of members who take turns writing and presenting papers about Western history at monthly dinners.

Interest in history also led to founding the Littleton Historical Society, which preceded the founding of the Littleton Museum. Collections were stored in the basement of the county welfare building until 1970, when the museum opened.

In 1965, the Edwin A. Bemis Library opened, honoring his lifelong devotion to his hometown. It's appropriate that his granddaughter will honor his memory there — and probably share some stories residents have not heard yet.