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With Gary Nevius,
Trustee Chair

NEWS — March 18, 2024

FFNHA: What is your professional background?

Nevius: Now fully retired, I spent nearly 44 years in the practice of architecture.

In which state and county are you located?

I reside in Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas.

How long have you been a trustee?

I’m in year 12 as a trustee.

Why are you a trustee?

I’ve always had a strong interest in history. I grew up along the Kansas – Missouri border so learned of that conflict early in life. I was in my pre-teens and teens during the centennial of the Civil War and my dad stopped at many battlefields during summer vacations and reading about those events developed into a lifelong habit.

What does Freedom’s Frontier mean to you?

I find the most compelling reason to advocate for Freedom’s Frontier is the educational component. Understanding our collective past is important to the understanding of how we got to where we are today and to how we relate and work with each other.

What is the best thing about FFNHA?

There are a lot of “best” things about the organization, but for me meeting and getting to know individuals and groups with a strong passion for history is the most rewarding aspect.

What future FFNHA event or initiative are you most excited about?

I’m really looking forward to the August 2024 Civil War symposium that is currently in development.

What is the last historic site you visited?

I visited the Eisenhower Museum in Abeline not too long ago and I’m looking forward to getting back to Gettysburg in April.

What is the last book you read?

I recently finished an excellent book on the lead up to the Civil War by David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861. I’ve just started weighing into Allen Nevins’ 8-volume, 3367-page Ordeal for the Union, Emergence of Lincoln, and War for the Union.

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) builds awareness of struggles for freedom in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Established by Congress in 2006, FFNHA covers a unique physical and cultural landscape across 41 counties and 31,000 square miles. It promotes three diverse, interwoven, and nationally significant stories: frontier settlement, the Missouri-Kansas Border War and Civil War, and enduring civil rights disputes. FFNHA inspires respect for multiple perspectives and empowers area residents to preserve and share these stories, achieving its goals through interpretation, preservation, conservation, and education for all residents and visitors. It is one of 62 federally recognized National Heritage Areas across the United States.

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