Mary (Beckman) Niekamp
Class of 1948, 2023 Inductee
In recognition for Leadership and Service
Mary graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1968 and went on to teach mathematics at St. Henry Junior High School for ten years.
From 1977 to 1981, Mary worked for the Regional Office of the Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society with Mary Ann Olding. In doing so, she documented more than 700 culturally significant properties that symbolized values and religious beliefs of Mercer County and revolutionized historic building inventory methods and documentation.
Due to Mrs. Niekamp's work, in 1978 the “The Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches” was successfully nominated as a thematic grouping, the only one of its kind, on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. Subsequently, “The Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches Scenic Byway” was authorized by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Mary is an author of three publications. The first was a publication documenting the history and symbolism found in the stained-glass windows of the St. Henry Catholic Church. The second publication was, “A Pictorial History of St. Henry.” At the age of 91, the third publication called “Touched by the Finger of God” was written to record the history and grandeur of the St. Henry Catholic Church.
Mrs. Niekamp also wrote a detailed and comprehensive Beckman family history which includes the description of the lives of the early immigrants as they made St. Henry their home.
Mary is the wife of Tom Niekamp and they have six children.