TOWN OF LIMA — Southern Grant County’s largest veterans’ memorials can be found in Platteville and Potosi.
A smaller memorial can be found on Grant County D south of Union. Don Bevan constructed the memorial in memory of his brother, Jack.
The oldest of five Bevans, Jack was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was the engineer on one of the first B-29 bombers when it crashed into the top of a mountain after a bombing flight to Saipan June 16, 1944.
“I was in high school when it happened,” said Bevan, 82. “He’d just do anything for you. He really had heart.”
Jack Bevan’s name is on both the Veterans Honor Roll and on the fountain in the middle of City Park.
Don Bevan was the youngest of five children. “I’m the last one in the family,” he said.
Bevan built the Uncle Sam flag-holder after seeing one, but “I could never find a pattern.” The flag-holder has a plaque with his brother’s photo.
“A lady saw this, and she wanted a mailbox made,” said Bevan.
Bevan is what used to be called “handy” with wood. He has built glide rockers, birdhouses, TV stands and other furniture from trees on his land. Many of his creations have been donated for charitable auctions.
That shouldn’t be surprising given that Bevan has been a carpenter since 1975. The house he lives in started as a two-story house, but in 1962 he converted it into a ranch house.
In 1975, his sons were “big enough to help on the farm,” so he worked in carpentry with his father-in-law, building and remodeling houses, “whatever there is to do,” retiring four years ago. He then “just got into woodworking.”
In addition to farming and carpentry, Bevan was a DeKalb seed dealer for 50 years and a Liberty Mutual insurance agent for 42 years.
“I had a full life, a busy life, but I enjoyed every moment of it,” he said. “I’ve done about it all.”
Except for one thing: “My wife thinks I should make a gazebo, but I haven’t gotten to that yet.”