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28 scholarships awarded to college-bound youths

For more than 45 years, the estate of Muriel “Mertie” Stevens has lent a helping hand to Clackamas County’s college-bound youth.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: CCHS/ALAN DELAY - Mertie Stevens is pictured as an adult in 1959. Born in Oregon City in 1872, she lived to be just a few years shy of 100 and left her estate to educational purposes.This fall, 28 awardees received scholarships. They were selected for excellence in character, academics and community service.

Mertie Stevens, originator of the Harley and Mertie Stevens Scholarship, was born in Oregon City in 1872, and lived to be just a few years shy of 100. She was a piano teacher, talented sketch artist, businesswoman and investor.

Mertie’s father, Harley Stevens, came to Oregon as an Emigrant Escort Service guide when he was just 15. Mertie’s grandparents, Medorum and Mary Elizabeth Crawford, were among the first wagon train of settlers who traversed the Oregon Trail in 1842.

Mertie Stevens never married and had no children of her own. She left her 15-room, 1908 classical foursquare home and its historic contents to the Clackamas County Historical Society in 1968.

In recent years, scholarship interviews have been held in the personal atmosphere of the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House. In Mertie’s own living room, surrounded by a Victrola, stereoscope, antique musical instruments and turn of the century decor, outstanding local students are interviewed by representatives of the Charitable Services Group of U.S. Bank, and a diverse team of scholarship administrators.

The fall awardees are: Christina Baurer, Emily Becker, Liam Beckman, Tovit Bezukhov, Nathan Coe, Hai Dao, Hunter Dassonville, Madeline Dindsale, Amy Drake, Casey Dudek, Alayna Engle, Lea Hagenaur, Jessica Hansen, Nancy Hernandez, Jin Shin Hoong, Jin Kuen Hoong, Myriah Klingler, Sarah Martin, Hannah McFarland, Neonelia Molodih, Maksim Pakhnyuk, Geneve Settle, Shauna Thannickal, Sonia Thannickal, Quang Tran, Krysta Wakefield, Alexander Whitehead, and Erica Widing.

Applications for the 2014 Stevens Scholarships are available through the Oregon Student Assistance Commission. Eligibility is limited to graduates of accredited Clackamas County high schools with a minimum GPA of 3.5 (for graduating high-school seniors) or a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (for students currently attending college).

Recipients must be attending or entering a college or university supported by the state of Oregon, or an Oregon college or university supported by a Protestant church.

Application forms may be downloaded at osac.state.or.us. March 1 is the next application deadline.

Located at 603 Sixth St. in Oregon City, the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House museum is open to the public Thursday through Saturday. Tours are offered from noon to 3:30 p.m. Call 503-655-2866 for more information, or visit clackamashistory.org.