Virginia Simms Cave
is honored with a Medium Paver from Patricia Bernhard.
Virginia Simms was born shortly before the Civil War in Green County, Virginia. She never attended school but was allowed to be present while her brothers were being tutored. As a young child, she taught in the "Twilight School" set up by her father to educate their slaves.
When she was an adult, she went to visit relatives in Missouri, where she met and married John Bart Cave. Because she had no formal education, she had to take the state "normal" test in order to teach. At the time of her death, the Kansas City Star stated she had scored the highest grade ever made on the test up to that time.
Later, they moved to McCracken, Kansas, where they built and ran the hotel. Then on to Hays, where they ran a boarding house across from Fort Hays college and also ran the school cafeteria.
Education meant a lot to her. She helped and encouraged the young women who room at their boarding house to get a college education. She also encouraged her children to get as much education as possible.
Her oldest daughter, Margaret, got her Masters in math and taught at Bennington College. Her second daughter, Loree, got her Master in home economics and was head of the Home Economics department at Fort Hays College. Her third daughter, Jean, got her Masters in physical education and taught at Greeley State Normal School (now Northern Colorado University). Their youngest child and only son, Reece Simms, had two years of engineering at the University of Kansas.
September 5, 1998