Markham Hill Moment of History                                                       2019-12-16

Evangeline Pratt as a Girl and Single Woman
Covering 1898-1927 - Part 2 of 2

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Evangeline Pratt was active in the 1920s in several clubs, including the University Women’s Club, the University Club, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW).  She also served on the committee of arrangements and as one of the hostesses for a wildflower exhibit organized by the Marion chapter D.A.R. and the Civic Arts League in April 1927. “Thirty posters made by the Normal Art classes, University of Arkansas, in the interest of wildflower conservation, under the direction of Miss Grace M. Palmer, will also be a part of the exhibit. The display is held in order to acquaint people with native flora now in bloom in Fayetteville and to create an interest in local beautiful wildflowers and their need of protection.”

During this time, Evangeline helped her sister Joy Pratt Markham in the summers as camp secretary.

Evangeline wrote several letters to the editor in the mid-1920s. They illustrate her strong opinions on issues such as protecting natural habitat, conservation, and keeping our roads litter-free.

Fayetteville Daily Democrat, April 30, 1924

“Save Our Beauty”, by Evangeline Pratt

To the Democrat:

The cruel treatment which so much of the beauty of the country surrounding Fayetteville receives at the hands of misguided pleasure seekers is particularly depressing on these fine spring days. On a drive the other day after passing car after car whose occupants had shown at least some consideration for wild flowers, since the cars contained only small branches of dogwood, we passed one whose owner had evidently set out with an ax to outdo all his competitors in demolishing the long suffering tree. His car was covered from spare tire to radiator cap, with branches, the main stems of which were more than an inch thick. It must have taken a whole tree for such lavish decoration. It is difficult to understand how such a beautiful tree could arouse such feelings of acquisitiveness and destruction.

There is another thing I hope you can find the space to mention – another example of what can be done to the country by a few minutes of thoughtlessness. On the same drive upon which we passed the “decorated” car we saw a recently deserted picnic ground, a beautiful spot under trees near a stream, and without an article omitted, from the paper napkins and eggshells to the orange peel. The picnickers were able to leave the place and will probably not come back to it until they wish to enjoy nature again, but I have to pass it every day, and unless I find time soon to get out and clean it up, it will probably stay so until some kind wind blows the lighter trash away.

I should like to add a plea in behalf of the owners of country places, owners try to make their places things of beauty, where birds and flowers can lead a fearless life. They are glad to have visitors who can appreciate beauty and leave it to furnish joy for others, but they do not enjoy having to defend their premises against those whose main object seems to be destruction.

Sincerely yours,
Evangeline Pratt
Fayetteville Daily Democrat, August 18, 1926

“We Were Glad to Do Our Bit!”, by Evangeline Pratt

There are some people in Fayetteville who for the past several months have been using the road leading to our home, and bordering the University campus, for a dumping ground. This road, which is just outside city limits, is littered with old car fenders, tin cans, papers, old stoves – anything which the persons who are dumping there want to get rid of. The superintendent of buildings and grounds of the University has tried to stop this littering of the road and of the University campus, but the only way to do so seems to be to station a guard, which is impossible. “No Dumping” signs have been put up, but to no effect. Twice the bridge has been burned by someone’s dumping a load of paper under it and then setting fire to the paper. Hundreds of people come over the road each week. It is a disgrace to the town and an eyesore to us. We have tried to clean it up, but we do not have the facilities for cleaning it up that those who dump have for dumping, or as much time to put in. Most of the people of Fayetteville are proud of their city and would not do anything so contemptible as to strew their discarded refuse along a public road. If this should by chance reach anyone who has so little civic pride, I hope it may cause him to dispose of his garbage in a more public spirited and sanitary way.

Evangeline Pratt
Fayetteville Daily Democrat, December 14, 1926 

Editor of the Democrat:

I am glad to see comment in the “Round About Town” column on the ugliness of the lopped-off trees. They are bad enough in the summer but in the winter, with their rotting stumps showing, they are no more beautiful than a dismembered animal.

Evangeline Pratt

Evangeline Pratt was an independent, career-minded, outspoken woman in the 1920s which was not necessarily what men looked for in a wife at that time. She got married when she was almost 29 years old, considered “old” for marriage. But she found a soulmate in Dr. Julian Waterman.  Not willing to give up drinking coffee and smoking, she attended but never joined her mother’s Christian Science church.  Possibly for this reason and the fact that Dr. Waterman was Jewish in heritage, Evangeline and Julian decided to get married without planning a wedding, eliminating any Christian-Jewish complications from their communities.  Evangeline resigned from her job at the University several weeks before her marriage.

The Fayetteville Daily Democrat announcement on Sept 7, 1927 states:

Dr. Julian Seesel Waterman, dean of the University of Arkansas law school and Miss Evangeline Pratt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Pratt and [former] secretary of general extension work in the University of Arkansas, were married Monday morning at nine o’clock at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with Rev. John Ridout officiating. Dean John Clark Jordan of the University graduate school was the only guest present. The couple left immediately for Eureka Springs and other points in the Ozarks and the wedding was not announced until Tuesday. Dr. and Mrs. Waterman will return before the opening of the University and will be at home for the time being at the Pratt-Markham residence. Dr. Waterman holds a B. A. Degree from Tulane University, an M. A. from the University of Michigan and a Ph. D. from the University of Chicago. He came to the University of Arkansas in 1914 as a member of the faculty in political economy under Dr. C. H. Brough. He served during the world war and was stationed at Camp Pike. Returning to the University, he was made professor of law in 1924 and dean of the law school with its establishment in 1926. His bride is a graduate of the University of Arkansas from which she holds a B.A. degree. She has been a staff member of the University since 1919. She is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha.


Painting by Joy Pratt, using Evangeline
and college friend as models, late 1910s