Evangeline Pratt Waterman
Covering 1927-1947 - Part 1 of 2
Evangeline Pratt married Dr. Julian Seesel Waterman, dean of the University of Arkansas law school, in September 1927 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with one guest present. After their honeymoon, they resided in the Pratt family home for a year, where her parents Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Pratt lived and where her sister Joy and her husband D. H. Markham lived during the summer months. Evangeline had resigned from her job at the University prior to her wedding. She became an instructor at the Markham Camp the following summer to help her sister Joy and brother-in-law. Evangeline and her husband Julian attended many university dinners and parties.
The Oct 31, 1927 newspaper wrote:
“Interesting Places in the Ozark Resorts” was the paper given by Mrs. J. S. Waterman at the meeting of the University Women’s Club Saturday afternoon. Places she mentioned were Cane Hill, John E. Brown College at Siloam Springs, the lime kiln at Johnson, the Merrill butterfly collection at Rogers, the state pheasant farm near Rogers, the Nix bird collection and Mrs. Berry’s flower garden at Springdale; Eureka Springs, especially the Crescent Hotel which formerly was Crescent College; the battlefields at Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove and Fayetteville; Elk Horn Tavern near Seligman, Missouri; Winslow and the Mountain Lodge; the historic homes in Fayetteville, Diamond Cave at Jasper, the Sander’s pistol collection at Berryville, and peony fields at Sarcoxie, the fish hatchery at Roaring River, the Indian mounds near Elkins, and many other places. After the meeting, refreshments of cider and nuts were served.” Evangeline was elected secretary of the University Women’s Club in 1928.
During this 20-year period from 1927 to 1947, Evangeline was also active in the following clubs:
- Zeta Tau Alpha Alumnae club
- Fortnightly Club (participated with her husband; members took turns hosting and presenting papers for discussion; examples of papers presented by Evangeline were “13th Century period and the life of Saint Francis”, “Life and works of Vincent Van Gogh of Arles, Dutch genius and madman”, “life of John Peter Altgeld, governor of Illinois, who appeared prominently in the strike troubles of several generations ago and who pardoned men convicted in the famous Haymarket case that attracted national attention and the personal intervention of the president of the United States”, and “life and work of William Henry Steigel, early American immigrant glass-maker whose now almost priceless flint glass and other specimens, white, clear and colored, grow more and more rare with the years”)
- 20th Century Club (women took turns hosting and leading discussions on books; examples are Mark Sullivan’s “Our Times”, “Henry VIII”, and “An Iceland Fisherman” by Pierre Loti; in 1934 Evangeline was elected vice president; in April 1939 Evangeline presented the program on “Napoleon at St. Helena” by Octave Aubrey)
- American Association of University Women (AAUW)
- Modern Literature Club (women took turns hosting and reviewing books; examples are Evangeline’s reviews of “Life of Karl Marx” by Franz Mehring and “Books That Have Changed Our Mind”)
- Fayetteville Garden Club (women took turns hosting and presenting the program; examples are Evangeline’s talks on the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Landscape Gardening, Wildflowers, and native plants that may be used in home planting; Evangeline served as president for at least one year)
- League of Women Voters (Evangeline joined in January 1945)
In March 1928 Evangeline’s sister Joy Pratt Markham gave birth to her only child, Gay Pratt Markham. His legal name was Egele but he was called Pratt and later Gay. The Pratt family home was now even busier during the summers.
In January 1929 Evangeline and Julian moved from the Pratt family home to the former home of the H.R. Rosen family at 500 N Vandeventer in Fayetteville. Evangeline’s parents had given her some land near the Pratt family home to build a house. It was completed by the end of 1929 and she named it “Dogwood Cottage”. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places and known by the people of Fayetteville today as “Evangeline’s Cottage”. The house was unique for the day: rounded walls inside, kiva fireplace (inspired by southwestern pueblo architecture), pella rose screen windows (where screens rolled up into built-in compartments), and a basement with a garage under the house. Evangeline lived in this house until she died in 1979 except for five years when she lived in Greece with her second husband.
In February 1929 the newspaper wrote that “Mrs. Jay Fulbright entertained with an informal tea yesterday afternoon at her home on Mount Nord.” Among the guests were Dr. and Mrs. J. S. Waterman. “Tea with appurtenances was served with dainty appointment in the drawing room where a new Electrola provided orchestra music throughout the afternoon and evening hours.”
Evangeline’s father, Cassius L. Pratt, died on June 27, 1929 at the age of 82. He was buried in Fairview Memorial Park. Evangeline’s four brothers from Oklahoma joined the family in Fayetteville for the funeral services.
In January 1931 Evangeline gave birth to her first of two children in a Tulsa hospital. She and her husband named their baby girl Evangeline. Also, in 1931 Evangeline’s sister Joy divorced her husband. Joy and her three-year-old son Gay came to live permanently year-round in the Pratt family home with their widowed mother Maggie Pratt. Joy lived there until her death in 1976.
The May 26, 1932 newspaper announced:
Hilltop School is name of a new school for children 3 to 8 years old to be opened [June 1] with Mrs. D. H. Markham [Evangeline’s sister Joy], director, assisted by Mrs. J. S. Waterman and Mrs. Laurence Powell at the Pratt country home west of town. It is planned to have a nine-month school with vacation during the cold winter months. A concrete swimming pool for the small children is in a shady hollow. Teeter board, swings, and horizontal bars are other attractions with a large shed for class work and horses provide riding. A room in the home will be used for dancing under direction of Mrs. Powell who also will teach music appreciation. Mrs. Markham taught four years in a similar school in Phoenix, Ariz., and besides has had much experience in the activities of Camp Markham for a number of past summers.
The November 14, 1932 newspaper wrote:
About 30 signed in the guest book at the A. A. U. W. toy exhibit at the university home economics building last weekend. A pre-Christmas interest was shown in the lists posted on the bulletin board, giving titles and prices of books and classifying the toys by their interest for children of especial ages, and their educational purpose. Several university teachers brought their classes to visit the toy exhibit. Chairmen for the exhibits were as follows: Mrs. Lewis Turner, books; Mrs. Joy Pratt Markham, pictures; Mrs. J. S. Waterman, music; and Mrs. Charles Kilpatrick, toys. Each of these made talks on their departments.
The August 28, 1933 newspaper wrote:
The Hilltop Camps, Camp Sunset for boys and Camp Sunup for girls, directed by Mrs. Joy Pratt Markham at her home on the mountain west of Fayetteville, closed their 13th and 7th seasons, respectively, last week. A spectacular event of the closing program was a circus given before an audience of Fayetteville people and visiting parents of the campers. Members of both camps and the staff took part. The circus opened with a float carrying the three girls and three boys voted the best campers of 1933. An Indian and pioneer parade in which 12 camp horses, passing behind the barn where quick changes of costumes were made by their riders, were used to form a continuous line of about 18 in the parade. The circus proper opened with an acrobatic act by [2 1/2 year-old] Evangeline Waterman, second, hurdling with horses ridden bareback, Irish and Russian dances in costume, …