Markham Hill Moment of History                                                       2020-02-17

Evangeline Pratt Waterman Archer
Covering 1947–1954 - Part 1 of 2

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aired on KPSQ 97.3 FM:

The following are excerpts from various articles in the Northwest Arkansas Times from 1947 through 1954 concerning Evangeline Archer's Greece experience.

Oct 21, 1947

Party Is Given in Honor of Mr. and Mrs. Archer.
Mrs. Cassius Lott Pratt and Mrs. Joy Pratt Markham entertained in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Laird Archer Sunday afternoon from 4 to 6 o’clock. Mrs. Markham and Mrs. Mertye McIlroy Bagby received the guests at the door. Mrs. Pratt, Mr. and Mrs. Archer, and Mr. and Mrs. Cassius Lott Pratt, Jr., were in the receiving line. Over 100 persons called during the afternoon. Mr. and Mrs. Archer, who were married October 10, will leave in a few weeks with their son, Julian Pratt Waterman, for Athens, Greece, where they will live. Mrs. Archer is the former Mrs. J. S. Waterman, daughter of Mrs. Cassius Lott Pratt. Mr. Archer is foreign director of the Near East Foundation.

Evangeline Pratt Waterman Archer and son Julian

Aug 25, 1948

As I See It: A Column of Comment, by Roberta Fulbright.
Near East – Greece.
To my attention has come a letter from the Near East Foundation from Athens, Greece. This is from Mrs. Evangeline Pratt Waterman Archer, a former Fayetteville resident. Very interesting. She remarks upon the difficulty of keeping up with what is going on over here in spite of clippings and magazines which reach them a month or so late. She says they receive the overseas editions of the New York Herald-Tribune and Time, and buy a paper published in France. She says the war goes on. There are victories but they do not seem decisive. She says the economic condition of this country continues to worsen, with living costs still rising until they are 50 per cent higher than a year ago. She has real praise for the engineers we have sent. Says their achievements have had a direct and very beneficial effect on the demoralized transportation system in this primarily agricultural country, as well as on the military situation. They employed Greek labor. With a small staff for supervision they have really achieved wonders. She says higher education – ever essential – is available to only a very few. The mass of the people, farmers young and old, the mothers are in need of fundamental knowledge of childcare. She remarks with emphasis on how stalwart their people are. The Greeks need field work – practical demonstration, not how to read Plato. In spite of all, they have a 90 per cent wheat crop, about two-thirds enough for normal consumption. She has great praise for one man, Colonel Wright, Rockefeller Foundation sanitation engineer who has reached retirement age, all but, but who is active and has done untold wonders toward ridding the area of malaria. He has trained many young men to carry on.

Dec 8, 1948

University Women’s Club.
The University Women’s Club will have a Christmas party Friday at 3 p.m. in the Faculty Club rooms. Mrs. G. D. Nichols is chairman, and hostesses will be club members associated with the College of Arts and Sciences. An ingathering of clothing for Greece will be held. The clothes will be distributed through Mrs. Laird Archer, former Fayetteville resident, whose husband is head of Far East relief in Greece.

Jan 22, 1949

Good Work in Greece.
Something of the work of the Near East Foundation, Athens, Greece, of which Laird Archer is foreign director, is told in a letter received from Mr. Archer, who is known in Fayetteville. During the last year the Foundation benefited 171,750 people in Greece, Syria, Lebanon and Iran, he reports, terming it an instrument of human revival, healing the wounds and feeding the hungry. Its purposes, programs and methods, he says, contribute to restoration and reconstruction. The rebuilding of the common life of the people must be achieved before the vast governmental endeavors can be made to function. Mr. Archer tells of a war-stricken village in Greece, “where the horror of being overrun in another world war haunts the community and inhibits all initiative beyond the bare struggle for existence."
The hope of the Near East Foundation is to perform this revitalizing work beyond the 8000 farm families now being reached. The work is made possible by gifts, and Mr. Archer is appealing for those who have helped to contribute again, and to others to give where they can. As he says, “The burden of great unmet needs rests heavily upon us.”

July 28, 1949

Greeks Need and Deserve Help, Says Wife of Near East Foundation Head, Visiting Relatives in Fayetteville, by Helen Hughes.
“The Greeks deserve all support and help because they are really fighting the bloody part of our cold war,” Mrs. Laird Archer said in an interview here yesterday. The wife of the director of the Near East Foundation in Athens, Greece, arrived in Fayetteville Monday to visit her mother, Mrs. C. L. Pratt, and her sister, Mrs. Joy Pratt Markham.
The Greeks are working doggedly, Mrs. Archer stated. Often, during the guerilla warfare, it has been necessary for armed guards to take the peasants from their village homes to the farmlands, and to watch over them while they work. Children have been taken to school in the same way.
Guerrilla tactics a few months ago were to put mines in wheat stacks, fruit trees, and by springs, where the people would naturally stop. This war is producing more loss of limbs than any other war because of the mines, Mrs. Archer said. The Near East Foundation has a hospital for rehabilitation of disabled civilians.
Mrs. Archer belongs to three organizations which do welfare work: The American Women’s Organization for Greece, founded by the United State ambassador’s wife; the Hellenic-American Women’s Club, composed of Americans and Greeks; and the Episcopal Church Guild, made up of American, Greek, and British women. They work in hospitals, support nursery schools, make clothing for children, contribute money to Greek students, collect clothing for refugees.
Many boxes of clothing have been sent from Fayetteville since an appeal from Mrs. Archer was published last winter in the TIMES.