Letha Evangeline Ward Wakeman papers , 1908-1974

Overview of the Collection

Wakeman, Letha Evangeline Ward
Letha Evangeline Ward Wakeman papers
1908-1974 (inclusive)
8 linear feet, (14 containers)  :  2 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 1 oversize flat box.
Collection Number
Ax 795
Letha Evangeline Ward Wakeman was a missionary in Africa. The collection comprises personal diaries, correspondence and material relating to Wakeman's involvement with missionary work in the Congo during the mid-twentieth century. The material related to the Congo, in addition to correspondence, includes missionary publications. The collection also contains biographical material on Wakeman and her husband, who received correspondence from the Oregon State Hospital.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

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Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Letha Evangeline Ward Wakeman was born in 1898 in Alton, Illinois. She was the daughter of Thomas and Effie Ward, missionaries to Lagos. Wakeman was educated at Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She married Andrew Vergil Wakeman, Baptist missionary to the Congo, where they lived from 1922-1926. They returned to the United States when Andrew contracted filariasis. His condition worsened and he spent much of his later life institutionalized. Letha Wakeman became active in the Oregon Migrant Ministry, especially the Migratory Mission, known as Eola Village, in Yamhill County. She became director of the Gleaners Chapel and was named Oregon Mother of the Year in 1973. Wakeman died in 1974.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection comprises Letha Wakeman's diaries, 1921-1930, 1942-1943, 1956-1961, and her personal correspondence, 1934-1974. Correspondents include Gilbert Gordon, 1943-1965, missionary teacher at Cameroon Protestant College, Bali; F. Richard Schneider, 1959-1972, director of Eola Village, director of social services, Winnebago Children's Home, Neillsville, Wisconsin, and regional welfare representative, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bethel, Alaska. There is a file of missionary letters from the Congo, 1932-1974, and a miscellany of Congo mission publications. Family letters are from the Wakeman children and Andrew V. Wakeman, whose letters from the Oregon State Hospital are of clinical interest. There is one letter from Effie Ward, written from Lagos in 1908, and a memoir by her, written years later. Included in the collection is a file of the records of the Oregon Migrant Ministry, which include items from Eola Village, Gleaners Chapel, and the Yamhill County Migrant Committee, 1955-1974. Miscellaneous files include a biography, in manuscript, of Letha Wakeman, by Colena M. Anderson. The correspondence is arranged by sender in rough chronological order.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Baptists--Missions--Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Migrant labor--Oregon--Yamhill County
  • Missionaries--Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Missions--Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Women missionaries--Oregon--Yamhill County

Personal Names

  • Anderson, Colena M.
  • Wakeman, Andrew V.
  • Wakeman, Letha Evangeline Ward
  • Ward, Effie

Corporate Names

  • Oregon State Hospital

Form or Genre Terms

  • Diaries