Down That Road: Anna Laura Evans

February 2, 2016

Anna Laura Evans was described in the 1952 Prairie View year book as a “polished woman with finished tastes and rare judgment.” A Texas native, she came to Prairie View Normal and Industrial College around 1901 after attending Oberlin College and the University of Chicago.  At Prairie View, Evans initially taught history and English.  She went on to become the first Dean of Women. Evans also held positions on the Discipline Committee of Female Students and the Committee on Classifications. Principal Terrell described her in the Prairie View Standard as “tak[ing] all the precaution possible to see that the work under her supervision is what it should be.”  Evans was well liked by the students – so much so that a student organization was named in her honor, “The Anna Laura Evans Club”, which provided recreation and activities for women.

Evans Hall is named in her honor. Tragically, the original building was destroyed by fire.  The current Evans Hall was built in 1925 at a cost of $100,000 and was renovated in 2013.

Evans was a member of the Methodist Church, U.B.F. (believed to be a Christian Service Organization) and King’s Daughters. She also served as director of the Young Women’s Christian Association.  Evans died in 1917 while still employed at Prairie View.  A special memoriam in the 1946 yearbook indicated “no incident during the college year has so profoundly affected the students as this untimely loss.  Not only Prairie View, but all Texas and young women of the Negro race everywhere have lost a rare adviser and friend.”

 

References

I.M. Terrell. “Prairie View Standard,” July 29, 1916.

The Red Book of Houston. Houston, Texas: Sotex Publishing Company, 1915, p. 181.

The Panther Year Book, 1917, p. 152.

The Panther Year Book, 1952.