Evangeline Harris Merriweather Collection
Dates: ca. 1938-1944
Accession Number: 910601D
Description: One envelope, one file folder,
                            and three books in a document case


Born August 16, 1893, Evangeline Evelyn Harris was a descendant of one of the pioneer families of Vigo County. Her parents were Ida Mayzeek and David Harris, who worked for the Vandalia railroad in Terre Haute. Evangeline graduated from Wiley High School and attended Indiana State Teachers College where she received an M.S. degree in education. Although she served as a teacher at both Lincoln and Washington Schools for over 25 years, she was also a talented musician. Beyond her vocal training in Terre Haute, she studied privately at the Oberlin, New England, and Boston Conservatories of Music and at Columbia University. A gifted soprano, Evangeline performed publicly in Terre Haute and other cities in the south and eastern United States. She also was the music supervisor for some of the Terre Haute public schools.

Her interest in writing seems to have come from working on her thesis for her masters degree at Indiana State Teachers College in 1936. As a supplement to her thesis project, Harris created a series of readers entitled The Family. Published in Terre Haute in 1938, The Family booklets offered positive images of African-Americans with illustrations by local artist M. Mikel Williams.

In 1940, Harris published Stories for Little Tots (Nashville, TN: National Publication Co.)--a book which was geared for black elementary school students and included brief biographies of prominent black men and women of achievement. A revised edition of Stories was released in 1944.

Evangeline Harris married Charles Merriweather who was a captain at a local fire department station. She died in Terre Haute on October 5, 1950 at the age of 57.

Content and Scope of Collection

This collection was generated from miscellaneous material in Archives and Special Collections. It contains items regarding Evangeline's sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, original photographs, and copies of her books.

Digital versions of The Family, Part 1 The Family Part III and Stories for Little Tots are available on the Wabash Valley Visions and Voices website.

For related material, see the Evangeline Harris Merriweather Scrapbooks (Accession Number 910524A) and the Jane Dabney Shackelford Collection (Accession Number 800627, D.C. 1, Folders 2-5).

Document Case





Envelope 1

Photograph: Evangeline Harris Merriweather
with students at Lincoln School






Photograph: Alpha Eta Omega Chapter,
Alpha Kappa Alpha, Terre Haute, IN
(w/Evangeline Harris Merriweather)





Folder 1

Program Notes: Evangeline Evelyn Harris
(re: her music/singing career)






Sheet music: "Hail Alpha Kappa Alpha"
Words & Music by Evangeline E. Harris






Book: Harris, Evangeline E. The Family (Part I): At Home and At School. Terre Haute, Ind.: Evangeline E. Harris, 1938. (2 copies)






Book: Harris, Evangeline E. The Family (Part III): Fireside Stories. Terre Haute, Ind.: Evangeline E. Harris, 1938.






Book: Merriweather, Evangeline Harris.
Stories for Little Tots
. Terre Haute, Ind.: Family Publishing Co., 1944.
(revised edition)