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Letha Evangeline Ward Wakeman papers

Identifier: Ax 795

Scope and Contents

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.


  • 1908-1974


Conditions Governing Access

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.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

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.


8 linear feet (14 containers) : 2 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 1 oversize flat box.

Language of Materials



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.


Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Letha Wakeman Diaries; Series II. Correspondence; Series III. Miscellaneous.

Existence and Location of Copies

Available in microfilm as part of: Women's lives. Series 3, American women missionaries and pioneers collection (MICROFILM BV3703 .W66 2006, reel 61-72); Primary Source Microfilm, 12 Lunar Dr., Woodbridge, Conn. 06525.

Guide to the Letha Evangeline Ward Wakeman Papers
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Finding aid prepared by University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections
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Finding aid written in English
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA