(Editor’s note: The Somervell Senior Citizen’s Center presented several area residents with “Older Texan Awards.” The following story is the last in a series highlighting each honoree. Children and relatives of the honorees submitted the memoirs.)
Evelyn Mae Watson was born on October 25, 1920 to Joe Elbert and Lena Mae Watson at their home in Dallas. In 1925, her family moved to Oak Cliff, in the Trinity Heights addition. There were no sewer lines for several years in Trinity Heights. Everyone had outhouses with drawers that opened into the alley. Every Friday evening, the “Sugar Wagon” could be heard coming down the alley to pick up the waste.
Evelyn attended several area schools: Trinity Heights Elementary, Boude Storey Jr. High and Sunset High School.
Evelyn was the oldest child of five; Francis, who died at the age of four from pneumonia, Josie, Mary and a brother Joe.
During the depression of 1929, her Dad was able to keep his job as an electrician. His pay was enough to buy groceries for two or three other families each week to make sure the children didn’t go hungry. Evelyn’s Mother made all of their clothes, some from flour sacks.
Evelyn’s family loved music, her Grandpa asked if she thought she could play the Mandolin, he had a friend who had one for sale. She thought she could play it if she knew the names of the strings, Granddad bought the instrument. It had the names of the strings printed on the inside. Evelyn ended up taking lessons and becoming quite good on the mandolin. She and her sister Josie even played on the radio with the Bird Brand Cowboys. They were invited to play with the Cowboys several times and they also played with Bill and Milton Phelps on the Radio Station WRR every Saturday morning.
Evelyn began dating Wayland G. Adams in the summer of 1939. They had met at the Hillcrest Baptist Church several years earlier. On September 21, 1940, Evelyn and Wayland were married. They were blessed with four children; Wayland Jr., Suzanne, Nancy and Cynthia.
In 1958, Wayland, Evelyn and their children moved to Glen Rose, Texas, settling in the Rainbow community and joining Rainbow Baptist Church. Glen Rose was Wayland’s home and he loved returning with his family.
Evelyn was a hands-on mother and being at school with her own children made her realize there was a real need for special education in the school. In 1963, Evelyn began working in the County/District Clerk’s office typing field instruments into the record books and worked with the Connally’s researching and typing abstracts. When she became familiar with the records of Somervell County, she chose to be an independent abstractor in and for Somervell County for approximately 20 years. She was also the secretary for the First Baptist Church of Glen Rose for about eight years. In 1980, attorney Sam Freas was elected County Judge. He chose Evelyn to be his secretary. Dorothy McFall, County Clerk, made Evelyn her deputy for a year after Judge Freas passed away. Billie Aldridge chose Evelyn to be her Assistant Auditor for 5 years.
Evelyn and Wayland were involved in many civic groups; the Somervell Historical Society, the Historic Museum, Evelyn served a 3-year term with the first Board of Trustees of the City-County Library, the American Cancer Society, The Somervell County Historical Commission-serving 17 years, the Glen Rose Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, and many more.
Evelyn Adams has been instrumental in helping establish the groundwork for many of the organizations that have blossomed here in Glen Rose over these many years and are still up and running.
Evelyn Adams has handled the many hats she has worn with grace and has set an extraordinary example of love and compassion for people and their needs.