HOF Class of 2021
Evelyn Lewis was born on January 17, 1911 on a farm near Illiopolis. She graduated from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois. Her first teaching job was a Riverton Elementary School. Two years later Evelyn enrolled at Illinois Wesleyan University and graduated with a 4-year degree. After graduation she accepted a position at Hickory School in LeRoy.
Hickory School was a one room country school that covered grades 1 through 8. She had one student in every grade. In addition to teaching, Evelyn had to take care of cleaning the room and keep the heating stove fired up in the winter.
Evelyn met her husband George while teaching at Hickory School and married in June, 1935. The birth of her children, George, Perry and Barbara, ended her teaching career for a time. After all, mothers didn’t work in those days. Instead, Evelyn taught a new study class for young couples at LeRoy Methodist Church. She also served as chairperson of the building committee when they tore down the old building and had the honor of turning the first spade of dirt for the new building.
Evelyn returned to full time teaching at Eugene Field School in LeRoy in 1952. Desiring to be the best she could, she took night classes at Illinois State Normal University and earned a master’s degree in Education in 1957.
She continued to teach for the next 24 years until her retirement in 1976. She was principal of Eugene Field School for 12 years. After LeRoy Elementary School was built and Eugene Field closed, she became Curriculum Coordinator and Assistant Principal at the new elementary school.
Evelyn Lewis made a powerful impact on three generations of youth in LeRoy through her unselfish devotion to educating children.