By Rachel Thomas
Photo: Amanda Woodward and Evangeline Martin in buggy, courtesy of the George Fox University Archives.
In 1910, Newbergers became familiar with the sounds of a horse and buggy clip clopping down the streets, stopping at each home and business. In the buggy, pulled by a faithful horse named Kit, sat Amanda Woodward and Evangeline Martin.
Amanda Woodward was married to Ezra Woodward, the editor of the Newberg Graphic. The couple owned the paper, and lived in a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian on River street (now the Health and Counseling center at George Fox University). The couple moved to Oregon in 1880 in response to William Hobson’s call to form a Quaker community in the valley. They were devoted supporters of the community and were active participants in Newberg social movements. Ezra Woodward was on the board of trustees for Pacific College (George Fox University), and their two children, Sibyl and Walter attended the college.
Evangeline Martin was a leader in Newberg Friends Church and the nascent Oregon Yearly Meeting. She was on the board of trustees of Pacific College and was named secretary of the board. Martin was very active in social movements in the town including the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, women’s suffrage movements, and overseeing local schools. Martin taught in the Chehalem Center school, a grammar school started by the Quaker church. She was also a Sunday School teacher, beloved by many of her students, including a young Herbert Hoover. Hoover credited much of his personal growth and early development to her teaching, and maintained a relationship with her throughout his life.
In 1910, the young Pacific College was at a critical juncture. In order to receive accreditation and succeed as an institution, they needed to add a new building to their campus. Amanda Woodward and Evangeline Martin heard of the need and took it upon themselves to raise the $30,000 required to construct the building. They began to go house to house, business to business, collecting a subscription from the community. On July 4th, 1910, the subscription was complete. The $30,000 was raised and the two women celebrated by driving their buggy in the annual Independence Day parade with a sign recognizing the completion of the work.
By 1911, the three story Willamina brick building was completed. The students, faculty, and staff of the college laid the sod, and the building was completed. In honor of the work and support of Amanda Woodward and Evangeline Martin, the building was named Wood-Mar Hall. Today the building still stands on the George Fox University campus and is home to the theater, the College of Engineering, mathematics and sciences.