FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE FREEPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Freeport’s notable and history making women

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Edith Gertrude Selene Evans

Edith Gertrude Selene Evans was a noted anthropologist, Egyptologist, photographer and owner of the house at 350 S. Main Street that is now occupied by the Freeport Historical Society. Miss Selene married Dr. Thomas H. Evans, an eminent professor of research and anatomy at New York Medical College. Mrs. Evans was a member of the Society of American Archaeology, American Association of Biology Teachers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Anthropological Association, the Egypt Exploration Fund, the Metropolitan Art Museum, the Women’s Chess Club of New York, the Nassau Historical Genealogical, and Garden City Community Club. Mrs. Evans died in 1948 and her husband lived in the house until his death at the age of 82 in 1961.

Caroline G. Atkinson

Born in Jefferson, N.H. in 1866, Caroline G. Atkinson graduated from the Albany Normal School (now University at Albany). Her teaching career began on August 30, 1885 in the four-room school on Pine Street and Guy Lombardo Avenue. She became one of four teachers in a school that had less than 200 students. After 52 years of service, Atkinson retired in 1937. She was a member of the First Baptist Church where she was elected an honorary deaconess. It is said that she knew the Bible almost by heart and spent much of her time visiting the sick and reading to children. Ms. Atkinson died at the age of 82 of a heart attack in 1949; she is buried in Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale. That same year, the Freeport School Board unanimously approved changing the name of the school on Seaman Avenue to the “Caroline G. Atkinson School” in a posthumous show of appreciation for her many contributions to the Freeport School District.

Harvay D. Sinkler

Harvay D. Sinkler was the relocation director for the Freeport Urban Renewal Agency beginning in the late 1960s. Sinkler attended South Carolina College and the Farmingdale Agricultural Institute. In 1952, she opened an employment agency at her home at 17 St. John’s Place. For 12 years, the Harvay D. Sinkler Employment Agency specialized in domestic, catering, mechanical, and sales jobs. That same year, Sinkler was appointed to the celebration committee for the 60th anniversary of the incorporation of the Village of Freeport.

Sinkler served on the executive board of the PTA in Freeport and Roosevelt and was a founder of the United Action Front in Freeport. She also sat on the executive board of the Economic Opportunity Council, and was a member of the East Central Civic Organization and the Neighborhood Civic League.

In 1961, the Central Nassau Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. presented Sinkler with their Human Relations Award. Sinkler was honored for work on the Freeport Housing Project and with church, civic, P.T.A., and other community organizations. In the 1950s, when public schools closed in Prince Edward County, VA, rather than integrate them, many black children were left with no schools to attend. Sinkler was part of a group of Long Islanders, who along with the South Nassau Unitarian Church in Freeport, collected school supplies for these disenfranchised African American students.