Monday, December 2, 2013

Maybelline Heiress, Eva Williams Haines, Vintage Photos, Stories and Anecdotes

Maybelline might have been called Evaline


People have asked me why I didn't put more pictures in my book so they could see the different family members as they went from children to old age.  Well I was only allowed 13 pictures and it was a hard choice as you can imagine.  So I'm doing a picture-bio of the main characters - starting with Tom Lyle's youngest sister Eva.  Here she is with her brother Preston, my grandfather, on their Morganfield Farm in in 1908, dressed for church I bet.  Don't you love the big bow in her hair and the posing?   Eva and Preston were very close playmates all their lives and she once told me how they loved to roam the woods around the old homestead, exploring and seeking adventure.  When young Preston got in trouble and their father Sheriff TJ locked him in jail to teach him a lesson, it was Eva who snuck in dime novels to keep him busy while he learned his big lesson.

When the family moved off the farm and into their first little warehouse/office in Chicago -with an apartment upstairs - they all helped Tom Lyle get his little Maybelline company off the ground.  Fifteen year old Eva's job was to be the "go-for" girl. When anyone needed something it was Eva who ran down the block to get it.

She once told me how when the family wanted a milk shake she gladly took a quarter for 5 drinks and ran down the street to the soda fountain, where she quickly drank her shake before slowly making her way back home so the shakes wouldn't spill.  Sometimes the walk home took so long she got thirsty and sipped a little from each siplings drink.  By the time she returned, you can just hear the flack she got from her brothers and sister, however Eva was a spitfire with a sharp wit and had a darn good reason for sipping those drinks I'm sure.

I love this picture of my grandfather Preston and auntie E, as my dad called her.  She and Preston remained devoted even when my grandmother was at her wits end with his endless trouble making.  When my grandmother kicked him out of the house Eva gladly welcomed him into hers and there was nothing I mean nothing she wouldn't do for her darling brother.

Look at those beautiful Maybelline eyes with a twinkle like no others.  This picture was taken in 1924 for her sweetheart Ches Haines whom she married Oct 11th of that year.  Auntie E once told me that it could have easily been her who concocted the ingredients that gave her brother Tom Lyle the idea for Maybelline.  She was serious when she said it made her a little jealous that her sister Mabel got the credit, but then laughed at the idea of Maybelline being called Evaline.  Not quite the impact Tom Lyle was going for I'm sure.

Here is my glamorous Auntie E at her daughter June's wedding in the late 1940's.  She seemed to get more gorgeous the older she got and that quick wit made her a star in the family.  Don't you just love that feather in her hat?

 Uncle Ches the father of the bride, on the left next to June and her new husband John Gary.

 Here is a picture of Eva with her daughter Marilyn, (Ditty) taken in 1966 at Tom Lyle's estate in Bel Air California.  Eva is 65 in this picture, a beautiful, elegant lady with all the style and glamour of anyone of Maybelline's models.  Tom Lyle is sitting on the floor with Miss Snoop E. Williams and Sparkie.  He once told me chuckling, that the E in Snoop's name stood for his sister Eva.  I wonder what he meant?

Eva is a colorful character in The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.  I think you will fall in love with her just like I did.  She was one of a kind.

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