Eva Newton

Eve Newton’s striking good looks and her last name are borrowed from Helen Newton, MHC Class of 1900; Eva Newton’s first name and place and cause of death from Eva Smith, MHC Class of 1899. Beyond these details, Eva Newton, like Phebe Cutts, has no real-life counterpart. Eva’s fate has already been described; what more can be said?

In a fashionable church where there were not enough seats for all the mourners, and not enough room for all the floral tributes, Eva’s favorite hymns were sung, her sweetness, her goodness, her generosity of spirit praised, her place in Heaven secured. The air was filled with unstifled sobs; Eva’s mother fainted and her father kissed the coffin with such tenderness that it broke the hearts of all who saw it. The city newspapers carried long obituaries and published Eva’s picture; strangers, on seeing it, shook their heads and thought what a pity, so young and so beautiful.

Eva’s mother and father never truly recovered from her loss, but they had their work and their social obligations, and their son and then his wife and children to distract them. Together, they visited their daughter’s grave every week, always bearing roses, and after Mr. Newton’s death, Mrs. Newton went alone. When his mother could no longer make the trip, Eva’s brother lay flowers on the grave every Christmas Day. When he grew old, he asked his children to visit their aunt. Sometimes they did. One niece kept a picture of Eva on her mantelpiece, but when she died her children forgot who it was in the photograph and packed it away in a box.