Unfortunately, there is a gap without many life details from the last letter of 1849 from cousin Louise to the 40th anniversary in 1890, of all the years in Sherman, Connecticut where Elizabeth Radford Evans is a mother, a farm wife -- who was she, what was her life like? We have some hints from her own writing.
|Evans farm on Evans Hill Road in Sherman, Connecticut|
After she died 5 December 1915, a former minister from the 45 years she was in Sherman, Connecticut and his wife each sent her children a letter of condolences from where they were working in Cuba.
These two condolence letters give us a hint of life in Sherman ... she was more than an unknown isolated country woman just caring for her children and working on the chores that helped to keep a farm family going.
The news has come to us of the home going of your beloved Mother.
You have a double reason for gratitude to God. 1st: For having given you such a noble gifted Mother, and also for having spared her to you for so many years.
Many of Gods gifts to his Children are repeated. He gives us a Mother's love, and care but once, as if to teach us how choice it is. During her long friendship, stretching through over forty years, I have been impressed by her many qualitites of mind and heart, her unshaken faith in God, her personal love for her Savior, her quiet unostentatious devotion to duty, and her capacity for true lasting disinterested friendships were noticeable the light of her christian fidelity.
My pastoral calls included frequent visits at her home where we always received a hearty welcome. We enjoyed our interviews and her conversations, which were uplifting and inspiring.
Her cheerful optimism impressed me. She looked on the bright side of everything and saw the best in every life, and that sweet smile which was the expression of her joyful sould life, she carried with her into the presence of her Lord with whom she walked by faith.
What maternal pride characterized her. The mother heart followed with tender love, each child as they went forth to form new homes and enlarged to take in the grandchildren who will now miss her love and counsels.
She was a fine example of New England Christian womanhood. We saw those ideal puritan virtues in her life. Reverence for sacred things, conscientious and unselfish love of country, honest, uprightness perfect veracity. High ethic ideals, and all irradiated by a supreme affection for God, and a sympathetic love for humanity. May her blessing abide with you all. The most precious legacy she has left is the memory of what she was, and did.
“How these holy memories cluster
Like the stars when storms are past,
Pointing us to that far Heaven
We too hope to reach at last."
She awaits your coming over there, where sighs give place to Psalms, and the aged are forever young. Mortality has been swallowed of life.
Doubtless you all recall the Thanksgiving days and the happy family reunions of the ended years, how she waited to welcome each and every one, with a love that stronger given with the added years.
And how you can look forward with a hope that never grows dim to the family gathering younder and know that the Mother heart still yearns to meet and welcome you all to the Thanksgiving Feast of Heaven.
May God in his infinite love grant this to you and his consolation and peace.
This in loving sympathy,
Rev. E.P. Herrick
|Thanksgiving 1894 in the house on Evans Hill Rd that Rev. Herrick mentioned in his condolence letter above.|
Elizabeth and Charles are here along with their children and grandchildren.
December 14, 1915
It seems very hard for me to realize the active brain and warm heart of your mother is no longer residing in the body on this earth. For so many years I have felt her to be a living, acting friend, one to whom I appealed for so many different things. In sickness and death she was a strong tower. Then when I came from the South with my family of boys, what a help she was those summers when I had no help and no stove for proper cooking. No one ever made such brown bread and biscuits and doughnuts. Then when I wanted to know of the new books, it was to your mother I went, and she so often supplied me with reading. You have so much to be proud of in your strong-minded, noble-hearted mother, and the generations that follow her must have something of her talent and character.
I always miss her in the old home, and shall miss her more now she is really gone to the other side -- the unknown home you and I will enter before long. Each year the number increases of the forever-absent friends, whom we cannot reach with our Christmas greetings, and we miss the name as we make out our list. But how much happier for them to be numbered with the redeemed ones who are where sorrow and sighing forever fled away.
With your great sympathy for all of your family, and with love to each member.
Very Sincerely yours,
Amelia G. Herrick
In memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Evans,
died Dec. 5, 1915. Age 91 and 11 mo. December 15, 1915
|Daughter and mother together.|
Augusta Evans Bristol and Elizabeth Radford Evans in front of Augusta' home.
The obituary for Elizabeth:
Mrs. Elizabeth Evans passed away, Saturday night, at the home of her son, Charles H. Evans, in Gaylordsville. She would have been 91 years old, had she lived until January. She was a woman of great loveliness of character. Two sons, Charles H. Evans of Gaylordsville, and Edward Evans of Great Barrington, Mass. and two daughters, Mrs. Agusta Bristol, of Milford, and Mrs. Grace Olmstead of Newtown, survive her. The funeral took place on tuesday afternoon from the residence of Mr. Evans of Gaylordsville.
The obituary says she died in Gaylordsville at her son's home, but her death certificate was issued by Great Barrington and said she died in Great Barrington.
Her husband Charles Evans died on 4 December 1903 -- 12 years before her.
|Charles Evans heading up Evans Hill Rd to their farm.|
Rev. Herrick wrote to the family then too.
To the children of the Late Charles Evans--
was made very sad when I heard of the illness of your beloved father and longed to hear that his precious life was to be lengthened but when I learned the golden bowl was broken I felt keen sorrow for he was dear to me -- a man whom I have known, admired and loved for over twenty years -- Few children are favored with such parents --- May the life of your dear mother be long continued. Your father possessed many choice qualities of mind and heart that endeared him to us all. He was a keen intellect -- a memory well stored with interesting and profitable information. A kindly heart that throbbed with sympathy for all troubled and needy men. He had great descriptive powers and a choice flow of interesting anecdotes of persons and events reaching into the long gone past. I recall some of the vivid word pictures which he drew so well-- all unconscious of his own gifts for he was one of the most modest and unassuming of men. I know of no man more competent to have written a book on the early history of Sherman and its prominent citizens. The law of kindness was in his heart a born humorist-- a veritable wit-- his deliverance of human foibles and failings never lead to wounding of sensitive feelings. His presence brought sunshine and good cheer -- his wise counsel and cherry suggestions were always timely and helpful. He was free from osterlatim -- self seeking and conceit -- quick to see and appreciate what was good in others and speak of it. I do not need to speak of what he was as a husband and father -- it was touching to see his deep love for you all and his paternal pride in our success. Reticent as to his own spiritual beliefs and experiences -- yet was reverential and appreciative of all things pertaining to religion. We felt we were in the presence of a good man. Who put character before creed and right living before outward professions -- one who guarded his words and let his example rather than his lips tell what he was. A noble heart was slitted on the day when he went home -- he longed to go and god granted the wish of the tired pilgrim. He wrapped the draperies of his couch about him and lay down to pleasant dreams. May the holy memories he has left be ever your inspiration.
How delightful were those old family gatherings in the old house on the hill. How pleasant to look forward to the Thanksgiving of Heaven when all your journeys ended, you will all meet and be forever with him and forever with the Lord. To your father God I commend all your children
Yours sincerely --
Dec. 28 -- 1903
You might recall, that the newspaper profile of couples of Great Barrington who were married more than 50 years, was written just 3 months before Charles died.
Two lives well-lived as told by the people who knew them.
©Erica Dakin Voolich 2014
The link to this post is http://genea-adventures.blogspot.com/2014/05/memories-of-elizabeth-and-charles-at.html