As I've been sharing information on Elizabeth Radford Evans (her newspaper profile, recipient of letters from her cousin Louise, author of poetry & letters), keep in mind that she married Charles Evans in January 1850. The actual date of the marriage, seems to be a bit fuzzy. The vital record I received from the Middlebury Town Clerk say 15 January 1850 which is a xerox of the page of the minister's journal. Mount Holyoke Seminary's alum records say she was married on the 16th. Her story below, says the 16th. The published vital records for Middlebury Connecticut where they married, says they were married on the 14th or 15th. How they ever met, has yet to be discovered, she lived in Middlebury and he lived in Sherman, 26 miles away.
The gem below she wrote describing their 40th anniversary celebrations, 16 January 1890 -- both the one they planned and the surprise one:
of her 40th wedding anniversary-
Gaylordsville Jan. 16th 1890
And it came to pass when Zachery
Taylor ruled over the land, there dwelt
in the east country one Elizabeth of
the family of Beers. And there came to
that place one Charles whose surname
was Evans, and he took Elizabeth for
his wife and she went with him to
his home in the land beyond the
river even the Housatonic and they
dwelt there- And sons and daughters
were born unto them. The sons took
to themselves wives and dwelt in the
north country and the daughter
dwelt in the south. And when two
score years were past, Elizabeth said
to her husband, “Lo this forty years
have we dwelt together, let us make
a feast and invite our children and
grand children that we may rejoice
together” and the saying pleased him
and he said “Do even as thou wilt.”
And they sent this message to their
sons who dwelt in the north “Come
to us on the sixteenth day of they first
month and bring with you your
wife and your children” and they
answered “We will come” and to the
daughter was sent a like message and
she said “we will come.”
Now there was in the land one Susan
who had dwelt there many years and
had known Charles from his birth. She
was also one of the first to welcome
Elizabeth when she was a stranger
in the land. When she heard of the feast
she called her children and neighbors
together and said to them “Lo these many
years have this couple have dwelt in
our midst, let us go in a company
to their house and surprise them and
let us carry a present to them and thus
saying pleased her friends and they
said “We will do so.”
Now when the day had come the
children and grand children assembled
together and one Julia (who was at the
marriage) and Henry her son and he
that ministered to this people and his
wife and children and twenty and
one did dine there and all enjoyed
themselves and one Nelson brought
verses that the minister read before
them. And when the evening was
come and they who could not spend
the night had departed and the
children were in bed there was a
knocking at the door. When Elizabeth
opened the door it, there was Susan
and some of her neighbors who had
come on foot and with oxen and
had brought with them baskets of
things to eat that none might say
“Where shall we get food for this great
company” and they spake pleasant
words to Charles and Elizabeth and
wished them many days even a
And Anna the daughter of Susan
made coffee and prepared supper
and when all was ready a small
table was placed before Charles and
Elizabeth and John whose sur-
name was Duncan put a lighted
lamp there-on and he made a
nice speech, saying the lamp was
a present from the neighbors given
with love and good wishes and
hoping as age dimmed their eyes
the light of the lamp would remind
them of the love that would be a
comfort to them as they pass on
toward the end of life’s journey.
They were so astonished they could
only say “Thank you” but in their
hearts they will remember the
kindness of the neighbors and bless
them for their friendship.
And at midnight they departed
every one to his own home.
Now the rest of the acts of the company.
How they raced for potatoes and
attached a candle appendage to
the donkey and other things they did
are they not written in chronicles of
Sounds like they had quite the party that night in Sherman with their neighbors after their family who couldn't stay over went home. The Evans home on Evans Hill Road was in Sherman, as were the Evans homes on Giddings St, so I'm not sure why it is called Gaylordsville here and in the next article.
Fast forward 13 more years, where their long marriage was celebrated in The Great Barrington Courier (where they had moved in their old age to be nearer their sons, Charles H and Edward).
This article appeared just 3 months before Charles died at age 83.
The Courier (vol. LXIX, page 1, 3 September 1903) extolled "the Berkshire Hills region being especially favorable to longevity and conducive to dispositions"
“I. MR. AND MRS. CHARLES EVANS, GREAT BARRINGTON.
Mr. and Mrs. Evans are an adopted
son and daughter of Great Barring-
ton, having been residents here for
the past four years. Prior to that
they lived here for several winters.
The celebration of their fiftieth
wedding anniversary occurred at
their home on Rosseter street Tues
-day, January 23, 1900, a few days
later than it naturally would have
been because of illness on the part
of Mr. Evans. The event was no-
-table in that for the second time
there was a reunion of all the chil-
dren and grandchildren, of the latter
of whom there were four more to
participate in the second than in the
first family gathering.
Charles Evans and Elizabeth Brad-
ford [Radford] were married in Middlebury,
Conn., May 16, 1850 [January], the ceremony
occurring at the early hour of six
o'clock in the morning. Neither the
clergyman or anyone present at the
ceremony, the bride and groom ex-
cepted, is now alive. Most of the
married life of Mr. and Mrs. Evans
was lived at Gaylordsville, Conn.;
where Mr. Evans followed the occu-
pation of a farmer, and also did more
or less work as a carpenter.
He was the youngest and is the
only survivor of a family of nine
children, while his wife is also the only
survivor in a family of four children.
Both are in fairly good health, Mrs.
Evans in particular. She is the
possessor of a vigorous mind and
takes an active interest in the Thurs-
days Morning Club meetings and in
current affairs generally. Mr. and
Mrs. Evans have sons and daughters
as follows: Messrs. Charles H. and
Edward Evans, the well known con-
tractors of this village; Mrs. Samuel
G. Bristol, Milford, Conn.; Mrs.
Edward Olmsted, Danbury, Conn.;
Mrs. D. H. Bronson, Beacon Falls,
Conn., and Mrs. Charles Edwards,
Seymour Conn. Besides these they
have 13 grandchildren."
I think the month of their wedding listed above is a typo. Here it is listed as MAY 16th instead of January. The family celebrated in January, delayed a few days because of the health of Charles Evans. I'm not sure what the first celebration referred to actually was; maybe their 40th anniversary party.
We know that Mrs Evans [Elizabeth] is in particularly good health, is busy with the Thursday Morning Club and current affairs. He would die in three months, she in a dozen years hence.
This story raises a question: why would anyone get married at 6 AM?
|Beers Radford (1784-1876)|
After their wedding in January 1850, it appears that Elizabeth continued to live with her elderly father, Beers Radford and is listed as "Elizabeth Radford" not "Elizabeth Evans" in the census. When the US Census was taken in September 1850, she is listed living with her widowed father in Middlebury CT, and Charles is listed as living with his older sister Lydia Evans in Sherman CT. Since their first child was born in October 1851, they did move together after that census was taken.