Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson
Showing posts with label OLMSTEAD Grace Evans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OLMSTEAD Grace Evans. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memories of Elizabeth and Charles at the time of their deaths

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.
To the Children of Mrs. Elizabeth H. Evans, 
Dear Friends:  
  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.

   I have afar from the hill of Sherman in the home she loved so well and  made sacred by her gracious presence and loving service.  
   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.

Nor do I forget her  kind and devoted companion and his pure quiet, unselfish life.  Theirs  was an ideal married life.  
   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." 

  You could not have wished her to tarry longer in the worn out tabernacle  undermined by the increasing weakness of old age.  
   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.
Rev. Herrick's wife, Amelia also wrote a condolence letter.  The family typed a copy and shared carbon copies.

December 14, 1915 
Dear Friends:  
  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  

Reading these letters gives one the feeling of her as a beloved personal friend who knew how to reach out to others at just the right time (food, friendship, strength) and information on the books you ought to be reading!
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-- 
Dear Friends-- 
   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 -- 
E.P. Herrick 
Matangar Cuba 
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
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