Abi Evans

Abi Brown was born in 1789, in Bucks Co., Pennsylvania, the daughter of Samuel Brown and Abi White. At the age of 9, she had moved with her family to a pioneer settlement in Jefferson County, New York. [When her mother first saw their new home, she is said to have not smiled for the next 6 months.] In 1809, Abi married Musgrove Evans who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1785, to Gen. Samuel Evans and Nancy Clough. They were all members of the Society of Friends [Quakers]. Six children were born to them in Jefferson County, New York. The last, George, was born in Lenawee County, Michigan. Perhaps the first white child born there.
 Samuel B. Evans (16 Jan. 1812-6 Mar. 1836 at the Alamo)
 Vincent L. Evans (24 Feb. 1813-ca 1839)
 Pamela Evans (17 Jan. 1815-4 Sep. 1825 or '27)
 Hannah M. Evans (31 May 1817-    )
 William M. Evans (22 Apr. 1821.-    )
 Charles Evans (24 Aug. 1823-30 Jul. 1825 or '26)
 George S. Evans (6 Aug. 1827- 1883)
Abi Brown Evans was well educated in a day that did not educate women. Her oldest brother had attended college and is believed to have tutored his younger siblings. In 1824, in a letter to her sister-in-law, she wrote about their new home in Tecumseh:
Although a fine soil and climate, it is still in a state of nature and will require a steady perseverance to make it what we would wish it to be, and thee must expect to undergo thy share of fatigue and anxiety as no new settlement ever yet was formed without a great deal of exertion.
Abi's first home in Tecumseh was described as "a '20 x 20 x 16 foot log cabin with a dirt floor, a roof of bark peeled from elm trees, and a low loft whose floor was of split saplings." There was a hole in the roof through which the smoke from the open fire rose. "In another letter she is supposed to have said that the roof leaked so badly that she had to put the baby under the wash tub when it rained."  In spite of this, she, along with a helper, managed to feed and care for most of the new settlers arriving in the new settlement.

A new house was built in 1826, that is still in use today. It is the oldest house in Tecumseh. When built, it was on Chicago Blvd. and was used as an Inn. Abi was still feeding and housing newcomers and travelers.

Abi's son, Charles drowned as a toddler when he fell from a dock used to draw water from the river. The following year, Pamela succumbed to the malaria prevalent in the area.

Abi Evans died 5 March 1832, just as the little settlement on the banks of the River Raisin and Evans Creek was turning into a town. "Francis Dewey who, as a lonely, homesick boy had known her hospitality, said of her: No one ever solicited her advice without being deeply impressed with the intellectual strength and gentleness of her nature. When she left us the whole community wept and mourned like children who had lost a dearly-loved mother."

After Abi's death her husband, Musgrove Evans, left Tecumseh and traveled to Texas. He and their children became part of the history of Texas; Samuel dying at the Alamo, Vincent taken and later killed by Mexican bandits along the Chisholm Trail, Musgrove joining the Texas Army and fighting at San Jacinto.

Abi Evans' name was chosen for the chapter's name because the members felt they shared history and homemaking with Abi Evans, Tecumseh's first homemaker.
Sources: One Hundred Years - A Country Town  by Clara Waldron, copyright 1968. Papers of the Abi Evans Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

For information on membership, contact our Registrar, Linda Hartley.

For general information, contact our Regent, Marianne Vykydal.


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