EVANS, Grace 1 2 3 4 5
- Born: Jul 19, 1887, Raccoon Twp., Gallia, OH, USA 6
- Marriage: CLARK, William Edward on Apr 7, 1910 in Gallipolis, Gallia, OH, USA
- Died: Sep 4, 1974, Hamilton, Butler, OH, USA at age 87 6
- Buried: Sep 6, 1974, Rio Grande, Gallia, OH
Grace was the youngest child in her family. Between 1897 and 1900 she was attending Pleasant Valley School along with her sister, Ivy Evans. The only picture ever found of her as a child was a class picture taken sometime between these years in Raccoon Twp. She had long dark hair that went down her back in ringlets. As a young women, she was considered the prettiest woman in Rio Grande. Her mother died when she was just 13 and her father died exactly 3 years after his wife when Grace was only 16. Being the youngest in the family, she was the only able bodied person still at home. Her older sister, Barb, lived at home, but had rheumatism. Barb always acted as if she was very fragile, and poor Grace had to take care of her sister and the farm. It was a very difficult time. Grace had wanted to go onto High School, considered "Higher Education" at the time, but was needed at home full time after her mother's death. Grace still wanted her diploma even to the end of her days. Her desire for a good education was probably why all three of her daughters went to college and became teachers. (CL-97)
I remember her as a very sweet grandmother. She was animated in a gentle way. She had a myriad of unusual expressions or so it seemed to her grandchildren. These are a few of them that her grand daughter Grace Ann Getz remembers: "Pert near"=almost, "land sakes" or "land of Goshen" to exclaim surprise, "slop bucket dutch" to describe the mixture of countries her husband's ancestors were from (English, Scotch, etc.), and "cake of gum" for what we'd call a stick of chewing gum. (CL-496) When I told her I was getting married, she answered "Well I'll just have to climb a tree" referring to the passage in the bible where the tax collector climbed the tree to see Jesus. When something was important to the telling of her story, she'd lower her voice almost to a whisper and slap her thigh in a soft manner. When she laughed hard, the sound came out in a series of snorts. She always showed affection with a series of short pats on your back, a tradition that has carried down to me. When she was really surprised, her mouth would form an open O or oval and freeze in place. I hope you can tell that we dearly loved and respected her.
The following story is written by my cousin Grace Ann after a conversation with my mother, Marcena, Grace's daughter. "Grace Evans Clark should be remembered for the great person that she was. She worked hard all of her life for her family.
One of Grace's dreams was to have a good education. At the age of thirteen she asked the Allen's, a wealthy family from Rio, if she could be a nanny to their child, and live with them so she could go to high school in Rio Grande. Just as that was about to happen, David Evan's, Grace's father called her back to the farm. He needed help because Susannah Evans, Grace's mother, had passed away.
At the age of sixteen, Grace's father died, leaving her to tend to the duties of the farm. There she lived with her older sister Barb. Barb could not do heavy work because she was had rheumatism. Grace had to feed the chickens and milk the cows among other chores on the farm.
When Grace would go into the little town of Rio Grande to shop for supplies, her chestnut hair and fair skin caught the eye of the store owner's young son, Will Clark. Later they fell in love and had a family. Will and Grace and the three children had a farm on the outside of Rio Grande. Eventually they moved into town and Will, with his great ideas, supported the family. Before he built his own house he rented the Smeltzer house and built a garage to work on cars. To make more money he made and sold his ice cream, and then decided to sell candy. When Will's father passed on, he bought the goods from his father's store and built his own business.
Will was a very hard worker and a man of many talents: A gardener, a store and gas station owner, a hunter, and a carpenter. He worked hard to make money to send his daughters, Wanda, Avenel and Marcena to college.
Although Will made a lot of the girl's tuition, we can't forget what Grace did to pay for them to go to school. Grace had an unfulfilled dream to be educated, so she was determined to work hard to make sure her daughter's were able to go to college.
Since Rio Grande was a college town, the need to take in students was at hand. Grace and Will took in several young men and gave them food and a place to stay. Every day Grace would cook meals for these students and wash all of their bedding and towels on a wash board. Beside that she cared for her own children and worked in the store with her husband.
When the girls grew older, Will thought it wise to board women instead of male students. Grace was still cooking and washing for everyone and working in the store. Although she never complained, Will noticed that this was a lot of work for his wife. So he built a small kitchen so the women students could cook their own food. This lightened some of the burden for Grace.
During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created jobs for Americans out of work. One program was called the WPA. The WPA workers came through Rio Grande to put in pipes so that the residents could have plumbing and build indoor bathrooms. Will and Grace had raised a calf for food, but while raising her, the family became very attached. She was like a pet. After she was butchered the family could not bare to eat the beef. Instead of letting the meat go to waste, Will decided to set up tables and chairs in the garage. Grace cooked soup and made sandwiches out of the beef to feed to the very grateful WPA workers.
(Just a short note - the people called WPA workers "We Poke Alongs" because the workers were getting paid by the hour, so they, of course, took their good old time.)
So you see, Will and Grace Clark worked very hard to make money for their girls to go to college. Together they succeeded, all three daughters went to college and became teachers. But Grace did the work of two or three women. She cared for her own family, took in boarders, and helped her husband maintain the town grocery.
How many women do you know that could work as hard as Grace Clark? As recalled by her youngest daughter, Marcena, "Even though Mama did all of this work, she was always kind and gentle. She never complained, and was so humble she didn't speak a word of her sacrifice. I never remember her raising her voice once. One of the only things she did for herself, was to nap in the afternoon."
Grace married William Edward CLARK, son of Andrew James CLARK and Lola Cora TOBIN, on Apr 7, 1910 in Gallipolis, Gallia, OH, USA. (William Edward CLARK was born on Dec 7, 1883 in Raccoon Twp., Gallia, OH, USA,6 died on Feb 19, 1958 in Gallipolis, Gallia, OH, USA 6 and was buried on Feb 22, 1958 in Rio Grande, Gallia, OH.)
My mother definitely remembers her mother showing her where they were married in Galipolis, Oh. The marriage certificate might say Rio Grande, Ohio instead.