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Sarah A. Evarts papers

1892-1898
 Collection
Identifier: 2164

Abstract

Sarah A. Evarts (1833-1901) was one of many women who invested in the Woman's Land Syndicate in Chicago. The Syndicate sought a real estate project developed and managed by women, but ultimately failed. The papers consist of brochures, maps, and testimonial letters describing the work of the Syndicate and the prospects and new industries of the adjoining developments of South Waukegan and North Chicago.

Dates

  • 1892-1898

Creator

Extent

23 item(s)

Biographical Note

Sarah A. Evarts (1833-1901) was one of many women who invested in the Woman's Land Syndicate in Chicago.

Sarah A. Hinman was born to Cyrus Hinman (1806-1885) and Eunice Benedict Hinman (1814-1892) on July 21, 1833 in Connecticut. In 1850, the family lived in Southbury, Connecticut. Around 1852, Hinman married Joseph E. Evarts (1830-1903). During the Civil War, Evarts enlisted in the 23rd Infantry, Company K, and was wounded at La Fourche Crossing, Louisiana in August 1863. The couple had seven children, but only four survived: Mary E, Franklin E., Carrie E., and William H. Some time between 1870 and 1880, Sarah and Joseph divorced and the children remained with Sarah and they moved from Danbury to Bridgeport, Connecticut. No record of their divorce has been found. Bridgeport city directories list Sarah as the widow of Joseph, however he remained in Danbury. Sarah died December 31, 1901 and is buried in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Historical Note

The Woman's Land Syndicate, of Chicago, sought a real estate project developed and managed by women, but ultimately failed.

The Syndicate was formed in 1892 by Rose A. Emmons (1835-1906), a leader in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). It purchased $500,000 worth of lots in South Waukegan, Illinois, farmland that had recently become an important railroad junction and was attracting industrial plants. In keeping with temperance principles, the sale and distribution of liquor was prohibited. Additionally, key attractions to the development were to be ample landscaping and green space, with brochures advertising that "eighty acres of the most valuable land in the city has been dedicated as a public park, and thousands of dollars are to be expended out of private funds to beautify it."

The Syndicate ran into problems by the end of 1893. The real estate boom of 1892 had quickly burst. The depression of 1893-1896 prevented quick resale of the lots, and Syndicate investors were liable for further payments for taxes. Additionally, E.J. Grey of Medina, Ohio, filed a bill declaring the Syndicate was "a scheme devised for the purpose of enriching the defendants [Emmons and others] by cheating innocent women through the influence of persons widely known to be prominent in temperance and religious circles." Over one thousand women from across the country purchased lots, which ultimately ended in foreclosure in March 1900 as mortgages were more than the land was worth.

Scope and Contents

The Sarah A. Evarts (1833-1901) papers consist of brochures, maps, and testimonial letters describing the work of the Woman's Land Syndicate of Chicago and the prospects and new industries of the adjoining developments of South Waukegan and North Chicago. There is also a $70 bond belonging to Evarts, a letter complaining of her losses, and a copy of her will which, in addition to disposing of her other effects, leaves the bond to her son, William H. Evarts.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Sarah A. Evarts papers
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400