Tod Evans, 1802-1869
Mary Ingersol Tod Evans,
a pioneer in philanthropic service to the Akron area, was decades ahead of her
Born in Youngstown, Mary
Ingersol Tod was the daughter of a judge. She was married twice. Her marriage
to John McCurdy of Warren produced three children. Her first husband died in 1830.
She then married Dr. Dana D. Evans of Akron. He died in 1849.
Evans became a leader and
role model in 1851 through her involvement with the Young Men's Association Women's
Committee. A year later in 1852 she served on the Ladies Committee of the Fireman's
During the Civil War, she
was active in Akron's Soldiers Aid Society, although never an officer in the organization
Affiliated with Cleveland's Sanitary Commission, the Akron Soldiers Aid Society
contributed literally thousands of dollars worth of food and clothing to soldiers
away fighting the Civil War. These Akron women spent evenings knitting mittens
and socks for soldiers. They also packed food and other goods to be used in Army
hospitals in a small room above a store on South Howard Street. The food and goods
were shipped to Cleveland's Sanitary Commission and then onto the hospitals that
cared for the wounded. In addition, the organization raised much money by holding
"dime parties," socials and dinners.
Evans also served as the
matron of the Northern Ohio Hospital for the Insane. Evans is best known
for establishing the Ladies Cemetery Association. Evans believed that
the Akron Rural Cemetery deserved to be as beautifully kept as the rest
of the city. A live-in groundskeeper seemed to be the solution.
She enlisted the
help of her sisters, Julia Ford and Grace
Perkins, as well as many community women. Together, they sponsored
concerts and other events, raising funds to build a residence for a
groundskeeper. Evans submitted what seemed to be an early press release,
encouraging the Akron Daily Beacon to promote the event.
Evans remained active
until her death in 1869.
courtesy of the Beacon Journal.