The first one who opened the road into this county and ed the way for thousands more – Musgrove Evans, a worthy, educated surveyor and gentleman, born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in 1793, was married to Miss Abi Brown, sister of General J. W. Brown, in 1814, at Brownville, New York. Mrs. Evans and family were the first white settlers of the county, June 2, 1824, cutting and making a road for his team through the wilderness for more than twenty miles. It was a day of unclouded beauty that the first pioneer settlement was begun in this now wealthy, prosperous and healthy county; no cloud, no mist, or stain obscured the rich, deep arch of heaven for a number of days after their arrival at their new forest home. The grounds for miles around Tecumseh were handsomely wooded with tall, majestic oaks, with no underbrush. In the near forest was ash, maple, black walnut, cherry and whitewood. The water of the river Raisin was of a crystalline clearness, and the shore on either side was firm and gravelly; the slopes with the level plateau of land were gay with wild flowers of many varieties. All exclaimed with delight, as they looked over and surveyed this luxuriant scenery. Here by the river's bank the first emigrants pitched their tent, and there the first log cabin was erected and covered with elm bark. On this plat of ground from time immemorial had been a resort of the Indians, their favorite camping place. Here was the grand portage of the river Raisin, the great through route of the trail from Monroe to the western lakes; also the trail from Detroit and Saline Springs to the Wabash. Here was an unlimited field for the Indians, also deer, elk, wolf, bear, wild turkeys, geese, grouse, swans, and all fur-bearing animals. An eminent writer says, more beautiful scenery than the wild domain presented never perhaps greeted the eye of the enterprising home-seeker. Here the emigrant foresaw a prosperous future, grand mill privileges, agricultural industries, with an unlimited scope for domestic enterprise, prosperity and wealth. Mr. Evans' family consisted of wife and five children, viz.: Samuel, Vincent, Hannah, George and William, and Peter Benson and wife as assistants, and several others. It was twenty-three miles to the nearest neighbor. Mr. Evans was appointed postmaster, the first west of Monroe, and with the aid of J. W. Brown and Mr. Spafford, built the first school-house and was part owner of the first saw-mill and grist-mill west of Monroe. In 1825 he was government surveyor on the military road from Detroit to Chicago. Mr. Manor, a Frenchman, now living at Brest, Monroe county, was chainman in these surveys of the military roads. In 1830 he was assistant marshal to take the census, which included territory west to Lake Michigan. In 1832 he was surveyor on the United States military road from La Plaisance Bay to the Chicago road in Cambridge.
The year 1833 brought with it a saddening time. The wife of our esteemed friend and first pioneer died. She was one of the noblest and best of wives and mothers. A dark cloud of deep and prolonged grief seemed to rest on all parts of the county when that devoted woman went down to the tomb. Our unwearied friend, Elijah Brownell, preached the funeral service. (The writer's pleasant home was at Mr. Evan's house for most of the year 1830.) After the death of his wife he seemed to have a desire to begin a new settlement in the wilderness again. The lone star of Texas was just rising; he sold his possessions in Tecumseh, and left, with his children, for the southern clime, where, for several years, he was engaged in his chosen occupation of surveying. After a useful and active life of twenty years among the low lands and prairies of Texas, he died at his residence, at Cypress Creek, June 7, 1855, aged sixty-two years. Although he died in a southern country, his memory in Lenawee county was well kept, for his unassuming abilities to help hundreds of our first settlers. With them, a virtuous record is left in the hearts of all who knew him.
Our Family Homes--Then and Now
Our Homes, some were lived in for generation, some for just a short time.
Villages, Towns and Cities of my family.
Some of the homes and places my family and extended family have lived.
See photos below the posts.
See photos below the posts.