Ethni Evans[edit | edit source]
Millwright Ethni Evans (c. 1766-1832) of Hinsdale, NH, son of Lt. John Evans and Lydia Doolittle, was the founder of Evans Mills. He arrived in Jefferson County in 1802 to work for Jacob Jennings Brown. In 1804 Evans purchased 192 acres of wilderness and employed Robert Sixberry and Solomon Parker to clear land and build a mill on Pleasant Creek.
According to several articles by Ernest Cook, Ethni sent for his older brother Eldad Evans, who arrived in the latter half of 1803 to collaborate on building the mill. Eldad did not envision a large community at Evans Mills; he also feared too many relatives would burden Ethni’s enterprise. As a result, by 1810 he had surveyed the region down the Indian River and purchased land in the area that became Kelsey Bridge in Theresa. At some point thereafter Eldad loaded his household goods and farming equipment upon a raft, and floated on to Kelsey Bridge to settle there. Brothers John and Uriel Evans arrived later, John residing in Evans Mills and Uriel in Theresa.
Ethni Evans had four wives: Polly and Sally Coffeen, the Widow Lathrop, and Philette, widow of Ruben Treat. His children, all by Polly Coffeen, included Omrod, Alcesta, Edgar, Almeda, Alzeda, Servillian, and Polly Evans.