Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Tamazine McKee Evans, 1854-unknown
By Madeline Ehlke, student, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
Active Member, Officer of Several Women's Groups
Tamazine McKee was born in April 1854 in Pennsylvania to Nancy McKee. She obtained her elementary education in Pennsylvania, and later moved with her parents to Iowa. She then moved to Minneapolis. There she met and married Owen Evans. During their marriage, Owen Evans was a practicing physician.
After moving to Minneapolis, Tamazine Evans briefly taught kindergarten for a living. She then went to the University of Minnesota and became the first married woman to complete all of her required classes and graduate. She graduated in 1897 and received her master's degree the year after in literature. She was also an assistant at the local public library during her time at school. While living in Minnesota, Tamazine and her husband did not live alone. For the majority of their marriage, the Evans family lived with Tamazine's mother, Nancy McKee; Tamazine's sister-in-law, Maude McKee; as well as different servants and boarders throughout the years. Owen Evans passed away in October 1916. He left Tamazine with a payment plan of $200 a month plus one-third of their real estate. The rest of the property was sold, and the money split between blood relatives. Owen Evans owned a property in Minneapolis known as the Anglesey building, worth $100,000. He owned some other small properties that were worth $14,000 as well. After her husband died, Tamazine continued to live with Maude McKee, who was also a teacher.
Tamazine Evans, who frequently went by her married name, Mrs. O. J. Evans, was the vice president of the Young Woman's Christian Association in Minnesota. She was also part of the organization's state executive committee, along with being active in the Minnesota State Federation of Women's Clubs and serving as Chairman of the Endowment Fund of the General Federation. In addition, she was an officer in the Westminster City Mission Society, which performed charitable work and ran an industrial school in the city; she served there for seven years, as secretary and later president. Evans was an active member of her collegiate alumnae association at the University of Minnesota. This program helped young women feel more at home when they are away at school. Her goal was to have the girls of the college have a very strong social life.
We do not know for how long and in what capacity Tamazine Evans was active in the suffrage movement of Minnesota, but the state report for 1900-1920 notes she was one of "many devoted friends and workers" during that period.
"School Board Nominees Mrs. O.J. Evans and Mrs. J.E. Woodford Selected by the Women as Their Candidate," Minneapolis Journal, July 7, 1900, p. 5.
"Westminster City Missions: Results of Industrial Instruction Give Much Encouragement," Minneapolis Journal, Oct 24, 1901, p. 8. Accessed online at https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045366/1901-10-24/ed-1/seq-8/#
Minnesota. Minneapolis. 1900 U.S. Census, population schedule. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com: 2017.
Minnesota. Minneapolis. 1910 U.S. Census, population schedule. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com: 2017.
Minnesota. Minneapolis. 1930 U.S Census, population schedule. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com: 2017.
Minnesota Supreme Court. Minnesota Reports: Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Minnesota, Volume 145. West, 1920.
University of Minnesota. A Complete List of the Alumni of All Departments, 1873-1898. The University Press, 1899.
Winslow, Helen. Official Register and Directory of Women's Clubs in America, Volume 15. University of Minnesota, 1913.