David R. Evans - Richard Winn in Fairfield County
South Carolina History by Ederington

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Page 11

From News & Herald, February 19, 1901


Fairfield County, South Carolina History by Ederington

(The following furnished by Col. Richard H. McMaster, 1661 Crescent Place, N.W., Washington, D. C., and is a rewrite of Ederington's notes. The words underscored have been added by whoever edited the article, and may be of help to someone for further research.)

David R. Evans was the first lawyer in Winnsboro. He came to Winnsboro in 1784. He said that there were only three or four houses in the settlement: one, General Winn's, near where George McMaster's house now stands, the other a log college on Mount Zion Hill, Baker's Tavern, and perhaps one or two others. He was then fourteen years of age.

His father came to this country from England, probably one or two years before they moved to this place. They lived in a house behind the one James R. Aiken recently lived in. He joined the Mount Zion Society and was secretary and treasurer for several years. His son, D. R. Evans, succeeded him in that office.

Mrs. Evans had her old English ideas as to manners, and was unpopular on that account. She was known to order a visitor to clean his shoes before entering her house. I know very little of the early life of D. R. Evans, Jr. He married first a daughter of General Winn. She died in 1806, and was buried behind the house in the garden. The tomb is still there, as well as the graves of two of Dr. Bratton's children, he having also married a daughter of General Winn.

D. R. Evans' second wife was a daughter of Parson S.W. Yongue. There were no children by either marriage. His second wife is buried at Jackson Creek. He died about 1845, and was buried behind the Aiken house, where his mother and father were buried. He had only one brother and one sister: Joseph, the father of a large family, of whom only Mrs. R.A. Herron survives, John Evans having recently died. Joseph's wife was a sister of Colonel Jesse Davis.

An incident worth mentioning is as follows: About the latter part of the last century, a man named Baker had several wagons running, probably to Camden, which was then a considerable town. Baker got into a lawsuit and employed D. R. Evans. The other party employed a lawyer of Camden named Brown. Baker lost the case and was offended at something Brown said, and on his passing out of the Court House, cursed Brown for a "Damned saddle-bag lawyer." Brown, being a small man, could not fight Baker, but on going to his tavern he wrote Baker a challenge, which was referred to him by Evans for advice.

Evans told him he would have to retreat or give Brown the satisfaction he demanded. Baker would have preferred a "fist fight", but finally accepted the challenge. The duel took place at Rock Creek Springs. Both were killed at the first fire. Baker was brought up and buried on his farm, two miles from Winnsboro. Brown was buried in Camden.

David R. Evens was a member of Congress in 1813-1814, Capt. Hugh Milling took charge of his affairs and physicked his negroes when sick. The old captain was severe on Generals Hampton and Wilkinson and others in regard to their conduct of the war with the British, saying that they could speculate in tobacco better than command armies. D. R. Evans was a venerable, gray haired man. I think he was about 75 years old, as I remember him, when he died. His only sister married Minor Winn, who was a son of Colonel John Winn. He was an unprincipled man, and Mr. Evans induced his sister to separate from him. Mrs. Winn and her daughter taught school for some years on the General Winn lot, then owned by Mr. Evans. He, at one time lived on his plantation where Mrs. Dr. Furham now lives

Winnsboro was named for Colonel John and General Richard Winn. Col. John Winn was a high toned, honorable man. Col. John Winn owned most of the land around Winnsboro and lived at the south end of the town where Dr. Hanahan now lives.

General Richard Winn held the rank of colonel in the Revolution. He filled a seat in the Congress of the United States for many years.

General Winn's family were not considered smart. Mrs. Winn's maiden name was Blocker, an Edgefield family. One of their daughters caused some merriment among her young lady acquaintances who asked her where she got a fine shell comb she was wearing, by replying that "her father bought it in Congress."

Mills, in his "Statistics of South Carolina", in writing of prominent men of Fairfield, says, "General Winn was also a native of Virginia." At the beginning of the Revolutionary Struggle, he entered into the regular service of this state. Having acquitted glory in the battle of Fort Moultrie, he was sent to the Georgia frontier, and commanded a company at Fort St. Illa. The service was a most perilous one and he was selected for it on account of his superior merit as an officer. Shortly after his arrival at the fort, he was attached by a strong body of Indians and Tories. These he beat off for two succeeding days; on the third, he surrendered with honorable terms to Major General Prevost, at the head of a considerable regular force, supported by his allies. (sic)

General Winn returned to Fairfield after his defeat, if it can be properly called one, and to his command of a regiment of refugee militia. He was in several battles, and the success of the affairs of Hook's (Huck) defeat in York, and the Hanging Rock in Lancaster, greatly depended on his heroic exertions. At the latter place, said the great and good General Davis, who commanded a regiment of cavalry, when the firing became pretty warm, Winn turned and said, "Is not that glorious?"

He was wounded here and borne off the field about the time the enemy effected his retreat. On his recovery, General Winn continued to afford General Sumter his able support and ceased not to serve his country whilst a red-coat could be found in Carolina. He was a true patriot, and perhaps fought as many battles in the Revolutionary War, and with as firm a heart as any man living or dead.

General Winn moved to Ducktown, Tennessee in 1812, and died a short time after. And Colonel Winn and family, I think, moved to Georgia.

Winnsboro is remarkable for having been the headquarters of Lord Cornwallis in the Revolutionary War, after the defeat of Ferguson at Kings Mountain, where he retreated from Charleston. I was shown that part of the house in which Cornwallis was quartered, by Mr. John McMaster, who was then the owner of it. I was told by my friend, Dr. G. B. Pearson, many years since, that some of the most eminent men of South Carolina graduated at Mount Zion College.

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