Margaret Gray Evans was born in 1830 in Bowdoinham, Maine to a wealthy, seafaring family. She was one of four daughters of the Hon. Samuel Gray. All four sisters were known for their beauty and accomplishments. Each married a Chicago business man, and Margaret was no exception. In 1852 she married Dr. John Evans and they moved to Evanston in 1855. There they built a house (no longer standing) on the north side of Clark St. between Hinman and Judson Ave. and had two children. While living in Evanston, Margaret Evans helped found the American Methodist Ladies’ Centenary Association and was a trustee for the Evanston College for Ladies. She is probably best known in Evanston for giving the community its name, naming it after her husband, a founder of Northwestern University.
She is known in Evanston for giving the “final form to the name of Chicago’s classic suburb” (Willard, 219).