Donner, Tamsen (1801–1847)

Tamsen Eustis was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1801. She married Tully Dozier and bore him two children, but her happiness was short lived. In a letter to her sister, she revealed that her son died very young of disease, her premature daughter died in infancy, and she lost her husband, all between September and December 1831. She settled in Sangamon County, Illinois, with her brother, William, caring for his children.

Tamsen met George Donner in Illinois where she taught school at Sugar Creek. She married Donner, a well-to-do Illinois farmer, in 1839. It was her second marriage and his third. George brought with him seven children from his two previous marriages. Together they had three daughters—Frances Eustis, Georgia Ann, and Eliza Poor—the youngest named for ...

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