Biography of Samuel C. Evans
Riverside County, CA Biographies





SAMUEL C. EVANS
This pioneer of Riverside county located here in 1874, purchasing a half interest in ten thousand acres of land, being that part of Riverside now comprising Arlington and Arlington Heights and formerly known as the Hartshorn tract. With Capt. W. T. Sayward, of San Francisco, Mr. Evans began the construction of what is known as the lower canal, to develop water for the land owned by them, Mr. Sayward having bought the other half interest in the tract. They spent large sums of money in their work and met with considerable opposition by the original Colony Association, whose lands lay north of theirs. In 1875 the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company was organized. Mr. Evans being one of the originators of the plan, and he was elected president of it in July, 1876, which position he retained for many years. That company purchased the lands and water rights of the Southern California Colony Association, including the water right of Warm creek and the entire canal system, thus giving them control of the entire water system of the Riverside valley; the canals were extended twenty miles and thousands of acres of fertile land were brought under irrigation.

S. C. Evans was also a leader in almost every enterprise brought forward for the building up of the city, became president of the Riverside Land Company, director of the Riverside Water Company, president of the Riverside-Arlington Railway, and of the Loring Opera House Company; also a large stockholder in the Riverside Gas and Electric Light Company, and aside from these interests that meant much toward the development of the city and county, he was largely interested in horticultural pursuits, developing several hundred acres of oranges, and he was among the first to set out an extensive vineyard. He was extensively interested in other property interests throughout the county and it is safe to say that no man who ever made a permanent home in this section had the good of the whole people more at heart than he. He was a man of wonderful business talents and brought to bear all of the experiences and early training he had obtained in the east and was quick to act upon and conceive business opportunities. He was a member and strong supporter of the Presbyterian Church, and a charter member of Riverside Lodge, No. 282, I. O. O. F. In politics he was a Republican.

S. C. Evans was born at Fort Defiance, Williams county, Ohio, in 1823. His father was Dr. John Evans, a native of Kentucky, who was prominent in professional circles in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, as well as a merchant, trader and realty dealer. Mr. Evans attended school in his native county and accompanied his parents in the move to Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1840. Upon the death of his father in 1842 the care of the business and family fell upon him at the age of only nineteen. In 1845 he embarked in an enterprise with a brother, continuing with varied success for three years. In 1848 he closed out the business and moved to New York, remaining for several years. In 1855 he again embarked in business under the name of S. C. Evans & Co., was manager of the business and in 1860 became sole proprietor. In 1865 he disposed of his mercantile business and bought a controlling interest in the Merchants' National Bank of Fort Wayne, Ind., and during the following ten years he brought the business to be one of the strongest concerns of its kind in the state. He was one of the projectors of the Fort Wayne, Jackson and Saginaw Railroad, and constructed fifty two miles of the roadbed in Indiana. When he located in California Mr. Evans closed out his banking interests and transferred his capital to the coast country, establishing his home in the new colony at Riverside.

Two sons of S. C. Evans survive and live in Riverside: S. C. Evans, president, and P. T. Evans, secretary, of the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company.

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


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