Biography of Evan W. Edwards
Iowa County, IA Biographies





Evan W. Edwards is now living retired in Williamsburg but for many years was actively identified with farming interests near the town, owning and cultivating three hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land, his labors resulting in the attainment of a gratifying measure of success. A native of Wisconsin, he was born at Cambria, Columbia county, June 21, 1851, a son of Evan and Ann (Pace) Edwards. The father was born in Wales in 1812 and died at Iowa City, Iowa, in 1865. The mother was born in Wales in 1815 and they were married in that country in 1832. In 1845 they sailed for the new world and established their home in Columbia county, Wisconsin, being among the first white settlers of that district. On arriving at Milwaukee Mr. Edwards left his family there and with other settlers walked to Columbia county, a distance of eighty miles to the west. Milwaukee remained their nearest market for many years. On reaching his destination the father secured a claim and with the aid of others built a log cabin, after which he returned to Milwaukee for his family. They continued to reside upon the original claim until 1863, when the father sold that property and removed to Johnson county, Iowa, where he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of improved land and upon that farm both he and his wife remained until they were called to their final rest.

Their children were twelve in number: Alfred, who was born in Wales, March 25, 1834, and died in 1885; Hugh, who was born December 12, 1835, and died in 1907; Henry, who was born in Wales, September 12, 1837; Ann J., who was born in Wales, April 12, 1839, and died in infancy; Ann, who was born in Wales, July 14, 1840, and is now the wife of John Mullen, of Chicago; John, who was born in Wales, August 21, 1842, and is now deceased; Jane, who was born in Wisconsin, May 23, 1846, and is now the widow of Ed Joy and a resident of Iowa City; Ellen and Fannie, twins, born in Wisconsin, March 22, 1849, both of whom are now deceased; Evan W., of this review; Priscilla, who was born July 23, 1854, and died in 1856; and John D., who was born in Wisconsin, July 7, 1856, and died in Chicago, May 1, 1915.

Evan W. Edwards acquired his education in the public schools of Johnson county, Iowa, and was reared to farm life, early becoming familiar with all of the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. After the death of the parents their children, who inherited the home place, sold the farm in Johnson county and Evan W. Edwards came to Iowa county in 1875 and purchased eighty acres of land. To this he added from time to time as his financial resources increased until he now owns a valuable farm property of three hundred and twenty acres just east of Williamsburg. While upon the farm he specialized in raising shorthorn cattle and Clydesdale horses, following that business successfully for eighteen years before retiring. His herd of fine cattle was headed by Rantin Robin, registered as No. 130312. Every branch of the business was carefully directed by Mr. Edwards, whose ability, industry and enterprise enabled him to overcome all difficulties and obstacles and work his way steadily upward. His farm work was carried on along lines at once practical and progressive and excellent results attended his efforts, bringing him at length a handsome competence which now enables him to live retired without recourse to further labor.

On the 1st of March, 1877, Mr. Edwards was united in marriage to Miss Margaret James, of Columbus, Wisconsin, who was born in that place, June 24, 1856, a daughter of Evan and Jane James, both of whom were natives of Wales, in which country they were reared and married. They came to the United States in 1845 and were among the early settlers of Dodge county, Wisconsin. Their family numbered eight children: John, who was born in Wales and died in Chicago in 1909; Grace, who was born in Wales and died in 1895; Robert, who was born in Wisconsin and now lives in South Dakota; Catherine and Mary Ann, twins, who were born in Wisconsin, the former now living in Red Oak, Iowa, while the latter passed away in 1888; Elizabeth, who was born in Wisconsin and is the wife of W. G. Harris, of Williamsburg, Iowa; Mrs. Edwards; and Nellie, who was born in Wisconsin and died in 1885.

To Mr. and Mrs. Edwards have been born six children: Evan James, who was born on the 23d of March, 1878, and died in infancy; Robert H., born March 23, 1879; Evie J., who was born March 3, 1882, and lives in Cleveland, Ohio; Claudia, who was born December 26, 1885, and is now the wife of Morgan Williams, of Iowa county; John H., who was born October 2, 1890, and is now in Moline, Illinois; and Lloyd, who was born March 8, 1897, and is at home.

In his political views Mr. Edwards is a republican and he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day but does not seek nor desire political office. For some years he served as director on the school board and he stands as a stalwart champion of the cause of education and of moral progress, the latter fact being indicated in his membership in the Presbyterian church. He is always loyal to what he believes to be right, is fearless in support of his honest convictions, and possesses many sterling qualities which have won for him high regard.

From:
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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