Rev. Evan J. Evans was for many years a minister of the gospel in this county and also owned valuable land here.
A native of Wales, he was born on the loth of May, 1812, of the marriage of John and Rebecca Evans. The father
was a lifelong school teacher, having the unusual record of teaching in one school for forty years, and he was
a power for good in his community. Both he and his wife passed away in Wales.
Rev. Evan J. Evans grew to manhood and received his education in his native land, remaining there until he was
thirty eight years of age. He then crossed the Atlantic and settled in New York state, subsequently going to Racine,
Wisconsin, where he was ordained as a minister. He was married there and resided in that state for a number of
years but in 1858 he came to Williamsburg, Iowa, where he built the first church. He preached for about ten years
and built up a large congregation but at the end of that time he retired and lived in leisure until his demise.
He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land a mile south of Williamsburg and also a forty acre tract within
the city limits, which his widow still owns.
In 1849 Rev. Evans married Miss Anne Davis, also a native of Wales, who was born in 1832, a daughter of William
and Alice (Hughes) Davis. In 1847 the family emigrated to America and settled upon a farm in Wisconsin, where both
parents passed away, the father shortly after his arrival in this country and the mother some time later. Mr. and
Mrs. Evans were the parents of eleven children: John E., now a resident of Minnesota; William D., justice of the
supreme court of Iowa; Evan J., Jr., Alice R. and David W., all three deceased; Edward, of Williamsburg; Elizabeth,
the wife of R. C. Craven, of Omaha, Nebraska; Morris, of Pipestone, Minnesota; Ellen E., a graduate of the Williamsburg
high school and also a graduate in music of Grinnell College, who is now engaged in teaching music and resides
at home; Anna W., the wife of J. Corrough, of Grinnell, Iowa; and Price Vincent, who died in the same year that
he was graduated from Grinnell College.
Rev. Evans died in 1884 and was laid to rest in the Williamsburg cemetery. His demise was not only an irreparable
loss to his family but also deprived Williamsburg of a valued citizen, one whose life and influence did much to
promote the moral welfare of the community. Although he was called to his reward over three decades ago there are
still many who remember him and his devotion to the cause of Christianity. His widow and daughter, Ellen E., rent
the farm to the son Edward and manage all of their financial affairs themselves, proving capable and energetic
business women. The name of Evans is held in high esteem in this county and justly so, for its representatives
have always adhered to the highest standards of conduct in all relations of life.
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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