Charles Clark Evans.In the development of the agricultural resources of Kansas, which has placed her in this respect in the front rank among her sister States of the Union, opportunity has been offered to many men not only to cause the wilderness to bloom, to realize substantial returns in a financial way, but to become leaders and teachers among their fellow men. Among those who have been of potential value in the upbuilding of northwestern Kansas is numbered the subject of this article. As a stockman and farmer he has been successful, as receiver of the United States Land Office at Colby and as treasurer of Sheridan county he served with credit, and to his pluck, energy and enterprise Sherman county is indebted for her first irrigation project.
Charles Clark Evans was born at West Liberty, Iowa, on July 9, 1859, a son of William C. and Mary Ann (Winslow) Evans. His ancestors, paternal and maternal, were among the early settlers of America and numbered among them are men who achieved distinction in the frontier life of those early days, in the commercial era which followed, in the French and Indian wars and later in the war of the Revolution. The Evans family orinigated[sic] on the Isle of Man and was founded in America during the early settlement of the Connecticut Colony. John Evans, paternal great-grandfather of our subject, served in the war of the Revolution with the Colonial forces. He was a farmer and lived at Schodack, N. Y. His son, Simeon, grandfather of our subject, was a soldier in the War of 1812. His early life was spent in farming in Delaware and Otsego counties, New York. In 1830 he sought opportunity in the West and became a pioneer of Geauga county, Ohio, first opened to settlement as the Western Reserve. He married Polly Kelly, a daughter of Stephen Kelly, born in Rhode Island. He served with the Continentals throughout the war for independence. William C. Evans, father of our subject and the son of Stephen, was born in Otsego county, New York, in 1822. His early years were spent in farming, first in Ohio, where he came with his parents in 1830, then at Port Byron, Ill., where he removed in 1850. In 1855 he became a resident of West Liberty, Iowa, where he filled the position of local agent for the Mississippi & Missouri railroad, at that time recently completed and now a part of the Rock Island lines. After a few years' service in this capacity he resigned from the company's employ to resume agricultural pursuits. He developed one of the best farming enterprises and stock breeding establishments in that section of the State. As a breeder he had the distinction of introducing the Short Horn strain into the State. The last years of his life were spent in Sheridan county, to which State he had removed in 1884. On the formation of the Republican party he became a consistent advocate of and supporter of its principles. Iowa honored him with public office, in which he served with credit. He was twice elected to its State legislature and was active and influential in the passing of legislation of importance. He was a member of the recruiting board of his district during the Civil war and was detailed on special service in the South. He married Miss Mary Ann Winslow, a descendant of Kenelen Winslow, a native of England, who came to the Massachusetts Colony in 1629, of which a brother, Robert Winslow, was one of the early governors. Her grandfather, Stephen Winslow, was a soldier of the Continental line in the War of the Revolution, who late in life located in Windsor, Lake county, Ohio, where he died, aged eighty-five. Her mother was a daughter of Jonathan Nye, also a soldier in the War of the Revolution. He was a sergeant in Captain John Granger's company of Minute Men and his command was known as the Lexington Alarm Roll. His residence was in New Braintree, Mass. Mary Ann (Winslow) Evans was born in 1830 and died in 1908. Eight children were born to William C. and Mary Ann Evans, all of whom survive. Lucy D., a graduate of Iowa University, is a teacher in the Moline (Illinois) public schools, a position she has occupied for the past thirty years. Wilma A. is the wife of W. H. Shipman, an extensive manufacturer of harness and racing materials, of West Liberty, Iowa. Ella is the wife of Grant Nichols, a well known bandmaster of the same city. Sarah R. is county superintendent of schools of Yellowstone county, Montana. Warren A. is an expert accountant of Billings, Mont. Hugh S. is in the lumber business at Tacoma, Wash. Roy W. is an electrician of Deer Lodge, Mont. The subject of this article completes the family.
Charles Clark Evans was reared on his father's farm at West Liberty, Iowa, and received his education in the public schools of that city. In 1879 he came to Kansas and engaged in sheep ranching in Chase county. From 1882 to 1884 he followed the cattle business and in the latter year removed to Sheridan county, where he took a homestead fifteen miles west of Lenora. Here he established a successful stock business and added to his grazing lands until he became the owner of 1,000 acres. In 1903 he was persuaded by G. L. Calvert, of Goodland, to purchase a tract of land in Voltaire township, Sherman county. On this property was placed the first irrigating plant in northwestern Kansas, which is now in successful operation. He has added to his original holdings until he now has 1,760 acres. About ten per cent. is in alfalfa and the rest in wheat and corn. This venture required not only a large investment, but pluck and energy to nurse it along to profitable production. As a pioneer in this character of farming in his section of the State, Mr. Evans has evidenced the possession of far-sightedness and enterprise which have not only produced satisfactory financial returns for his investment, but have been of incalculable benefit to Sherman county. In connection with public affairs of his section of the State he has become well and favorably known. He has been a life-long Republican and has taken an active part in the affairs of this organization. In 1887 he was elected commissioner of Sheridan county and served one term, refusing to accept nomination for a second. He was elected treasurer in 1895 and reëlected in 1897. In February, 1892, he was appointed receiver of the United States Land Office at Colby and reappointed in 1902. He served in this capacity until the abolition of the office on March 31, 1909. On conclusion of his government service he became a resident of Goodland, his present home. He has served as chairman of the senatorial committee of the thirty-ninth district for the past eight years and has been a delegate to several State and congressional conventions of his party. Mr. Evans has attained to the Knights Templar degree in Masonry.
On December 28, 1882, Mr. Evans married Miss Isabella Kelly, daughter of John Kelly, a prominent stockman of Chase county, Kansas. Mr. Kelly was born in Ireland, for a time was a resident of Illinois, and his daughter was born in Pittsfield, that State. Mr. and Mrs. Evans are the parents of four children: William Kelly Evans, born January 27, 1884, a graduate of Kansas Agricultural College, class of 1905, now superintendent of his father's ranch in Sherman county. He married in 1912 Miss Elsie Rosenbrough, of Cheyenne county, Kansas. Mary A. Evans, a teacher in the Colby, Kan., schools, was born March 15, 1887, and is a graduate of Thomas County High School and for a time a student in Washburn College; Wilma D. Evans, born January 3, 1889, a graduate of the Domestic Science Department of Kansas Agricultural College, class of 1909, and now a teacher in the United States Government School for Indian Girls, at Tuskahoma, Okla., and Jessie B. Evans, born February 2, 1898. Mrs. Evans is a woman of broad culture and refinement and popular in the social circles of Sheridan and Sherman counties, in which she is a leader. She is president of the Round Table Club of Goodland and a member of the Presbyterian church. As a man among men, bearing his due share in connection with the practical activities and responsibilities of a work-a-day world, Mr. Evans has been successful; but over all and above all, he is rich in the possession of a well earned popularity and in the esteem which comes from honorable living. Progressiveness and energy have marked the management of his commercial affairs and his methods have been clean, capable and honest. As a public official, he served with honor and distinction. His close associates have always been men who have had the welfare of the community at heart and who have been ready to assist, with time and money, any enterprise or measure which had for its object commercial, civic or social betterment.Pages 104-106 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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