John Norman Evans.The State of Kansas with its various activities and marvelously rapid development has attracted many men of great business ability and high character, and has never lacked those of executive ability to exploit her interests. In the present connection we are permitted to offer a brief review of the character of one of the representative men of Seward county, whose efforts, ability and methods have gained him unqualified confidence and esteem from his business and social acquaintances. Mr. Evans is a native of the Mother Country, England, and traces his ancestors back many centuries, in a direct line to Edward I of England and John of Gaunt. He was born at Cheshunt, England, June 3, 1865, the son of Dr. Nichol and Bertha (Odershaw) Evans. Mr. Evans's direct ancestors were nearly all professional men. His grandfather, an Episcopal minister, was for many years president of Zion Theological College of London, and there Nichol Evans and his four brothers and two sisters were born and reared. Nichol Evans first saw the light of day in London, April 17, 1836; he was educated at Haileyburg and then graduated from St. Andrew's College, Edinburgh, Scotland. For many years he was one of the prominent physicians of his country before his death there in December, 1906. Nichol Evans married Bertha Oldershaw, in August, 1864. She was born in Lincolnshire, England, December 12, 1845, one of a family of six children, all of whom remained in England during their lives. Mrs. Evans died in England, June 5, 1910. She became the mother of nine children: John Norman, of this record; Arthur Iltyd, born February 14, 1867, died in Rio Janeiro, Brazil, in September, 1892; Hubert, born May 22, 1869, died in 1906, leaving one child; Lawrence, born in 1870, died in 1875; Mabel Alice, born March 18, 1872, married Dr. W. A. Greene, who succeeded to her father's medical practice; Wilfred, born in 1875, who studied medicine, died on the east coast of Africa, in 1907, of sun stroke; Maurice Alleyn, born in 1877, is now a contractor at Edmonton, Canada; Constance Mary, born in 1879, lives in England, and Leonard, born in July, 1880, is a bank cashier in London.
John N. Evans received his education at the Merchant Tailors' School, a trade school founded in London in 1561. At the age of sixteen he entered the office of a ship broker in London, where he was employed until nineteen years of age. He had heard of the many opportunities for young men in the new world and when only a youth, not yet of age, left his home alone for Canada. For one year he worked as a farm hand, but in 1885 enlisted in Company 2, Ninety-second Winnipeg light infantry, serving on the frontier of Canada five months during the Riel rebellion. In the fall of 1885 he left Canada, coming to the United States. He worked in the vicinity of Minneapolis, Minn., as foreman in a saw mill until 1891, when he went west to the State of Washington, where he followed the same occupation until 1893. That year he came to Seward county, locating on a government claim seven miles northwest of Liberal, where he engaged in farming, and at the same time taught school until 1903, when he was appointed postmaster of Liberal, which office he still fills with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the residents of the city. For several years Mr. Evans has been a member of the board of county examiners of Seward county, and has also served as county surveyor four years. In politics he is a Republican, having served as chairman and secretary of the Seward County Republican Central Sommittee[sic] several years, taking an active part in county and State affairs. Mr. Evans has great natural business ability, which has been well displayed in his connection with the Enterprise Mercantile Company, of which he is president. He is a director of the First National Bank of Liberal, and has other business interests in the town, giving of time and money toward any project which tends toward its improvement and upbuilding. Mr. Evans is a Thirty-second degree Mason and a Knight Templar, belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Liberal. On December 25, 1893, Mr. Evans married Bird, the daughter of John R. and Lena Morningstern Crothers. Mrs. Evans was born on a farm near Princeton, Minn., November 18, 1874. Her parents removed to Kansas, in 1892, to engage in farming in Seward county, near Liberal. Mr. Crothers was a sergeant in the First Kansas artillery during the Civil war, and saw service in some important engagements. He died in Seward county, in 1902, after a long and useful life. Mrs. Evans was one of a family of eight children, and has five children of her own: Ernest Alleyn, born January 20, 1895, now a student at St. John's Military Academy, Salina, Kan.; Mabel Lena and Bertha Mildred, twins, born June 18, 1897; Bertha Mildred died October 18, 1897; Clara Bernice, born October 8, 1898, and Winifred, born December 4, 1901.Pages 594-596 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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