James H. Evans, of Monmouth, has been one of the prominent and successful citizens of Crawford county since 1867, from pioneer times, in fact, for when he came railroads and other modern advantages had not yet made their appearance, and he has thus been a witness of the march of progress as it has affected all departments of life and activity in this section of the state. He has had a busy and prosperous career, and during the first years of his budding manhood he was a soldier in the Civil war, in which he sacrificed much for his country.
Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, April 29, 1845, he was in the same year taken to what was then the territory of Iowa, where he grew up and spent his early years until the spring of 1863, when he enlisted in Company K, Thirteenth Iowa Infantry, Third Brigade, Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, under Colonel Kenedy; was sent south to Vicksburg, and was with Sherman's army all the way from Chickamauga to the sea, participating in the battles of Buzzard's Roost, Lookout Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, Resaca, Big Shanty, Burnt Hickory; at the siege of Atlanta the Thirteenth Iowa suffered terrible loss, especially of officers; from Atlanta they went on to Savannah and the sea, and thence up through the Carolinas and were engaged in active operations until the surrender of Johnston's army and the close of general hostilities. For twenty-one days of their campaigning the men of this regiment were compelled to live on hardtack and what they could find in the country about them. From the Carolinas they went on to Richmond, thence to Washington, where they participated in a grand review, and at Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Evans was finally mustered out as a corporal, after which he returned to his Iowa home, with the consciousness of having performed well his duty to the Union.
Mr. Evans's parents were Jesse and Louisa (Looney) Evans, both natives of Indiana, and in 1845 they moved to the territory of Iowa and became early settlers at Kalona, in Washington county, where they lived until 1867, when they moved to Monmouth, in this county, their first home here being a log cabin. The mother died at Elk City at the age of sixty and the father at Lake City, Colorado, aged sixty-two. He had been a farmer and merchant, was a successful business man, and was well known in Masonic circles. There were the following children in the family: Margery, James H., Mary, Jane, Diana, Jesse, Fremont, DeWitt, Isabelle and Ellsworth.
Mr. James H. Evans was reared and educated in Iowa, in boyhood often assisting his father in the store, and when twenty-two years of age came to Kansas, where he has lived ever since. He was married in Iowa to Miss Anna Hendrix, who died in 1868, after they had moved to this county and settled on a homestead west of Monmouth, on the place later known as the Jordan farm. In 1869 Mr. Evans married Miss Emma N. Fry, who was born near Iowa City, Iowa, and was reared and educated in that state, being a daughter of Jacob and Lettie (Harris) Fry, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Hagerstown, Maryland. Her father was one of the early settlers of Johnston county, Iowa, having settled there when Iowa was a territory, and in 1868 he became an early settler in Crawford county, Kansas, but thirteen years later returned to Iowa, where he lives at the age of seventy-eight. His good wife died in January, 1903, at Kalona, Iowa, being seventy-two years old. They were both devoted adherents of the Christian church, the father having been a church worker since boyhood, and they helped organize the church in Iowa, and were also charter members and foremost workers in the denomination at Monmouth in this county. There were six children in the Fry family, three of whom are living, namely: Mrs. Evans, Ella and Albert, and the three deceased were Lucretia, Maggie and Bruce. The father was a Jackson Democrat of the good old type.
Mr. Evans is the owner of two excellent farms in this locality, one, of eighty finely improved acres, lying south of the town of Monmouth. His home in Monmouth is also surrounded by a fine plot of seven acres, on which he has a complete equipment of good buildings, and he has everything comfortable and in good shape, showing how capable has been his management and direction of affairs. It is especially creditable to him that he has thus prospered financially since he lost his eyesight as a result of fever contracted in the war, and he has prosecuted his subsequent activities under many obvious disadvantages. He is affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic, he and his wife are members of the Christian church, and he has always been an active and hearty worker for Republican success in political affairs.
Mr. and Mrs. Evans have the following children: Olive Painter; Blanche Adams, of Iowa, formerly a teacher; Ed; Frank, a railroad agent at Blaine, Kansas; Jesse; and David.Pages 587-589 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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