EVANS FAMILY OF ARKANSAS

Additions as of October 2009 thanks to Virginia Goforth (Reverend Robert Henry Evans line)

Updated Nov. 2009    New 2011

NEW:

BALCH

EVANS

 

 

GENERATION #1   A Pioneer Family of Kentucky
ROBERT M. AND SALLY EVANS

Robert M. Evans, "The Old Kentuckian," believed to be the son of a John Evans*,  was born about 1805 in KY. He married "Sarah," nicknamed "Sally," around 1826 and they began their life together in Warren County, KY.  Their first child Abner was born there May 11, 1827.  Robert died before 1880.  After his death, his widow Sarah "Sally" lived with their son, Abner Evans.  *Note:  John Evans was of Warren County, KY and listed in the 1820 Census for the Bowling Green area)

After 1840, the family moved to McCracken County, KY (Paducah).  Their family is now complete with children, Abner C Evans, Christopher Ewing Evans (our line), Susanna I. Evans, Jonnah D. Evans, Levi L. Evans and Robert N. Evans.

Kentucky's 1850 Census for the Evans family places them in McCracken County, KY still with R. M. Evans as the head of household with his wife Sally who is one year younger than Robert M. at age 44.  All the members of the household were born in KY.  The first son is Abner Evans (23), followed by our direct line Christopher Ewing Evans, age 21. The next two children are girls Susanna and J(onnah) D. Evans  at 18 and 15 respectively.  Son Levi L. is 12 and Robert M. (Jr.?) is 9.  They are farmers with real property worth $1000.
1850 Census for McCracken County, KY (Dist. 2), Aug. 13, 1850
  NOTE:  In the 1870 Census below Abner and Christopher Ewing families live next to each other in Jefferson Arkansas.  Robert M. and Sarah Evans live nearby.

 

  Arkansas is a new territory.

Robert M. Evans settled his family in Jefferson Township of  Jefferson in Independence County, Arkansas about 1853 (later known as Big Spring Township of Izard County, AR).  On March 1, 1855 he acquired 80 acres in Izard County.  This is but one of several land records found in his name for this area.

GENERATION #2   CHRISTOPHER EWING EVANS
AND SARAH ADELINE RUDOLPH EVANS

                          

Two of Robert and Sally Evans' sons are Abner Evans and Christopher Ewing Evans:

1)  Son Abner Clark Evans and his wife, Mary Catherine Morrow Evans, moved from KY to Arkansas also.  Mary Catherine's parents, the Rev. and Mrs. David Morrow, also moved to Independence County.  Rev. Morrow became the pastor for White River Presbytery.

 i
Picture from article "The Robert M. Evans Family" by Craig Ogilvie, great grandson of Mary Frances Evans.  This picture was taken in 1893 by a J. R. Lewis.  Front LtoR: Rev. Abner  and his wife Catherine (seated at opposite ends of table).  Also seated are Addison, Levi, Lizzie.  Standing in middle LtoR: Leonard, Alice, Blake, Kate, J.W. and Claud Evans.  Rear LtoR: King, Dave and Frances Geneva Evans.

Abner Evans became an apprentice preacher (licentiate) for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, a circuit riding ministry, at that same time and was "...directed to 'ride and preach' with the Rev. Eli Barton."  During this first 8 months he preached 24 times for a total of $6.00.  In March of 1857 he was ordained at Witten's schoolhouse in Independence County, Arkansas.  His "first charges were at Martin's schoolhouse and Rocky Bayou."   Click HERE for more information on this Arkansas ministry.

In 1860 Big Spring Arkansas' congregation was organized as a new church by Rev. Abner C. Evans at the request of the parishioners.  A building was constructed on a hill overlooking Barren Fork Creek.  This small church boasted the warmth of a fireplace and seating upon split-log pews within the dirt-floor cabin.  The cabin was used until 1870 when a new 2-story log structure was built on the same site.  Then in 1904 a "stately Victorian frame building" became Barren Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church, until 1929 when it was leveled by a tornado that also destroyed homes in that area.  Today the church is known as Barren Fork Church.  Other churches he organized included Batesville Church (1892). (Per an article in the Batesville Guard dated 12/14/1987.)

Abner and his wife had 12 children:  David Evans; James Winslow Evans (b. 1857; d.1928; married Minnie Street b. 1864 d. 1939  both buried Oaklawn Cemetery, Arkansas)  ; William "King" Evans; Alice C. Evans, Levi L. Evans, Sarah E. "Lizzie" Evans, Robert "Blake" Evans b. 7/3/1869 d. 2/13/1952 and married Ethel McGuire; b: 3/2/1874 and d. 4/19/1961 both buried Oaklawn Cemetery, Arkansas); Frances Geneva Evans, Minnie K "Kate" Evans (who married Luther C. McSpadden); Addison "Add" Evans, Leonard E. Evans, and Claud A. Evans.  Note:  James Winslow Evans is buried at Oaklawn Cemtery in Batesville Arkansas; his dates are 1857 to 1928.

Per James Cooper of NM:  Mary E. Evans was the daughter of James Winslow Evans and Minnie Street Evans. Mary married Ralph Atkinson of Montgomery, AL.  Mary and Ralph had a daughter Mary Jean Atkinson who married Air Force Lt. James Cooper of Manhatten, Kan. during WWII.  Mary E. Evans had a brother also, "Bubba" Evans who was Registar of Southwestern College (now Lyons College) in Memphis for thirty years or so. There was also a Blake Evans of Batesville, who was getting on in years and was totally blind.

2)  Christopher Ewing (C. E.) Evans was born to Robert M. and Sarah Evans in Kentucky on June 27, 1829 and he grew up in Kentucky.   Christopher also went by the name Ewing.  He married a 21-year old lass by the name of  Sarah Adeline Rudolph (our direct line) in McCracken, Kentucky on 6 January 1851.  Sarah Adeline was born on the 28th of June in 1830 in Montgomery, TN.  Her parents were Henry and Mary Hutchison Rudolph. 

Sarah's mom, Mary Hutchison was born March 1, 1806  in Montgomery, the daughter of James and Sarah Thomas Hutchison.  Mary married Henry Rudolph on the day after Valentine's Day, Feb. 15, in 1827 in Montgomery.  Henry was 22 years old, having been born on July 1st in 1806 in Montgomery TN to John and Mollie Stailey Rudolph.

On Sept. 1st 1857, son, Christopher Ewing Evans, became the patentee (owner) of   200 acres of land land in Batesville, Arkansas.  On October 3 in 1857, he is listed as having another 40 acres.  The following are summaries of the the first owner of record for the property after the initial survey, or the patentee.  After the patent was surveyed and issued, the property became private property and then sold with a deed, in this case the property of Christopher Ewing Evans. Click on following images for Arkansas Land Records of Christopher E. Evans.

Sarah Adeline and Christopher Ewing Evans had 6 children:

Mary Francis "Fannie" Evans, born in McCracken KY.  Married John G. Ogilvie and had 11 children.  She was born on November 13, 1851 and died December 9, 1909.  She was living in Ashley Township of Independence, AR during the 1870 census.

Reverend Robert Henry Evans, born 24 April 1852 in McCracken KY.  Died 13 April 1897 and is buried in Oaklawn Cemetery, Plot #14, Independence Co., Batesville, Arkansas.  Married Lydia Ann Bone and had 6 children.  Ann Bone was his stepsister through the first marriage of his stepmother to her then husband (Bone); no blood relationship.  Their son Dr. Lorenzo T. Evans, b. 1880, was a famous and longtime Batesville physician and delivered at least one still living relative, Tom.) Other children were Fannie A. Evans (b. Aug 20 1887; d. 9/23/1890; died young), Minnie A. Evans (b. 7/17/1883 died young),  James Lee Evans (b. 11/7/1889; d. at age 78 on 8/23/1968; m. the day before her birthday on Feb 4, 1917 to Exie Elizabeth King (b. Feb 5, 1897 in AR and d. at age 77 on Jan 27 1975 in AR), Robert Ewing Evans (b. 1/23/1892, d. 5/23/1967; m. Mary Olive Shirley LNU), Esther Ray Evans and Camelia E. Evans b. 8/1894.  

Virginia: Rev. Robert Henry Evans:  It is said that he was a circuit riding preacher with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and that he rode his horse to the different churches.  One Sunday it was icy and he rode his horse home.  When he got there, he was frozen to the saddle.  They had to break him loose and bring him inside.  His coat was so stiff that they stood it up in the corner by the fireplace.  He caught pneumonia from that trip and died from it.  One of his churches was near Sage, AR.

Virginia:  My husband called Dr. L. T. Evans,  "Uncle Doctor".  He tells an amusing story of one time getting a BB stuck in his thumb.  His mother took him to "Uncle Doctor."  He was crying and wouldn't let the doctor do anything.  "Uncle Doctor" sent his Mother and his brother to the pharmacy downstairs to get something.  When they left the room, "Uncle Doctor" told him that if he didn't be quiet and let him get the BB out that he was just going to cut the thumb off.  Needless to say, he got quiet really quickly and before his Mother and brother got back, the BB was out of his thumb.  My husband also tells that "Uncle Doctor" amputated a man's leg on the man's kitchen table.  Guess he got to the man's house and found it so infected that he didn't have time to get him to the hospital!

William A. Evans, born July 1855 in McCracken, KY.

Malissia J. Evans, born 1858 in Independence, AR.  (Note that the family is now living in Arkansas and she is the first of their children born in this state.)

Finis T. Evans (our direct line) born in October 1860 in Independence, AR.  See Below.

John L. "Johnny" Evans, born November 28, 1862 in Independence County, AR.  His mother Sarah Evans died shortly after his birth.  Johnny married Leah Maxfield of Batesville AR and had 3 children.  John was a Batesville Merchant and was well known as a pearl buyer.  Their children were a daughter, May Evans (who married a Wright), and sons John L. "Jack" Evans Jr., George Maxfield "Budge" Evans. Budge was born December 12, 1905, married Erma M. LNU (born 7/14/1908 in Batesville, AR; d. 5-11-1991 ) and died September 1, 1981.  Budge and Erma are buried at Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville in Plot #14, as is his dad, "Johnny"  who died 11/3/1944 and his mother, Leah who died 1/30/1953 and was born in 3/16/1875.  Also buried here is the infant son of John L and Leah Evans, James L. Evans, Jr.  He was born 12/2/1900 and died 3/8/1901.  James tombstone reads "Infant son of John L. & Leah." Unsure as to why James is a Jr. when his father is John.  Note:  From Batesville Guard's "News of Other Days" published Aug. 24, 2004:  This column ran previously in the Guard on August 28, 1991. 89 Years Ago:

John L. Evans, the local pearl dealer, reports that he is purchasing a number of fine pearls this season, despite the fact that pearl fishers are few. The mussels have been washed and scattered until those who formerly gathered shells for market cannot collect them in paying quantities. However, Mr. Evans says many of those who are fishing and who are more patient have had excellent fortune in landing a fine pearl occasionally.

And this one ran on Tuesday, June 19, 2001 from June 10, 1910:

John L. Evans is the established buyer of pearls in Batesville. He returned yesterday afternoon on the gasoline launch from up the river where he had been buying pearls, and on this trip he bought several beautiful gems. Mr. Evans is the largest pearl buyer in this market and none of the good ones get by him.

Sarah Adeline Rudolph Evans died shortly after the birth of their son John L. Evans,  possibly 1863, in Independence Arkansas.   Her mother Mary did not pass away until September 13, 1879 in McCracken, KY.  Her father died on May 2, 1875.

In 1863 Christopher Ewing Evans married his second wife, another Sarah...Sarah Jane Milligan (Widow Bone), in Lawrence, Kentucky.  Sarah Jane was born in 1834 Reeds Creek, Lawrence, AR, and died in 1922 in Mt Pleasant, Izard, AR. She was previously married on 24 May 1855 to Porter H. Bone.  Sgt. Porter Bone died in battle on June 2nd 1862 at Tupelo MS while in the 21st Infantry Co., K, of the Confederate Army.  She had three children by Sgt Bone: John H. born 5/25/1856, James Porter Bone 9/30/1861, and Lydia Anne Bone (born 3/30/1858 in Lawrence, Arkansas/died 10/4/1934 in Mt. Pleasant AR; buried Barren Fork Cemetery), all of whom lived then with Christopher and Sarah Jane.  Then Christopher and Sarah Jane had five more children of their own - - 14 children in all!  NOTE:  Christopher and his wife Sarah Jane Milligan may also have had a 4th child named Ellis W. Bone, b. 1860.

 
Picture included in an article "The Robert M. Evans Family" written by Craig Ogilvie, great grandson of Mary Frances Evans.  Picture taken after 1900.  Seated are son Dr. Lorenzo T. Evans next to his mother (widow) Mrs. Ann Bone Evans.  Standing LtoR: Ewing, Lee and Esther Evans

Finis and John L. Evans lived with their father and Sarah Jane (see 1880 Census below), but the older children were evidently already living in their own households.

Christopher died on March 9th, 1880 in Big Springs Township, Izard, Arkansas of Consumption.  He had lived in the area of Barren Forks/Big Springs for 24 years.  He is buried at Barren Fork Cemetery near Mt. Pleasant, AR.  His 2nd wife Sarah Jane Evans lived with her daughter Ann and stepson Robert H. Evans till she died. 


PER: US Census Mortality Schedule 1850-1880, Arkansas, Izard, Pleasant Spring and Big Spring.

GENERATION #3   FINIS T. EVANS AND AGNES TENNIE EVANS

Beginning Around 1860


Finis and Agnes Tennessee Hodge Evans with children Clarence Ewing (tall boy),
Clara "Grace" Evans (tall girl), William Earl "Bill" Evans (short boy)
and Cleo Evans (boy on right)

Donna: The walking cane of Finis (pronounced "Fine-es") Evans belongs to my Uncle Tom now.  Tom shared the story that Finis, who always sported a great mustache, would get up early to start the morning fires to warm his house before getting his children up for school.  Finis used a cane and would keep his cane between his legs when sitting so the kids couldn't get it!

1870 Census for Jefferson Township, Independence County, Arkansas, Polk Bryan Post Office, September 20, 1870

Finis Thomas Evans is 9 years old in 1870 and living with his father Ewing Evans and stepmom, Sarah J.  Dad Ewing is 38.   His siblings living with Finis are Robert H. (17), William A. (11), John (7), Stepbrothers Joseph (5) and Samuel L (2). Also living in the home are children from Sarah J. (Bone)'s first marriage, John Bone (14), Porter Bone (10), and Ann Bone (12).  Note that no mention is made of a "Malissa" Evans who would be only 13 if she were living.  The family living next door to Christopher Ewing Evans is that of his older brother Abner, and wife Catherine Evans.

 

1880 Census for Big Spring Township, Izard County, Arkansas, District 2 taken on June 30, 1880

Finis Thomas Evans at 19 is a stepson of the head of household, Sarah J. Evans, age 45.  Another stepson is, John L. Evans, age 17.  The remaining children appear to be the offspring of Finis and John's father's marriage to his second wife, Sarah:  Joseph S. Evans, Age 13, Samuel S. Evans, Age 11, Beatrice C. Evans, Age 9, Amanda S. Evans, Age 8, and Alexander T. Evans, Age 6.  The sons who are 11 and up farm; Sarah keeps house.  Sarah reigns from Arkansas, born to a dad from Virginia and a Mom from Tennessee.  All the children are born in Arkansas to a Kentucky-born father.  John and Finis' mother is listed in this census as being born in Kentucky also, though other info lists Montgomery TN.

On the website with the Elizabeth Rudolph Journal entries, there is a notation that on May 4, 1893, Finis had a very sick baby in his home. There are a couple of other Finis references in the journal at: http://www.geocities.com/thurlane/Elizabeth2.html

BARREN FORK TOWNSHIP

Donna: The middle, and tallest, roof peak was Uncle Joe's store where my Uncle Tom went to school - behind the store in a room for 1st and 2nd graders.  After that they went on to regular school.

 

Barren Fork Township in Izard County, Arkansas was founded on the Barren Fork of the Polk Bayou.  Today it is known as Mount Pleasant.  The history of this name change in 1914 is at this website:  Barren Fork, Izard County, AR .

Barren Fork was sympathetic towards the Confederacy with men serving in the 7th and 9th Arkansas Freeman's Cavalry and Shavers' Regiment.  The remaining, and few, men who supported the Union served under Capt. Toney, Rolla, Missouri.

Prominent merchants in the county were O. P. Moore ) general store, cotton gin, wagon sales); William King Evans (general store and drug store) and Joe Evans (general store).

Finis' first cousin, Claud A. Evans, owned a drug store. Claud rented the back room to the Bank of Barren Fork on 10/30/1913.  Within two years the bank was able to build its own facility.

Storefronts were built close to the ground on Main Street and each had connecting low porches, just 5 feet above ground.  Whenever the rain was hard, the street would wash away and the porches allowed the customers to be above the flooding or muddy streets.

One of Finis' uncles was Dr. Lorenzo T. Evans, son of Robert Henry Evans, the Cumberland Presbyterian minister.  Dr. Evans graduated from Memphis Medical College (now Univ. of TN).  He practiced in Mt. Pleasant for 18 years at which time he moved to Batesville, Arkansas (1924).  The good doctor served as President of the Bank of Barren Fork; married Cora M. Bass in 1908; and he died on October 10, 1963.  His full name was Lorenzo Tipton Evans.  He is buried in Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville AR with his wife Cora M. Evans. Cora's dates are 1881 to 1974; Lorenzo's 1880 to 1963. 

Note:  Info, in part, gleaned from The Independence County Chronicle, Oct 1967, Vol IX.

1910 Census for Barren Fork Township, Izard County, Arkansas, District 45 taken on April 23, 1910

Finis Thomas Evans is the head of household.  He was born in Arkansas, as was his mother per this census!  His dad was born in Kentucky.  Finnie married Agnes "Tennie" Tennessee Hodge who was born in TN - as were her parents (see end of this paragraph).  Possibly Agnes Tennie/marriage 1885. Agnes Tennie, b: 18 Apr 1866 Tenn. D. 10 Aug 1911 and buried at Barren Fork Cemetery in Izard County Arkansas (near Mt. Pleasant). (Agnes' father was James Marion Hodge b: 1837 in Giles County, TN, moved family to Arkansas around 1885, and died in 1916 in Mt. Pleasant, Izard County, Arkansas; buried at Barren Fork Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant.  Agnes' mother was Martha Jane Wells Hodge b: 1840 in TN. She died the year before James and is buried in the same cemetery.)

This the the Giles TN 1880 Census which lists Agnes at age 14 as "Tennessee" Hodge.

Finis and Agnes Tennie Evans' children were  **Clarence Ewing Evans, age 18,  Clara Grace Evans, age 15 (eventually was placed in a mental institution, but reason is unknown); Cleo M. Evans, age 12, and William Earl Evans (Direct Line), age 10...all born in Arkansas.  Dad and three children, Clarence, Clara, and son Cleo were listed as working the home farm.  No occupation for William or his mom listed.   Note that one child died after birth (5 born*; 4 living).  Finis 49 and Agnes is 44.  They married when he was 28, and she was 24.   *Note: The daughter that died young was Emma F. Evans B. 4/23/1886 and died 10/20/1890. **Note:  Clarence E. Evans was born 8/19/1891 and died 12/13/1918.  He married Iola Cargill Evans). 

By 1920 Finnie T. is listed in the census as age 59 (born about 1861) and "married" although his wife is not listed.  Living with him are daughters, Grace Evans (who would marry Moser)(25/single) and Maggie (who would marry Dobson) (9/single). The Balches and the Evans were all able to read and write. 1920 Census in Barren Fork on Jan. 25:

NOTE: Maggie owned a little house until she married Dobson at which time she got another house on 80 acres.  A manganese mining company bought the mining rights to the land and they made millions from the agreement.

At age 69, Finis was still alive (widowed) in the 1930 Census for Barren Fork, taken on April 5th.  He and his daughter Maggie, now 19, lived next door to his son's home, William Earl and Lucille Balch Evans.  This census indicates that Finis married when he was 22. Note that in this census Fin's father is listed as born in Arkansas (instead of Kentucky as the 1910 Census indicated) and his mother born in Tennessee (instead of Arkansas as the 1910 Census indicated.) (See 1930 Census below).

  In the early 1920s a baseball team included Ewing Evans as pitcher; Cleo "Slim" Evans as Right Field; Lee Evans as Left Field; and Will Evans as Shortstop.

GENERATION #4   WILLIAM EARL "BILL" EVANS AND LUCILLE M. BALCH  EVANS

Beginning Around 1900

1930 Census for Barren Fork Township, Izard County, Arkansas, District 3, taken on April 5, 1930

William Earl Evans is the head of household.  He was born in Arkansas to an Arkansas-born father and a Tennessee-born mother in 1900 PER 1930 Census.  At age 27 he married the 16 year old Lucille Balch, born 26 June 1909 (see SSDIÜ)  They had two children, Wanda Bernice Evans born about 1927 and Thomas Bernard Evans born in 1929.  Lucille, Wanda and Thomas were all born in Arkansas to Arkansas parents.  William supported his family by farming.

Note:  Two doors down from William's home is the home of Farmer William W. Balch and his wife Myrtle.  William W. is 24 and has been married for about a year to the 22 year old Myrtle.

Lucille was the daughter of Bradford Henry (used a cane) and Iona Francis Balch of Barren Fork.  "Henry" was born in Arkansas to a Tennessee Dad and an Arkansas Mom. Lucille's brothers were Jakie H. (15), William W. (14) and Lanceford (5).  They operated a family farm.  1920 Census in Barren Fork Arkansas on Jan. 25:

Lucille N. Balch Evans died on May 8, 1988 in Batesville, AR, at which time she had 16 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.  She is buried at Barren Fork Cemetery.

Children LtoR:

Bernice 14, Bernard 13, Don 11,
Jerry 5, Louise 2.  Taken in Mt. Pleasant Arkansas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Earl Evans died in April 1977 in Batesville, AR.  He too is buried at Barren Fork Cemetery.


Barren Fork Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant, Arkansas

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Here is the October 30, 1857 land record: 

SSDI for Lucille Balch Evans

SSDI for Wm. Earl Evans

Draft Registration 1917-18
Izard County Ark

From: USGWARCHIVES

1) There is a David M. Evans who is buried at Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville Arkansas.  David was a Commander in the US Navy in both World Wars.  He was born 11/18/1896 and died June 15, 1981

2) There is a James Prior Evans born 7/21/1907 and died 3/13/1961 who is buried at Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville, Arkansas.  He was a Captain of the Arkansas 153rd Infantry in World War II

3) A Lois Wiggins Evans is buried here with dates of 11/18/1896 to 6/15/1981.  She is listed as a CDR in the US Navy in both WWI and WWII

4) John L. and Leah Maxfield Evans had an infant son who is listed in these archives as James L. Evans, Jr. (not John L. Evans Jr.).  He was born 12/2/1900 and died 3/8/1901. 

Dr. L.T. Evans in Batesville Guard, Nov. 7, 1934:  "Peace officers are looking today for a bold bandit pair that took approximately $23 from two local people at their home last night at the point of a gun. About 8 o’clock last night Mrs. L.T. Evans answered a knock at the front door of her home and found a boy, aged about 16, who asked for food. She declined his request, and he then asked for a dime, which was refused. Shortly thereafter a man appeared at the door with a gun and ordered her to stick her hands up.

She screamed, and Dr. Evans came to the door and confronted the robber, who told Dr. Evans he was not fooling and demanded his money, which Dr. Evans handed over."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Possible Ancestor of Finis Evans from Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism by Randall Herbert Balmer