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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Yell County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Capt. Joseph Evins was born in Kentucky in 1834, the seventh in a family of twelve children born to Lewis and Bethena (Smith) Evins. The parents were of East Tennessee origin. The father, a planter by occupation, came to Arkansas in 1860, locating at Dardanelle, where he made his home with Capt. Evins for several years, then going to the home of his son, William S., in Missouri, where he died in 1882, at eighty-two years of age, his wife having preceded him to their final home in 1853. He was sheriff of one of the counties in Kentucky, which office he filled for many years. Capt. Evins, who was known far and wide as a prominent citizen, a government contractor, capitalist, speculator, and the original and at present principal owner of the romantic and popular summer resort known as Mount Nebo, was reared on a farm, attending school but a short time, when, at the age of sixteen, he sought and found a position as clerk, and at the expiration of seven years resigned to accept the clerkship on a steamboat on the Cumberland River, filling this position three years, when he was placed in charge of a vessel, and up to 1866 served as captain on steamers plying on the Arkansas, Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, and during the late war was appointed by the Confederate Government to take charge of transportation on the Arkansas River. Subsequently opening a stock of merchandise in Dardanelle, he was engaged in trade from 1866 to 1878, then took charge of a steamer, and at the expiration of three years was again under Government employ, contracting and assisting in the work of the Mississippi River improvement in the Lake Provident reach and other points. The Captain is the owner of some fine real estate in and about Dardanelle, having a handsome residence in town and a most productive farm near the place. In 1878 the Captain was the sole owner of the entire site of Mount Nebo, 720 acres in extent. He erected a house, cleared and planted forty acres in an orchard of over 2,000 apple, peach and plum trees, which are highly prolific; and he has also many varieties of the choicest small fruits, which yield an abundance in their season. The scene which greets the eye from the summit of this lovely mountain is grand and picturesque. Below, the outstretching valley, the plains and undulating hills, clothed in verdure, and where

Before me rose an avenue
Of tall and sombrous pines;
Abroad their fan-like branches grew,
And, where the sunshine darted through,
Spread a vapor soft and blue,
In long and sloping lines.

Much of this property has been disposed of to people who have improved it with fine summer residences and well laid-out drives. Here also is the summer Normal School, and a large and commodious hotel always filled to overflowing. In 1855 Miss Beulah Foley, a native of Kentucky, became the Captain’s wife, who died eleven months after, leaving one child, Davidella Virginia (wife of S. H. Howell, of Dardanelle). He was again married, in 1857, to Miss Mary E. Hart, also of Kentucky. She has borne him ten children: Charles F., Ida A., Robert L. (deceased in 1884), Eugene L., Cora B., Samuel Hart, Joseph Arthur, Henry David, Mary B. and William Barnard. In religion the family worship with the Methodist Episcopal Church South, of which they are consistent members. The Captain is in affiliation with the Odd Fellows socially, and at one time was Dardanelle’s most honored mayor.

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This family biography is one of 124 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Yell County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Yell County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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