My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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.

* * * *

James S. Evans was born in Wythe County, Va., in 1812. His grandfather Jesse Evans, was a native of Maryland and of Scotch descent. He moved from that State to Pennsylvania and later to Virginia, where he married the sister of Gen. Breckinridge. He served throughout the Revolutionary War, rising to the rank of major. Under Gen. George Clark he assisted in over-running the North Western Territory. His son, Joseph, the father of James S., was a highly educated and prominent lawyer of Wythe County, which he represented several terms in the State Legislature. He was a colonel in the War of 1812. While in Virginia he married Miss Elizabeth Smith, a native of Kentucky. Her father, Rev. James Smith, was captured by the Indians, and had to be redeemed by his sons with a boat-load of merchandise. In 1815 the Evans families came to Missouri, Joseph and his wife settling at St. Charles. There being no law practice, he, with Gen. Robbins, took the contract of surveying the Boon’s Lick country. He was a member of the convention that framed the State Constitution, and was representative of St. Charles County in the State Legislature. He was a strong Whig and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which his wife was also a member. About 1832 they came to Washington County, and here spent the remainder of their lives, he dying at the age of sixty-two and she at the age of eighty-seven. James S. Evans, the only representative of this family, went to school but little, though he received the best of instruction under his father. Among his first business enterprises was the building and conduct of a lead furnace at Old Mines, Washington County, which he ran successfully for some time. In 1837 he came to the valley of Bellevue, purchased land, and the following year opened a store at Caledonia. To this he added a blacksmith shop, another store, located at Bismarck, the first steam flour mill in the valley, a saw mill, etc. By hard work and good management he became one of the wealthy men of this county, but the war came on and swept all away, leaving his family in almost destitute circumstances. To add to this he was taken prisoner, and barely escaped with his life. Since the war his chief enterprise has been the purchase of a tract of land known as the La Borne tract, in connection with W. Long. Having erected a lead furnace and operated it two years he sold out and returned to Caledonia. He has given liberal aid to all the churches built in his community, and especially to the Bellevue Collegiate Institute. In 1838 he married Angeline Hughes, a native of this State, who bore him three children, one son and two daughters. After her death he married Ellen Tong, of Madison County, Mo., and of the eight children born to this union five are now living. Mr. Evans has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and bears a character above reproach for honesty and integrity. He is a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Evans is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 138 biographies included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Washington County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Washington County, Missouri family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.