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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.

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John, William H. and Robert H. Evens are sons of John Evens (deceased), who was numbered among the early settlers of Washington County and was one of the best men who ever made that county his home. He was born in Leicestershire, England, December 10, 1797. At an early age he received the appointment of cadet in the service of the East India Company, and was educated for a military career, but upon the surrender of Napoleon I, in 1815, general peace was declared, and young Evens, with many other aspirants for the excitement of foreign service, was dismissed and returned to his home. After laboring a few years with his father on the farm he decided to seek his fortune in the New World, and sailed from Liverpool in May, 1821, landing in New York June 20; from that city he walked to Phillipsburg, Penn., where parties resided to whom he had letters of introduction, and he remained there until the fall of 1822, when with three other young men he walked to Pittsburgh, where they bought a skiff, descended the Ohio River to Shawneetown, and from there walked to Ste. Genevieve, Mo., thence to the New Diggings, near Potosi, and commenced mining operations. In 1825, having saved a few hundred dollars, he took a trip to Galena, Ill., and on the way had the good fortune to be in St. Louis on the arrival of Gen. La Fayette, of France. He returned to Missouri the next fall and engaged in mining at Valle’s Mines in Jefferson and St. Francois Counties; he became engaged in the lead smelting business, in 1827, and in 1837 built and put in operation a blast furnace Mr. Evens made several trips to Galena, where he was engaged in the smelting business and during this time twice volunteered his services to the United States against the Indians, under Black Hawk, and the last time remained in the ranks until the noted chief was captured. Politically, he was an old line Whig. When the late war broke out he took sides with the Government, and with one of his sons raised a company at their own expense, which became Company C of the Thirty-first Missouri Regiment. In 1862 Mr. Evens was elected representative from Washington County, and served in the session of 1862-63. His religious preferences were Old School Presbyterian, having united with the church in Potosi in 1836. Mr. Evens married Charlotte Haigh, April 12, 1827. They had ten children, of whom four are now living, viz.: John, William H., Robert H. and Mary, wife of Charles T. Manter, of Bismarck. Mr. Evens died July 21, 1878. Mrs. Evens, who was born in England in 1806, is still living. John Evens, the eldest son, was born in Washington County September 18, 1837; he was reared on the old homestead, where he still resides, and owns a choice tract of land of 640 acres. He married Miss Martha Fatchett in May, 1866; she was also born in Washington County, and is the daughter of John and Alice Fatchett. Seven children have blessed this union, viz.: John F., Edward T., William H., Philip R., Nellie, Cora and Alice. Capt. William H. Evens, the second son of John and Charlotte (Haigh) Evens, is the proprietor of the Hopewell Mills, and was born in Washington County December 11, 1839. He remained on the home farm until the outbreak of the war, when he assisted his father raise a company, of which he was commissioned captain, and assigned to the Thirty-first Missouri Volunteer Infantry, Union army. He participated in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Jackson, the Siege of Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Ringgold and the Atlanta Campaign. After his return home he engaged in the manufacture of lumber, establishing his present business in 1876. September 21, 1871, he married Eliza Day, a native of Washington County, and a daughter of George and Rosina Day, natives of Lincolnshire, England. Their family of five children are named Walter H., Harry E., John S., George Claude and Mary. Robert H. Evens, the youngest son, is one of the leading merchants of Washington County, and is located at Hopewell, where he deals in general merchandise, mineral, etc. He is doing a profitable and satisfactory business in a most favorable location. He was born December 2, 1848, and was reared with a mercantile experience, and engaged in business for himself in 1873. He has held the office of postmaster of Hopewell since 1878.

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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

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