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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



The gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch has been a resident of the Prairie State for over thirty years. His first location was in this county, six miles west of his present homestead, where he purchased a one-half interest in 120 acres of land, which he operated in company with Thomas Rawlings for three years. He then purchased the interest of his partner, and operated the whole for the thirteen years following, in the meantime adding forty acres adjoining and opening up a good farm. In about 1872 he exchanged this for a tract of land on section 115, which comprises a part of his present homestead. He is now the owner of 340 acres, under a good state of cultivation, and besides general farming is giving much attention to the breeding of high-grade Short-horn cattle and Norman horses. The homestead of Mr. Evans in all its appointments indicates the supervision of the modern and progressive farmer. He has a fine residence and all necessary buildings for the shelter of stock and the storage of grain. His fences and machinery are kept in good repair, and his farm presents one of the most attractive spots in the landscape of McLean County.

William Evans was born in Fleming County, Ky., Nov. 26, 1829, his parents being Jesse and Hannah (Pitts) Evans, natives respectively of Virginia and Kentucky. Jesse Evans was born in 1795, reared to farming pursuits, which he followed the greater part of his life, and died in his native county in Kentucky, in June, 1870. He was a member of the old Whig party, and with his wife prominently connected with the Christian Church. The mother of our subject was born in 1800, and departed this life in 1879. The parental family included three sons and six daughters, as follows: Susan became the wife of William Hurst, and lives in Kentucky; William of our sketch was the second child; Mary was united in marriage with James Dodds, and lives in Missouri; Nancy, Mrs. Thomas Rawlings, is deceased; Margaret married William Lewis, of Kentucky, and both are deceased; Lucinda married Jacob Walk, of Kentucky; he died, and she was again married, to a Mr. Darnell; Helen became the wife of William Pitts; John A. married Miss Amanda Plumer; James married Miss Lou Perkins.

Mr. Evans after coming to this State and laying the foundation for a future home, was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth T. Ball, in Cheney s Grove Township, on the 25th of November, 1862. Mrs. E. is a native of this county, born Feb. 27, 1844, and the daughter of Hilleary and Calista (Hildreth) Ball, natives of Kentucky and New York respectively. Her parents family consisted of six children, as follows: Henry, the eldest, married Miss Mary Harrison, and is a resident of this township; Elizabeth, Mrs. Evans, was the second child; Julia A. became the wife of Samuel Gallagher; Amos married Miss Hannah C. Stephens; Harriet became the wife of Robert Means; Alfred died in June, 1852, when fifteen months old.

Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Evans there have been born five sons and four daughters: Jesse is now in Florida; Arthur married Miss Hester Coile; John died when three years of age; Villa, Charlie C., Julia, Harry C., Lelia and Matie are at home with their parents. The family are all members of the Christian Church at Saybrook, in which our subject has held the office of Elder for many years. He has also been Trustee, and in all respects prominently identified with its maintenance and prosperity. He and his wife have been connected with this church for a period of twenty-two years, and Jesse, the eldest son, is following closely in the footsteps of his father, and taking a lively interest in Church matters. Villa, the eldest daughter, is organist of the church at Saybrook, having held the position for the last three years. Jesse and Arthur have received a particularly good education, and attended Eureka College several years. Mr. Evans is a thorough business man, prompt to meet his obligations, and politically an uncompromising Democrat.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 458. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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