EDWARD MARION EVANS, of the United States Mail Service and ex-Auditor, now resides in Vinton. He was born in Marion, Linn County, July 28, 1845, and is a son of Elijah Evans, a native of Kentucky, born in 1815, who, when a young man, went to Boone County, Ind., where he became acquainted with and married Amazette H. Forsyth, born in Decatur County in 1812. In 1837, soon after marrying, they moved to Muscatine, Iowa, remaing [sic] thereabout one year, and then moved to Marion, Linn County. At that time Cedar Rapids had not been laid out. Mr. Evans was a saddler by trade, and after going to Marion started a harness-shop. He was subsequently elected Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court. In 1849 he moved to what is now Harrison Township, Benton County, where he entered 240 acres of land and opened up a farm. In the spring of 1853 he sold out and came to Vinton, and engaged in a general mercantile trade, which he prosecuted until 1857, when the crash came, and, with many others, he was forced to the wall, saving only eighty acres of land in Harrison Township, onto which he moved and improved the same. In the spring of 1861 he returned to Vinton and opened a harness-shop. In May, 1870, he went with his family to Independence, Montgomery Co., Kan., where he was elected Police Judge. He remained there two years and then removed to Sumner County, locating at Wellington, where he was also elected Police Judge. He was a strong temperance advocate, and to get him out of the office of Police Judge, where he had to deal with the whisky men and gamblers, the whisky element took him up and elected him Probate Judge. He served in that office six years, his last term expiring Jan. 1, 1883. He died some six months later, in July, 1883. He was a self-made man and of more than ordinary ability. His wife preceded him to the unknown world, dying in December, 1881. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a Class-Leader for many years. They were the parents of nine children, seven of whom are now living—John; Frank; Helen J., wife of Abijah Simmons; Mary D., wife of William Cox, Wellington, Kan.; Addie H., wife of Samuel Trowbridge, of Wellington; Sadie, wife of Charles Southwell, of Topeka, Kan.; and E. M.
E. M. Evans, the subject of this sketch, was reared in Vinton and its vicinity, and was educated in the common school, supplemented by two years at Cornell College, Mt.Vernon, Iowa. In 1862 he enlisted under the call of the President for 300,000 men, in Co. D, 28th Iowa Vol. Inf. The regiment rendezvoused at Iowa City, where it was equipped, and remained until November, then was sent to Davenport, where it remained a short time, and from that place it was sent by steamer to Helena, Ark. Few regiments saw more active service. During its first year it participated in the battles of Port Gibson, Champion Hills, seige and capture of Vicksburg under Grant, and Jackson. Miss., under Gen. Sherman. In the spring of 1864 it was under Gen. Banks on the Red River expedition. It was then forwarded in July, 1864, to Washington, on the steamer Arago, afterward burned at sea. It was placed in Sheridan's command at Berryville, and subsequently participated in the battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. In this last engagement Mr. Evans was wounded by a minie-ball just above the ankle, and was the last man shot in his regiment, on the 19th day of October, 1864. He lay on the battle-field twenty-four hours, being unconscious a greater part of the time, and was then picked up by the ambulance corps and taken to Newtown, where his leg was amputated above the knee. He was then sent to Winchester, where he remained in the hospital some two months, when gangrene set in and his father was sent for and brought him home, arriving in Vinton Jan. 2, 1865. He went to Davenport, and on the 21st day of June received his discharge.
On the 31st day of December, 1868, he married Miss Sadie F. Merritt, born in New York City Oct. 5, 1847, a daughter of William and Theresa Merritt, who died when she was quite young. She was reared by Rev. Linus H. Fellows. Their union has been blest with four children — Walter II., Edith A., Addie M. and Margery F.In 1869 Mr. Evans was elected Auditor of Benton County, and was re-elected in 1871 and each two years following, up to and including 1881. In 1883 he was appointed Postmaster of Vinton, and served until August, 1884, when he received his appointment in the mail service, his run being between Cedar Rapids and Ottumwa. He is a member of the Benton County Association, of the G. A. R., Vinton Lodge, No. 83. I. O. O. F., and Vinton Encampment, No. 52.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 191-192.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.