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EVANS, Thomas D. 1809 - 1890


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 11/20/2021 at 21:58:11

"The Fairfield Tribune"
Wednesday, October 8, 1890
Page 5, Column 2


... Just as we go to press we hear of the very sudden death of Capt. T. D. EVANS, which occurred about four o'clock. ...


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Wednesday, October 15, 1890
Page 2, Column 6

... John W McLean appointed administrator of the estate of Thomas D EVANS, deceased, with bond of $500.


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Wednesday, October 15, 1890
Page 3, Columns 5, 6, and 7

A Good Man Gone.

Thomas D. EVANS, one of the oldest and best known residents of Jefferson county, died at his home in this city Wednesday afternoon about 4 o'clock from an attack of heart disease. Deceased was in the eighty-second year of his age, and until a short time ago had been an unusually well preserved man for one of his years. His health had been gradually failing for some time past, but his condition was not such as to indicate that he would be so soon summoned home. Tuesday evening he was on the street until a late hour, but awoke Wednesday morning with severe pains in the region of his heart. A physician was called and relieved his suffering temporarily, and on a second visit in the afternon found his condition quite alarming. With the physician sitting at his bedside and making inquiries as to his symptoms, the poor man's head suddenly fell back, he gasped once or twice and died.

Captain EVANS, as he was familiarly called, was a native of New York City, where he was born March 8th, 1809, and where the earlier part of his life was spent. Eight years later, after a death had broken the family circle, he removed to Richmond, Virginia, where until he reached mature years he made his home with a brother. Later his home was at Lynchburg, in the same state, and in Charlotte county, and he was engaged in mercantile pursuits for a time and then in farming. In Lynchburg, on March 23d, 1836, he was married to Jane B., daughter of Col. William ROSS, who survives him. Early in the '40's Col ROSS as appointed register of the government land office which was located at Burlington, and later had it removed to Fairfield that public business might be facilitated. Capt. EVANS and his wife joined him here, and for several years deceased was an assistant in the office. In 1846, with Gen. BRIDGMAN, now of Keokuk, Mr. EVANS engaged in the sale of merchandise in a building where the Crawford block is now located, and since the firm was dissolved, a few years later, has been engaged in no active business. In 1858 he was elected justice of the peace for Fairfield township, an office he held for a quarter of a century. He was also coroner of Jefferson county for about the same length of time, and was holding that position at the time of his death.

Mr. EVANS' father was a Methodist minister, and when the son was born was pastor of St. John's church, one of the oldest churches in the United States. The child followed in the footsteps of his father, joined the church at an early age, and throughout all his life adhered closely to its doctrines and practices. Immediately upon his removal to this city he connected himself with the Methodist society here, served as steward and member of the board of trustes, and was an energetic worker in everything that promised to be for the good of the society. A few years before his removal from Virginia Capt. EVANS joined the order of Odd Fellows, and he was a charter member of Jefferson Lodge, No. 4, which was organized in this city in 1845. He was also a charter member of the Iowa Encampment, No. 6, of this city, and always manifested the greatest interest in the work of this order. He had represented his state in the Soverieign Grand Lodge, had served as treasurer of the Grand Encampment for ten years or more past, holding this office at the time of his death, and was also the oldest past grand master of Iowa Odd Fellowship.

Capt. EVANS had a wide acquaintance throughout his county and state, and he was universally esteemed and respected. He was a man of keen sensibilities, generous impulses and polished manners. Quick to appreciate the sorrows and trials of others, he went to their relief with the gentleness of a woman but with an energy which seldom failed its purpose. Quiet and unobtrusive in his manner he was seen to best advantage in his own home, and no one who ever enjoyed its hospitalities will forget their thoughtful and attentive host. The friendship of a man like Capt. EVANS was something to be cherished, and those who established intimate relations with him will ever honor and revere his memory. There is genuine sorrow among a wide circle of friends in this city at his sad taking away, and their hearts will go out in sympathy to the bereaved wife whom he has left behind, and to whom he was always the kindest and best of husbands.

Funeral services over the remains were held at the family residence Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock, and half an hour later there were public services in the Methodist church. Rev. E. L. Schreiner conducted these services, and the remains were interred in the Evergreen cemetery with the solemn rites of Odd Fellowship.

Wm. Garrett, secretary of the Grand Lodge, I. O. O. F. of Iowa, sends the following note to C. E. Noble in response to a letter telling him of the death of his old friend and co-laborer:

Burlington, Iowa, Oct. 12th, 1890.

Brother Noble:

Dear Sir:--Yours of 11th at hand. I had a letter Friday morning telling me of the death of Bro. EVANS, but too late for me to go out. I should liked to have been at his funeral, but could not. I have known him for nearly 50 years. I think it was in 1842 he came to Iowa. His fatherinlaw, Capt. ROSS was registor of the land office at Burlington and Fairfield, and I think Bro. EVANS came in the fall of 1842. I was one of the party that went to Fairfield to institute your lodge in 1845, and Bro. EVANS was one of the charter members. In January, 1849, he and I became members of the Grand Lodge at the same time, and from that day to this have been warm friends. We were together as grand representatives in Baltimore in 1856, and for the last ten years each year in Grand Lodge and Grand Encampment. A good man, citizen and Odd Fellow has fallen--gone to his Father; peace to his ashes. You and I, Brother Noble, must follow within a few years. May we be as well prepared to go as I believe Bro. EVANS was. I sympathize with his afflicted widow and hope his brothers will see she does not suffer while she remains on earth.

Fraternally yours,
William Garrett, G.S.

The following resolutions were adopted by Iowa Encampment of this city upon the death of Capt. EVANS:

Inasmuch as it has pleased the Great Architect, framer and preserver of the universe, to remove by death from amongst us our aged and venerable brother, Thos. D. EVANS; therefore, be it

Resolved, That in the death of Brother T. D. EVANS Iowa Encampment, No. 6, has lost one of its best and purest members, the order generally has sustained a loss irreparable and his widow and friends a husband and friend that cannot be replaced.

Resolved, That Iowa Encampment, No. 6, extend to his bereaved family and friends, their heartfelt sympathy and condolence. As we believe our loss has been his immortal gain, therefore, be it further

Resolved, That we bow in humble submission to the will of Him that doeth all things well.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread on the minutes of the Encampment, that we request the papers of this city to publish the same and that a copy be sent to his bereaved family.

C. E. Noble,
W. H. Fulton,
S. E. Bigelow,

(same publication and page, but Column 8 -- )

... H. L. BRIDGMAN, Chicago, was called here last week by the death of his uncle, Thomas D. EVANS. ...


"The Fairfield Tribune"
Wednesday, October 15, 1890
Page 5, Columns 3 and 4

The Sudden Ending of a Long and Useful Life

The Tribune announced very briefly last week the sudden death of Capt. T. D. EVANS. He had been growing feeble for some time, and his face and figure showed plainly the effect of advancing years. However, he had been as well as common, and no one was prepared for the news of his sudden death. Tuesday night before he had attended lodge in his usual health. Wednesday morning he did not feel well and a doctor was called in. Later he seemed to recover and ate a hearty dinner. Soon after this it was noticed that his face wore a peculiar expression and another physician was sent for. But before anything could be done he expired. The cause of his death was pronounced to be neuralgia of the heart.

The sad news spread rapidly over town and was heard with sorrow everywhere. Capt. EVANS was an honored citizen of Fairfield, held in high esteem by everybody. The funeral occurred at the Methodist church Friday afternoon, the remains being thence escorted to the gave (sic) by the Odd Fellows. Capt. EVANS was a past Grant Master of this order, and the members here honored him by turning out a large number to his funeral. We can write no obituary that will be better, or that will better extol the virtues of the dead man, Odd Fellow, and Christian, than the words so eloquently spoken by Rev. Mr. Schreiner, of the Methodist church, and so we produce them here:

Some men live in a community for many years and when they die there is only a passing note made of the fact, and they are soon forgotten, because while in the community, they were not of it. They lived to themselves, and they died to themselves. Others live not only in the community, but into it so that when they die their death touches society at every point, and there is not only mourning in their own home, but all through the place where they had lived and become a part of it.

Such was the life of Capt. T. D. EVANS in Fairfield. So long and so intimately had he been associated with the history and interests of this city, that the news of his sudden death sent a thrill of sorrow and sympathy to every part of the town.

He was born Feb. 7, 1809, in New York. His father was pastor of the Johns Street Methodist Episcopal church, which is now preserved and revered as the historic birth place of American Methodism.

March 23, 1836, he was married to Jane B. ROSS, of Richmond, Virginia, and for fifty-five years they have lovingly and devotedly gone through life together; realizing in a most eminent degree, the blessedness of the marriage relation, founded in love and perpetuated by mutual esteem.

His wife survives him, and only they who know by a personal experience can have an adequate idea of the agony and sorrow of one thus suddenly bereft of the very light and joy of her life. Hers is no common sorrow, for their relationship of husband and wife had been cemented by more than a half century of tenderest affection, until their lives had become blended in one, and what was the interest and joy of the one, was the interest and joy of the other. In 1842 Captain EVANS and his wife came to Fairfield, Iowa, her father being register of the Land Office, and from the day he came to Fairfield his life has been a part of the history of this place.

In 1837 he was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal church, and the first Sunday after his arrival in Fairfield handed his church letter to the pastor of the little struggling class that had been organized, and for 48 years he has been one of the most faithful and devoted members of this organization, never swerving in his loyality (sic), rejoicing in her prosperity, and redoubling his efforts in her times of adversity. He has filled every position that the church has given him with humble fidelity, and never claimed exemption from duty because of advancing years. At the time of his death he was treasurer of the church, and only last Monday morning had arranged and put in operation a new plan for disbursing the finances for the coming year. The church will sadly miss him, and when next Sunday morning, we look to his accustomed seat, and no longer see his venerable form, reverently giving heed to the services as he devoutly entered into the spirit of the worship, our hearts will feel a new emotion of sorrow, mitigated by the assurance that while there is a vacant pew in the church below, there has been added a new presence to the triumphant church in Heaven. Looking at it from the church's point of view, as a church we ask the question to every one here present, "Know ye not, that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in our Israel?" And we confidently say of Capt. EVANS, "He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith," and this record will be endorsed by this whole city and all who knew him beyond its bounds.

He was good, that is, true and faithful, in all the relations of life. I have referred to his home life, and his association with the church he loved. Here his first esteem was centered and here his first sympathy and efforts were given. His home life was a model, and his connection with the church without reproach. As one said in the prayer meeting on last Wednesday night, "the pure life he lived in the community, and his devout and irreprochable connection with the church is a greater heritage to the church than silver and gold and priceless gems."

But Bro. EVANS' goodness was not circumscribed by home and church, but whone brilliantly in his relation to society and the state.

In society he was a genuine gentleman of the old school. There was no sham in the courtly gentleness of his manners; it was the natural expression of a kindly heart that rendered to every man his dues without distinction.

In his long life in the city and county he has held many minor offices of trust, and in them acquitted himself with the same fidelity that he gave to his own personal interests and thus secured to himself the confidence of all who came in contact with him.

Aside from his church life Capt. EVANS was best and most widely known in his association with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Here his reputation is more than local, extending throughout the Order in all parts of the state. And among all her sons there has not been one whom she has more delighted to honor, and for the most excellent reason that he was an Odd fellow in the highest and truest sense of the word that is, he looked beyond the mere forms and symbols of Odd Fellowship and gave a practical demonstration of the principles they represent, in his life.

He took the two mottoes of the order, which form her creed, "In God We Trust" and "Friendship, Love, and Truth," and in good faith carried these into the practical duties of life.

He confidently trusted in God as his loving Father and leaned on him for support and guidance in all the trying ordeals of life.

Friendship to him was not a mere name, but a living reality, and when he pledged himself to a brother in the mystic circle, he felt that his interests were his interests, his rights were his rights, his reputation was sacred to him, and he cared for them in all that was meant by the sacred ties of friendship.

Love to him meant love, first to God and then to man. He loved God from a pure heart fervently, and then let his heart go out in love and good will to man.

Truth to him meant that he was to be truthful in all the relations of life. Not only was he to tell the truth but to live the truth, and thus while he delighted in the beautiful ritual of the order, her forms, ceremonies and symbols were but the concrete expression of these underlying principles, without which the whole structure of Odd Fellowship would be as "baseless as the unsubstantial fabric of a dream." Capt. EVANS was at one time Grand Master of the Lodge in the state, and has held various other Grand Offices, being at the time of his death Grand Treasurer of the Encampment. He was the oldest Past Grand Master at the time of his death in the state.

Capt. EVANS died as he had lived, at the post of duty. Working on until the message, swift and sure, came to him, and then ceased at once to work and live.

Death to such a one is not death, but birth into a higher and holier sphere.

The following resolutions were adopted by Iowa Encampment, No. 6, I. O. O. F., in regard to the death of Capt. EVANS:

Inasmuch as it has pleased the Great Architect, Framer and Preserver of the Universe to remove by death from amongst us our aged and Venerable Brother, Thomas D. EVANS, therefore be it

Resolved, That the death of T. D. EVANS, Iowa Encampment, No. 6, has lost one of its best and purest members and the order generally has sustained a loss irreproachable, and his family and friends a husband and friend that cannot be replaced.

Resolved, That Iowa Encampment No. 6 extend to his bereaved family and friends their heartfelt sympathy and condolence, and as we verily believe our loss has been his immortal gain, therefore be it further

Resolved, That we bow in humble submission to the will of Him that doeth all things well. And be it further

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread on the records, and that we request the papers of this city to publish them, and that a copy be sent to his bereaved family.

C. E. Noble,
Wm. H. Fulton,
S. E. Bigelow,

Resolutions were also adopted by Jefferson Lodge, No. 4, I. O. O. F., expressing the great loss to the order and the community of such an estimable man.


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Wednesday, December 17, 1890
Page 4, Column 5

Marriages, Births and Deaths.

... Deaths.

... Oct. 9, in Fairfield, of general debility, Thomas D. EVANS, aged 81 years. ...

Copied with permission from The Fairfield Ledger, Inc. IAGenWeb Bylaws PROHIBIT the COPYING AND RE-POSTING OF THIS MATERIAL IN ANY PUBLIC VENUE such as Ancestry or Find A Grave without WRITTEN permission from the submitter ~ copyright restrictions apply.
*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I have no relation to the person(s) mentioned.

Note: Buried in Lot Old.P.197. Wife Jane died in 1895 and was buried with him.


Jefferson Obituaries maintained by Joey Stark.
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