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Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 10/16/2021 at 02:28:13

THOMAS EVANS, occupying a prominent position among the industrial interests of Keokuk, is a native of Chester County, England, and was born March 6, 1823. He is the son of John and Margaret (Jones) Evans, natives of the same country as their son, and of English ancestry and parentage. The subject of this sketch was the fifth of a family of six children who gathered around the parental hearthstone, and from his earlier years was trained to habits of industry and honesty. When he became of suitable age he served an apprenticeship of seven years at boiler-making and ship-building and followed this joint occupation until 1850, when he left his native country and emigrated to America. His first location after arriving here was at Schenectady, N. Y., where he became foreman in a boiler works establishment, remaining there for one year. He then went to Pennsylvania, where he secured the position of foreman in the shops of the New York & Erie Railroad, located at Susquehanna, and occupied this position for five years. In the winter of 1856 he started westward across the Mississippi to Iowa, and locating in Keokuk, formed a partnership with Richard Holloway for the purpose of manufacturing boilers. They operated together about two years, when they closed out the business, and Mr. Evans, going to St. Louis, engaged as a Government employee for the manufacture of gun-boats for a year, and then returning to Keokuk, entered the shops which are now owned by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway. Of these he was foreman from 1863 to 1884, when he was obliged to abandon the business of a machinist on account of ill-health, and is now retired from active labor.

Mr. Evans, in early manhood, was married in Susquehanna, Pa., to Miss Catharine Anderson, a native of his own country, who bore him three children: Jennie L. is the wife of Peter Lamb, and resides in Bloomington, Ill.; William P., possessed of the genius of his father, is a skilled machinist, employed in the shops of the C., R. I. & P. R. R. at Keokuk; Laura L. died in infancy. Mrs. Catharine Evans died in Susquehanna, Pa., April 19, 1855. The second marriage of Mr. Evans took place at Maysville, Ky., where he was united with Miss Sarah Bullen, also a native of England, and of this union there was born one child, John J. S., who died when less than two years old.

Mr. and Mrs. Evans have a pleasant home in Keokuk, and are surrounded by all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. Mr. E. is independent in politics, and socially is a member in good standing of Eagle Lodge No. 12, A. F. & A. M. A lithographic portrait of Mr. Evans is shown on the opposite page.

Transcription typed/proofed as article was originally published in 1887

Thomas Evans Image

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