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Martin O. Evans


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 3/2/2023 at 23:41:11


Martin O. Evans, who is filling the position of postmaster at Joice, where he is also engaged in the lumber business, was born in Dane county, Wisconsin, July 12, 1870, his parents being Hans and Mary (Iverson) Evans. The father was born at Valders, Norway, which was also the birthplace of the mother, and there they were reared and married. Mr. Evans devoted his attention to the occupation of fanning and in 1852 came to the United States as a passenger on a sailing vessel that was seven weeks in crossing the Atlantic to Quebec, Canada. He thence proceeded westward by way of the canal and the Great Lakes to Milwaukee and took up his abode in Dane county, purchasing a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of land in Perry township. He then concentrated his efforts and at­tention upon the cultivation and development of his farm until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when aroused by a spirit of patriotism and loyalty to his adopted country, he offered his services to the Union in the spring of 1862 and went to the front with the "boys in blue" of Company E of the Thirty-first Wisconsin Infantry. He participated in a number of important engagements and went with Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea which proved the strength of the Confederacy was almost exhausted, the troops having been drawn from the interior to defend the order. He participated in a number of engagements under General Sherman and when the war was over received an honorable discharge and returned to his home with a most creditable military record. Mr. Evans then resumed farming in Dane county, Wisconsin, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land which he further developed and improved until 1882, when he sold the property and bought a farm in Springdale township, in the same county and of equal acreage. He then gave his attention to the development of that land until 1891, when he retired from active business, having in the meantime acquired a substantial competence sufficient to supply him with all of the necessities and many of the comforts of life throughout his remaining days. He took up his abode at Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. His wife, who was born in 1824, died in 1879, at the age of fifty-five years. They were both consistent members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and Mr. Evans gave his political allegiance to the republican party, believing firmly in its principles as factors in good government. Fraternally he was connected with the Grand Army of the Republic and thus maintained pleasant associations with his old military comrades. He was ever as true and loyal to his adopted country in days of peace as in times of war when he followed the nation's starry banner on the battlefields of the south.
Martin O. Evans spent his boyhood days in Dane county, Wisconsin, where he remained to the age of twenty-one years and during that period acquired a good public school education. On starting out in the business world he was employed as clerk in a general store in Blanchardville, Wisconsin, where he continued for four years. He then became connected with the lumber business at Blanchardville and was active along that line for three years. In 1898 he came to Bristol town­ship, Worth county, Iowa, and spent the succeeding two years as a farm hand on the old Buck farm. He then married, after which he engaged in operating the old Slater farm near Fertile, upon which he lived for one year. On the expiration of that period he removed to Lake Mills, Winnebago county, Iowa, where he was employed for one year in connection with the implement business of the firm of Eckert & Williams. He was next connected with the J. H. Queal Lumber Com­pany for a year and on the 12th of January, 1903, he came to Joice, Worth county, where he accepted the management of the yard of the Saxerud Lumber Company. He has since continued in that position and has most wisely, carefully and successfully conducted the business. In August, 1916, he was appointed to the position of postmaster of Joice and is filling that position, and he also conducts a candy kitchen, in connection with which he sells tobacco and cigars. His business interests are thus extensive and important and are carefully and wisely managed.
On the 20th of February, 1900, Mr. Evans was united in marriage to Miss Mary S. Thompson, a daughter of Thomson and Effie (Johnson) Thompson. Her father was born in Scotland, while the birth of Mrs. Evans occurred in Fertile township, Worth county. By her marriage she became the mother of five children: Homer B., Russell T., Marie C, Ernest M. and Oliver Lynn.
In his political views Mr. Evans has been a republican since attaining his majority. He has served as secretary of the township schools for a number of years but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. He belongs to the Yeoman lodge and both he and his wife hold membership in the Norwegian Lutheran church. They are people of genuine worth and of the highest respecta­bility, enjoying the goodwill and confidence of all, and in his business career Mr. Evans has been actuated by a progressive spirit that has brought him steadily forward until he is now a most active factor in the commercial life of Joice. SOURCE: HISTORY OF MITCHELL AND WORTH COUNTIES, IOWA, 1918, VOL. II; Page 610


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