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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1016~




The life of Abraham L. Evans, well known farmer of Smithfield township, Fayette county, has been an earnest one, fraught with much that tends to benefit his kind, and his career in the humble sphere of private citizenship has added to the character and stability of the community in which he lives. His conduct among his fellow men has ever been above criticism, for he has always aimed to keep his name and reputation unspotted, as did his forefathers.


Mr. Evans was born in Clayton county, Iowa, February 11, 1864, but the major part of his life has been spent in Harlan township, Fayette county, where he received his education in the public schools and in Upper Iowa University at Fayette, from which institution he was graduated in 1890, having made a splendid record there for scholarship. He is the son of Elias and Julia Evans, the father a native of England, from which country he came to America about 1852 and located in Clayton county, Iowa, where he bought a farm of the government and made his home, until his death, on the place which he developed into a very valuable farm and established a comfortable home. His death occurred about 1866, his wife surviving him until 1876. They were the parents of six children, of whom Abraham L., of this review, was the youngest in order of birth. When he was three years of age he was taken to raise by L. D. Talcott, a friend of the Evans family, living in Harlan township, this county, and he made his home with his benefactor until he reached the age of twenty-one years, consequently he never learned very much concerning his parents or their family. Young Evans worked on the farm of Mr. Talcott during the summer months and attended school in the winter time. About 1885 he began teaching, attending school the following term, thus alternating for some time until his graduation in 1890. In 1891 he was principal of the schools at Henderson, Nebraska, and from 1892 to 1895, inclusive, he was principal of the school at Maynard, this county. He was very successful as a teacher, being well equipped from the text-book standpoint and was naturally endowed for this work, being both an entertainer and an instructor in the school-room, so that he won hearty commendation in his work both by pupil and patron. His services as principal were of especial value, he being a good organizer and master of details, so that his services were in great demand, and had he desired to continue in this line of endeavor he would doubtless have become one of the leading educators of upper Iowa; but, tiring of the school-room, he sought the more independent and withal desirable life of the husband man, and in the spring of 1895 bought a valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres in section 18, Smithfield township, Fayette county. Prospering by reason of close application to his individual affairs and being a good manager, he in time added eighty acres to his original purchase, and he has continued to devote his attention to agricultural pursuits in various phases since that time, and the neat and thrifty condition of his farm will readily attest that his labors have been abundantly crowned with success. He has some good livestock, and his home is a pleasant one. He takes an active part in the business life of his home town, being a leading stockholder and director of the Maynard Savings Bank.


Politically, Mr. Evans is a Republican and he has held a number of minor offices in his township, being township trustee at present. He takes an abiding interest in local affairs and is always ready to assist in furthering anything calculated to be for the general good. Fraternally, he is a Mason, holding membership in Lodge No. 510 at Maynard, and together with his wife, he is a member of the Eastern Star, Chapter No. 103, of Maynard 2E .Mr. Evans, his wife and children are all members of the Methodist Episcopal church and faithful in the discharge of their duties in the local congregation.


On June 1, 1893, Mr. Evans was united in marriage with Lillie M. Beckner, who was born in Smithfield township, this county, on April 2, 1872, the daughter of Frank and Mary (Metcalf) Beckner, a highly honored family of this locality. Mr. Beckner was born in LaPorte, Indiana, November, 1842, and his wife was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in April, 1843. Mr. Beckner came to Delaware county, Iowa, with his parents when young. The parents of Mary Metcalf located in Minnesota when they came West and there she married Mr. Beckner, about four years later moving to Fayette county, Iowa, locating in section 18, Smithfield township, where they lived until 1906 when they moved to Maynard where they still reside. Mrs. Evans was educated in the public schools of Smithfield township, afterwards attending the Upper Iowa University, where she graduated in music in 1891. She is a pleasant lady and highly accomplished. She is an artist of merit and her home is beautifully decorated with a number of her paintings.


To Mr. and Mrs. Evans five children have been born, named as follows: Carleton F., born July 8, 1894; Ruth M., born October 2, 1896; Frank R., born December 1, 1898; Viola F., born August 20, 1906, died January 2, 1908; Robert L., born February 4, 1908.


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