History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(biographicals transcribed by Linda Kestner: email@example.com)
WILLIAM F. EVANS
Taylor county has been signally favored in the class of men who have occupied her public offices, for on the whole they have been loyal to her best interests, seeking the public good rather than personal aggrandizement and placing the welfare of the community before partisanship. Of this class William F. Evans is a worthy representative and is now making a creditable record as county treasurer.
He was born in Fountain county, Indiana, April 25, 1840, his parents being John and Catherine (Bristow) Evans, who were natives of Virginia and Ohio, respectively. The paternal grandfather, Jesse Evans, was also born in Virginia and was of Welsh descent. He devoted his life to farming and on removing from the Old Dominion took up his abode in Fountain county, Indiana, where he was connected with the early agricultural development. There he died at the age of seventy-six years, while his wife was also seventy-six years of age at the time of her demise, which occurred in Covington, Indiana.
Their family numbered seven sons, including John Evans, who was reared to the work of the fields and was always a farmer. He became an early resident of Indiana, arriving in that state in 1831, and in 1856 he came to Taylor county, Iowa, reaching his destination on the 12th of March. Here he purchased a farm of four hundred acres in Benton township. He established his home in Benton township and there reared his family but in later years took up his abode in the city of Bedford, where he lived retired from about 1875 until his death, which occurred in 1893 when he was about eighty-two years of age. His wife had died in 1864 in the faith of the Baptist church, in which both were members. Following her death Mr. Evans wedded Miss Hannah Propst, who still survives him. The children of the first marriage were nine in number, three sons and six daughters: William F.; Margaret J.; the wife of J. C. Turner, of Bedford, Iowa; Jesse J., now deceased; Euphelia, the wife of Henry E. May, of Bedford; James A., also of that place; Sarah C., the wife of William E. Smith, of Smithfield, Missouri; Ellen, the wife of Rev. R. Campbell, of Oskaloosa, Iowa; Ada C., the (page 254) wife of Ed C. Thompson, of Benton township; and Delilah, the wife of M. G. Maxwell, of Mount Ayr.
As a farm boy William F. Evans spent the days of his boyhood and youth, early becoming familiar with the work incident to the development of the fields and the cultivation of the crops. When he had reached his majority his father gave him eighty acres of land and he engaged in farming in Benton township until 1872, while he carefully tilled the fields and in consequence gathered good harvests. He did not confine his attention exclusively to the operation of his farm, for in 1872 he was elected county auditor and served for four years. He was appointed postmaster of Bedford and filled that position for four years. In 1880 he was again elected county treasurer and continued to serve there for four years, retiring from the office as he had entered it -- with the confidence and good will of all concerned. When he had put aside official duties he engaged in the grocery business in Bedford with his brother Jesse J., but his fellow-townsmen were not content that he should relinquish all public service and in 1903 he was again elected county treasurer, which office he still holds. He has thus been again and again chosen as the custodian of the public funds and no higher testimonial of his efficiency and fidelity could be given. No public trust reposed in him has been betrayed in the slightest degree and on the contrary his record is one over which there falls not the least shadow of wrong nor suspicion of evil. In addition to his other public duties he acted as secretary of the Taylor County Agricultural Society for twelve consecutive years.
There is another chapter in the life history of Mr. Evans that is most creditable -- that concerning his military experience. On the 9th of August, 1862, when the county was engaged in civil war, he offered his aid to the government, enlisting in Company F, Twenty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which he remained for three years, being mustered out August 9, 1865. He enlisted as a private, was afterward made orderly sergeant and was mustered out with the rank of second lieutenant. He participated in the battles of Helena and Saline River and was also in many skirmishes. Never for an instant did he falter in the performance of his duty as he defended the old flag -- the symbol of a united nation.
When Mr. Evans went to the front he bade adieu to his bride of but a few months for he had been married on the 13th of February, 1862, to Miss Amanda Lewis, a daughter of William and Mary J. (Van Meter) Lewis. Three sons were born of that marriage: Charles I., Omer L and Arthur B, all living in Parsons, Kansas. The former, an engineer on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, married Miss Gertie Bundy, by whom he has one living child, May. Omer L., who is engaged in the grocery business, wedded Catharine Ryan and they have a daughter, Leone. Arthur B. is timekeeper for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad shops at Parsons, Kansas. He married Bertha Crew and they have one daughter, Dorothy. Mrs. W. F. Evans died in 1905 at the age of sixty-one years, passing away in the faith of the Baptist church, of which she was a devoted member. Later Mr. Evans married again, his second union being with Mrs. Elizabeth McCracken, the widow of Thomas McCracken and a sister of his first wife.
Mr. Evans holds membership in the Baptist church and thus cooperates in the moral improvement of the community. He also belongs to Sedgwick Post, No. 10, (page 255) G. A. R., while his political allegiance is given to the republican party, which was the defense of the Union during the dark days of the Civil war and has always been the party of reform and progress. He is one of its leading representatives in Taylor county, loyal to its principles and interested in its work. He stands as one of the foremost citizens of this part of the state, honored and respected by all who know him -- and his acquaintance in Taylor county is a very wide one.