FRANCIS MARION EVANS


Francis Marion Evans, who has been a resident of California from hi boyhood days, having arrived in this state in 1850, was born in Grundy county, Missouri, on the 19th of January, 1838. He is a son of Josiah and Cavy Anne (Smith) Evans, both of whom were natives of Ohio. They removed to Missouri in the year 1836 and became pioneer settlers of that state, where the father secured a tract of land and engaged in farming and stock-raising for a number of years. In 1848 there came news of the discovery of gold in California, and report after report was received concerning the richness of the mines and the excellent opportunities for the rapid acquirement of wealth on the Pacific coast. All this proved alluring to the Evans family, and in 1850 they made preparation for seeking a home in the far west. They crossed the plains in a wagon drawn by an ox team, the family at that time numbering the father and mother and seven children, the eldest of the children being Francis M. Evans. Making his way to the gold regions, the father followed the fortunes of a miner about two years in Amador and Yuba counties, but not meeting with the success he had anticipated in that direction he resolved to turn his attention to other labor which he believed would prove more profitable, and in April, 1853, he took up his abode in Santa Clara county, locating near the present site of Milpitas, where he purchased a squatter's claim. He then engaged in general farming and stock-raising and continued to direct his labors in this direction up to the time of his demise, which occurred in 1883. His wife passed away in 1885. He found that farming was to him a more profitable field of labor than mining and through the continued exercise of his industry, energy and perseverance he became the possessor of a comfortable competence.

Francis M. Evans, whose name introduces this review, acquired his early education in the country schools of Santa Clara county. He was a pupil during the winter months while in the summer seasons he aided his father in the arduous task of developing a new and hitherto unimproved farm. In the fall of 1859 he went to Nevada, where he remained until 1867, being employed in various ways during that period. In the latter year he returned to Santa Clara county and again tood up the work of the home farm, with which he has since been identified. After the father's death he and his brothers operated the ranch together until 1902, when he purchased the property which he now owns and conducts. In connection with genral farming he has engaged in stock-raising and also devotes some attention to the dairy business, and each department of his work is proving profitable.

In 1869 Mr. Evans was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Trueman, a native of New Brunswick, who came to California in 1869 with her parents, who settled in San Jose. Her father, Marcas Trueman, is now a retired undertaker, living in that city. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Evans has been blessed with seven children, three sons and four daughters, namely: May, Nellie, George, Annie, Elizabeth, Josiah and Arthur. Mr. Evans is a Republican in his political affiliations, and as every true American citizen should do he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. He has been a trustee of the public schools for a number of years, and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. His life has been quietly passed in the control of his business interests, but nevertheless he belongs to that class of citizens who form the strength of every community because they uphold the social and moral status of the community and co-operate in movements for its material and substantial upbuilding. As a pioneer he is familiar with the history of this portion of the state for more than a half century. People of the present day can scarcely realize the struggles and dangers which attended the early settlers, the heroism and self-sacrifice of lives passed upon the borders of civilization, the hardships endured, the difficulties overcome. These tales of the early days are almost like a romance to those who have known only the modern prosperity and conveniences, but Mr. Evans' memory forms a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present and his mind bears the impress of many of the early historic annals of the state.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine


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