Early Evansville Portraits And Biographies
From History of Vanderburgh County, Indiana
by Brant & Fuller

Robert M. Evans

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GENERAL ROBERT M. EVANS whose name was perpetuated in christening the town, was born in 1783, in Frederick County, Va.; and at Paris, Ky., in 1803, was married to Miss Jane Trimble, a sister of Judge Robert Trimble of the supreme court of the United States.

When twenty-two years of age he came to Indiana territory, his richest possessions being youth, health and intellect. He settled in the wilderness about two miles north of where Princeton now is, and at the first sale of public lands, in 1807, bought the place which his fancy had selected for a home.

After four years of pioneer life in the woods he went to Vincennes, where he kept a tavern for two years, returning at the end of this time to his home in the woods. When the War of 1812 with Great Britain was begun, He offered his services to his country, and in he campaigns of that period gained distinction, serving with such gallantry and signal ability that he rose to the rank of Brigadier General.

At the close of the war he returned to Gibson County and resumed the arduous work of improving his homestead. His fellow citizens soon elected him to the office of County Clerk, in which capacity he rendered satisfactory service.

It was not until 1824 that he moved to Evansville, and there remained but one year, during which time he resided on his farm near the struggling village. Moving then to New Harmony, at that time a prosperous village under the control of German socialists, he occupied himself as the landlord of a hotel, at the same time engaging in agricultural pursuits on lands near that place. After an absence of about four years he returned to Evansville, where he remained until his death in 1844, living an honorable life, and holding a high place in the esteem of the people.

In personal appearance he was tall and commanding, of dignified bearing, with a smooth face and open countenance, always attracting attention and admiration. On all occasions he was agreeable and entertaining, and in business transactions a man of sterling integrity. In the combination between himself, McGary and Jones for the betterment of their fortunes and the building up of the town of Evansville, he was the man of power and influence.