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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Edward W. Mervyn Evans

Synonymous with the name of E. W. M. Evans, of Petaluma, is the Cypress Hill Cemetery works of which he is the proprietor. It is a conservative statement to say that there is probably no cemetery in the country of equal size which has so man beautiful stories of varied kinds as may be seen in Cypress Hill Cemetery. Mr. Evans has been the chief contributor to this condition for nearly all of the tombstones and monuments here seen have been designed, made and set up under his direct supervision during the twenty-eight years that he has been engaged in business in Petaluma. He is one of the pioneers in this line of business in the town, and is now the only one thus engaged. Several expert workmen are given employment in the execution of the many orders which come to him for headstones, tombstones, monuments, vaults and curbings, as well as in the making of store fronts, tiled flooring and wall tile. One of the best examples of Mr. Evansí handiwork may be seen in the Swiss-American Bank, the marble work which he furnished in this building being the finest work of the kind in the city.

Edward W. M. Evans was born in County Aruagh, Ireland, May 30, 1861. When he was a youth of about eight years the parents brought their family to the United States, the year 1869 witnessing their landing on these shores and their settlement in Virginia. Subsequently they came as far west as Denver, Colo., and finally, in April, 1876, they came to California. Near Stony Point, Sonoma county, the father purchased a small ranch upon which the family lived for a number of years, after which the father removed to Alameda, and it was there that his death occurred in 1897. As he left his native land before his schooling had been begun, E. W. M. Evans acquired all of his book learning after coming to California, attending school in the various places in which the family lived. Coming to Petaluma in 1882, he started the nucleus of his present large marble works on Main street, later removing his plant to Cypress Hill, his present location. Others have carried on similar enterprises in the town from time to time, but the Cypress Hill Cemetery works is the only one now in operation, the superior class of work here turned out accounting for its permanency.

Mr. Evansí marriage occurred in Petaluma July 11, 1883, uniting him with Miss Martha Ellen Tupper, who claims the distinction of being the first white girl born in Petaluma. She is the daughter of John B. Tupper, who came to Petaluma in 1850 and consequently was one of the earliest settlers in this part of the county. Before her marriage his wife was Miss Martha Douglass, a native of Maine, and their marriage was the first one celebrated in Petaluma. Robert Douglass, her father, built the old Brooklyn hotel in Petaluma, and he also brought the first frame house to Petaluma. This was first erected in Vallejo, but later was taken down and brought to Petaluma, where it did good service for many years. Seven children were born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Evans, named in the order of their birth as follows: Vivian M., the wife of Fred J. Tolberg, of Mommouth, Ill.; Edward E. and Arthur B., both of whom are interested in business with their father; Roy M., who is employed with Brainerd Jones, the well-known architect of Petaluma; Alma M.; Isabelle Virginia; and Roscoe D. All of the children have been the recipients of good educational advantages and are a credit to their parents; one of the sons, Roy M., has made a splendid record as an athlete. Mr. Evans was made a Mason in Arcturus Lodge No. 180, which has since consolidated with and is known as Petaluma Lodge No. 180, F. & A. M. He served as master of the lodge two years, and was inspector of the sixteenth district for seven years. He is also a member of Petaluma Chapter No. 22, R. A. M., and both he and Mrs. Evans are members of the Eastern Star, of which he has been worthy patron. Mr. Evans is a member of the Merchants Association.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011