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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William Evart

More lasting than any printed testimonials of worth and high citizenship is the enduring impress made by Mr. Evart upon the commercial and agricultural development of Sonoma county. His privilege it has been to maintain an intimate association with this region from a comparatively early period to the present era of twentieth-century progress. That the community offers opportunities to a man of integrity and energy is indicated by his own success, for he came here entirely without means and he has had the care of a large family, yet he has risen steadily to a position of influence and responsibility. Under his supervision there are not interests representing large amounts and important enterprises; to each of these he brings an intelligent mind, keen reasoning faculties and habits of prompt decision. The natural outcome of such devotion and intelligence has been a high degree of financial success.

Born in the city of Rochester, Monroe county, N. Y., February 1, 1853, William Evart had no advantages in boyhood except such as came to him through his own arduous industry and resolute purpose. Quite early in life he was attracted to tales of California happenings and his resolve was made to migrate to the Pacific coast, which ambition reached its fulfillment during the year 1877. The trip to the west was made over the Union Pacific Railroad and he arrived safely at San Francisco, where and in Oakland he labored for two years. The ensuing year was spent in Napa county and from there he came to Sonoma county, where ever since he has made his home and the center of his varied enterprises. In all of his work he has had the wise counsel of a prudent, frugal and sagacious wife, Bridget Frances (Williams) Evart, who was born in Monroe county, N. Y., in the year 1855 and who came to California during young womanhood. Throughout the community she is honored for her devotion to her large family, her love of home, of country and of justice. Deeply interested in all reform, she was a pioneer in good works for the betterment of Sonoma county during her younger days. Her life has been bright and sweet with all the virtues that go to make a faithful wife and a loyal friend.

The family of William Evart comprised the following-names sons and daughters: Frank R.; John R., deceased; William P.; Earl P.; Edwin J.; Henry G.; Benedict Y., deceased; Mary E.; Sophia, deceased; Catherine; Alice R.; Ida C.; Irene A. and Helen. The eldest son Frank R., married Clara Keegan, a native daughter of the state and they have five children, Frances R., Dorothy M., Marjorie, Edwin J., and an infant as yet unnamed. William P. Evart married Celia Howard, a resident of Petaluma and the daughter of John Howard. It was the ambition of William Evart and his wife to give their children the best educational advantages with in their means. No sacrifice was counted too great that enhanced the welfare of those dear to them. The sons were given grammar-school educations at Penn Grove. Two daughters, Ida and Alice, completed a course of study in a business college during the year 1910, graduating with honors. A younger daughter, Irene, is a college student at the present time. The sons are especially fond of baseball, while the father found his greatest pleasure in hunting during his younger years. Two sons, William P. and Earl P., are enthusiastic members of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, besides which four of the sons are Native Sons of the Golden West, belonging to the local organization at Petaluma. In politics all are independent. The family holdings include a ranch comprising one hundred and forty-seven acres and one-half interest in a stock ranch in Napa county consisting of twenty-five hundred acres and affording pasturage for one hundred and twenty-five head of live-stock. In the village of Penn Grove, where the family reside, William Evart owns a mat market, general store and warehouse, also handles as much as a carload of feed daily and buys and sells eggs and chickens in large quantities, the entire business aggregating $300,000 in the course of the year. Frank R. Evart has charge of the warehouse, grain, feed and poultry, while another son has charge of the store and market. All of the buildings in which the varied interests are housed were put up by William Evart, and include a warehouse of two stores 40x60 feet, blacksmith shop, oil house, stable, barns, and three dwellings. Mr. Evart has also put on the market what is known as Evartís addition to Penn Grove, consisting of twenty-seven lots. An enterprise so large as that of which Mr. Evart is the manager proves the energy of its founder and is a credit to the village in which it is located.

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