DR. MOSES EVANS

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 21-22

DR. MOSES EVANS, an honored veteran among the defenders of the nation, as well as in the ranks of his chosen profession, came to Illinois more than half a century since, and has been an interested participant in many of the stirring scenes which make up the history of this commonwealth. He was born at Fryeburg, Oxford County, Maine, January 1, 1819, and is the only surviving son of Capt. William and Anna (Webster) Evans.

Capt. William Evans was a Revolutionary soldier.  He was the first white male born at Seven Lots Settlement, now known as Fryeburg.  He married first Sarah Osgood, who was the mother of three children.  His second wife, Anna Webster, had eleven children, of whom Moses is the  youngest.  Captain Evans was a participant in the terrible winter at Valley Forge, and was later a Captain of Maine militia.  He was a grandson of David Evans, of Charlestown, Massachusetts, who was doubtless a native of Wales.

David, son of the last-named and father of Capt. William Evans, is often mentioned, together with his brother, Sergeant John Evans, in the history of Concord, Massachusetts.  They were members of "Rogers' Rangers,'' and took part in General Amherst's disastrous expedition against the St. Francis Indians.  They were among the seven original settlers of Fryeburg in 1762-63, then known as the Seven Lots Settlement. David Evans' wife, Elizabeth, was a daughter of Col. Jeremiah Stickney, of Penacook, Maine.

Moses Evans took the preparatory course at Fryeburg Academy, and at the age of eighteen years began the study of medicine under Dr. Ruel Barrows, of Fryeburg.  He graduated from Dartmouth College at the age of twenty, and began practice  at Waterford, Oxford County, Maine.  In 1844 he came West and located at Waukegan, Illinois, arriving there on the 1st of June.  He made the journey by way of Boston, Albany and Buffalo, taking a steamer from the latter point to Waukegan, where he continued in practice over forty years.

In the spring of 1862 Dr. Evans was sent by the authorities of Lake County to Pea Ridge, Arkansas, to care for the sick and wounded troops of the Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, who went out from Lake County.  A few months later he returned and helped to recruit the Ninety-sixth Illinois Regiment, many of whose members were boys at whose birth he attended.  He was mustered in as Surgeon of this regiment, but shortly after he resigned his position. He continued with the regiment, however, as First Assistant Surgeon in order to look after the health of the boys, in whom he took a fatherly interest throughout their service.  His duties were arduous and he was kept in constant activity because of the disasters attending the battles of Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Atlanta and others.  After the battle of Chickamauga, while in charge of an ambulance train on the way to Stevenson, Alabama, he was wounded in the calf of the leg by a stray shot. He was with Sherman's army throughout the campaign from Nashville to Atlanta, and won the confidence of officers and men in an unusual degree.

After the war he had a very extensive surgical practice in Lake County.  He served many years as County Physician, and was Health Officer of the city of Waukegan from its incorporation until the close of his residence there.  He served as Coroner of Lake County, was Postmaster at Waukegan for three years, and was United States Examining Surgeon for Pensions for a considerable period.  He became a great sufferer from asthma on account of his exposure during the war, and in 1877 he went to California, to escape the rigors of the lake-shore climate. He now spends his winters in California, and resides during the balance of his time with his daughter, Mrs. Brown, of Evanston.  Upon his removal from Waukegan he was tendered a banquet by friends and comrades as a testimonial of their esteem.

On the first day of the year 1848, Dr. Evans was married to Miss Anna Sanford, daughter of William Sanford, a lumberman of Brighton, Canada, at which place she was born.  She died in San Francisco, California, January 9, 1885 in the fifty-eighth year of her age.  She was a Christian lady, of most patient, cheerful and lovable character. Three children were left to mourn her loss. Arthur Herbert, the eldest, is a prominent business man of San Francisco, California.  Calista Jean died at Kinsley, Kansas, December 18, 1890, aged forty years.   Anna Cora is the wife of Robert K. Brown, a Chicago business man, residing in Evanston.  Frederick Graham, the youngest of the family, died July 7, 1857, at the age of one year.

Dr. Evans' first vote was cast in 1840, when he supported the famous "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too'' ticket.  He has acted with the Republican party since its organization. He has been a member of the Congregational Church from youth, and joined the first Grand Army post organized at Waukegan. He has since been connected with Gen. George H. Thomas Post at San Francisco, and U. S. Grant Post at Omaha.

                        -- Submitted by Sherri Hessick   (thessick@flash.net)