Ezra H. Evans is one of the self-made men of Illinois, who, in carving out their own fortunes in the west, have added to the wealth, importance, and stability of the community. He is a native of the State of New York and was born November 22, 1829, in the village of Taberg, Oneida County. The family is of Welsh extraction, his father, Ozias Evans, having been the son of Hugh Evans, whose forefathers came from Wales to America. The latter settled in Oneida County where he was a pioneer. He was occupied as a farmer all his life, and died in the place named as the birthplace of his grandson, and is buried there in the village cemetery. Ozias Evans married Mary Jeffords. She was a native of Herkimer County. About 1853 the senior Evans came to Illinois and passed four years in the vicinity of New Milford, where he resided with his son, the subject of this narrative, until his death, in April 1869. The event occurred at the home of his daughter in Wisconsin, whither he had gone on a visit. His wife died ten years before him. Their family included six children: Mary married Thomas Cook and died in Byron; the son represented in this sketch is the second child; Nancy is the wife of Treadwell Soper, of California; Carrie married Robert Andrews, of Rockford; Martha is married to M. M. Fisher, of Jackson Co., Wis; Erastus lives in Georgetown, Col.
When he was 18, Mr. Evans commenced his contest with the world, and entered upon a career of honest and industrious effort to better his condition, which has met with the reward it merits in the avenue he desired. On leaving his home, he started on the canal, by which he traveled to Buffalo and came thence via the lakes to Chicago. From there he came to Ogle County, whence, after a delay of a week, he went to Walworth Co., Wis. There he joined an uncle and remained in that county about a year and a half, working meanwhile on a farm.
He saved all his earnings, with which he came to Ogle County. He had received $12.50 per month, and with the aggregate of his earnings, he bought a Mexican soldier's warrant, which he laid on 160 acres of land on section 6 in township 24, range 11, which is now included in the township of Marion. After entering his claim, he went to New Milford, Illinois, where he engaged in the business of a teamster, and operated there and at Rockford five years. He then returned to this county and built a house on his land. His next work was the improvement and the putting of his property in good tillable condition. In 1872 he sold his place on which he had expended his time and energies to good advantage, and which was in the best condition for successful farming, and on which he had erected excellent buildings. He invested the proceeds in the purchase of a farm of 55 acres in and adjoining the village of Byron, and removed to a dwelling in the village which he had also purchased. He has since resided at Byron and has purchased 77 acres in the northern part of the township. Mr. Evans is a Republican in his political connections.
Mr. Evans was married to Miss Phebe A. Osborn in August, 1850. She was born in Buckinghamshire, England, and came when three years of age with her parents to this continent. The children born to herself and he husband were three in number. Fransula married David Creager, of Winnebago, in that county; Angelbert died in New Milford, aged 19 months; Ernest is a druggist at Byron, and was married December 5, 1885, to Elizabeth Spaulding, of Beloit, Wis.
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