EVAN GRIFFITH EVANS, a prominent citizen, financier and capitalist of Jefferson County, has spent the larger portion of his life in the neighborhood in which his forefathers settled many years ago. He was born in Mt. Pleasant Township, this county, May 14, 1840, and is a son of George I. Evans and a grandson of Jonathan and Elizabeth Evans.
George I. Evans was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in 1812, and came to Ohio June 26, 1830. He was in the thirty-sixth generation in descent from the founder of his family as, in part, is given as follows;
The genealogy of the Evans family has been traced to Mervyn Vrych, King of Man, who was killed in battle with the King of Mercia, A. D. 843. King Mervyn married Esylt, daughter and sole heiress of Conan Tyndactly, King of Wales, who died in 818 or 820. Both Merwyn and Esylt traced their descent from Lhudd, King of Britain, who was a brother of Caswallon, the chief who resisted the invasion of Caesar, before the Christian Era.
Passing over a number of intermediate generations from Mervyn Vrych the line may be taken up in the tenth generation from the Book of Gwynedd. Ivan, known as Evan Robert Lewis, was living in 1601 and was probably then a young man. He removed from Rhowlas, or its neighborhood in Merionethshire, to Vrom Goch, probably in Denbighshire, and there passed the remainder of his life. He had five sons, all taking for themselves, according to Welch custom, the form of Ap Evan, as follows: John ap Evan, Cadwallader ap Evan, Griffith ap Evan, Owen ap Evan and Eva ap Evan.
Evan ap Evan was the father of the four brothers who came to Gwynedd, in 1698, accompanied by Sarah, their sister and the mother of Robert Pugh. He was twice married and had two daughters by his first marriage and the four settler sons by his second.
Owen Evans, the third of these sons, emigrated from Wales in 1698 and died October 7, 1723, in his sixty-fourth year, having been born in 1659. His wife was Elizabeth.
Thomas Evans, of Gwynedd, was a son of Thomas Evans and was the grandfather of the late George I. Evans and the great grandfather of Evan Griffith Evans, of Mt. Pleasant Township, near Emerson. This Thomas Evans was born January 24, 1733, and died September 3, 1818. He married Elizabeth Roberts in 1765 (born November 19, 1740, died in 1794), a daughter of John and Jane Roberts, of Whilpan.
Jonathan Evans, father of George I. Evans and grandfather of Evan G. Evans, was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in 1778, and died in Mt. Pleasant Township, April 7, 1844, aged sisty-six years. He was married at Richland, Bucks County, Pa., October 5, 1809, to Elizabeth Iden, who died January 23, 1824. Jonathan Evans taught school at Richland, a half mile from Bunker's Hill, for two years after his marriage and then removed to Gwynedd, Montgomery County, where he taught until about 1816, when he settled at Sandy Hill and engaged in teaching there until the death of his wife in 1824. In 1832-3 he was in Ohio, near Mt. Pleasant, with his son, and then returned to Montgomery County and thereafter made his home with his brother Caleb.
The children of Jonathan and Elizabeth Evans were six in number, namely: Thomas I., born in 1810, died in 1883, married Ann Washington; George I., born in 1812; Caleb, born in 1815, married Sarah Black; William R., born in 1817, married Mary W. Allen for his first wife and Martha S. Carr for his second wife; Job, born in 1820, died in the same year; and Hannah I., born in 1821, married Thomas D. Thomlinson, of Marietta, Iowa.
George I. Evans, father of Evan Griffith Evans, was born August 31, 1812, and died April 2, 1886. He was twice married, first in January, 1834, to Sarah Griffith, who was born in 1814 and died in 1846. SHe was a daughter of Evan and Elizabeth Griffith, of Mt. Pleasant, O. George I. Evans' second marriage was to Mary P. Richards, of Mt. Pleasant. On June 26, 1830, George I. Evans moved to Mt. Pleasant Township and settled in the neighborhood of what was Trenton, now Emerson. He had large business interests and owned a number of valuable farms. He survived his second wife for ten years, her death occurring on September 20, 1876, while she was attending the Centennial celebration at Philadelphia. The children of George I. Evans were: Elizabeth E., born in 1835, who was married in 1853 to John Scott, both being now deceased; Julia A., born in 1837, who in 1849 was married to Thomas McMullan, both now deceased; Evan Griffith; Sarah E., who was born in 1842, and died in 1863; and Mary A., born in 1844, who was married in 1870 to George W. Michner and died in 1889, leaving four children--Elizabeth, William W., George Evans and Mary Edith.
Evan G. Evans obtained his educational training in the local schools and owing to the fact that he was the only son, was early called upon to assume business cares and responsibilities. Fortunately he was endowed with good judgement and has never regretted his early training along business lines. In the management of his father's property he learned how to take care of his own, which has grown to a large estate, he now being one of the capitalists of this section. Mr. Evans is largely interested in a number of financial institutions of recognized standing, and is on the directing boards of the First National Bank of Mt. Pleasant branch of the State Bank of Ohio; he is a charter member of the Mt. Pleasant Savings Bank and a director in the same and is also a charter member of the Mt. Pleasant National Bank and the Citizens' Savings Bank of Mt. Pleasant. The solidity of them directing boards being made up solely of men of recognition ability and integrity.
On January 9, 1862, Mr. Evans was married to Miss Rebecca Croft, a daughter of William and Rachel Croft. Her father came to Ohio from Virginia and died at the age of fifty-five years in Belmont County, Ohio, where he was engaged in business as a merchant. He married Rachel Spencer, who was born in Belmont County in 1809 and died at Emerson, Jefferson County, November 20, 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Evans have had children as follows: Arthur W., born May 31, 1863, resides on the home place, married Annie J. Scott, daughter of John and Elizabeth Scott, and they have one daughter, Sarah Delphine; George Austin, born March 10, 1865, is a farmer residing near West Liberty, Iowa, married Anna Burrell and they have two children--Lucile E. and Lawrence William; Sarah Ella, born April 29, 1871; Ellery Channing, born April 22, 1873, is a hardware merchant at Des Moines, Iowa; and Anna Clare, born April 21, 1875, married W. W. Michner, of Rocky Mount, N. C., and has one child, Anna Rebecca, born July 6, 1909. Mr. and Mrs. Evans are members of the Society of Friends at Emerson.