Biography - Lorenzo D. Evans

LORENZO D. EVANS. Our subject is one of the thousands of brave and loyal men who came forward in the time of their country's trial and threw their lives in the balance with the chances of war that the Union might be preserved and the brotherhood which is now becoming an accomplished fact between North and South, re-established. He is at present a general farmer owning one hundred and fifty-three acres on section 4, Flat Branch Township, he is the happy possessor of some of the best land in the township and can view his acquisition with pride, as it is the result of his own industry and energy.

Mr. Evans was born in Montgomery County, at Mt. Sterling, Ky., December 11, 1825. He comes of Maryland stock. His father, John Evans, who was a native of Wales, when young, came to the United States and lived near Baltimore with his parents for some years. The family, however, removed to Montgomery County, Ky., and there William Evans remained for some time, he returned to Baltimore, Md., where he died and was buried by the side of his wife who had there passed away before the removal of his family to Kentucky. William Evans lived to be an old man. He served through the War of 1812 and was a brave soldier. His sons inherited from him his valor, for all of them later served through the late Rebellion, and one who had been Provost Marshal of Mt. Sterling, was later killed by an enemy, who in a cowardly manner, shot him in the back, while entering a store. Much enmity grew out of this and the family feud even endangered the different families in the vicinity, nor did our subject escape these dangers, for he had many a hairbreadth escape from the enemy.

After the coming of John Evans to Montgomery County, Ky., he received training in a farmer's life, and lived and died in his adopted State, being quite an old man at the time of his decease. He had there taken unto himself a wife whose maiden name was Miss Ann Beecraft, who was born near Baltimore, Md., her parents being Benjamin and Elizabeth Beecraft. They came from Wales to this country and after living for some time in Maryland, they settled in Kentucky. Their deaths, however, took place in Indiana. The daughter, Mrs. John Evans, after her marriage passed her life in Montgomery County, Ky., and there died. Our subject and a sister are all who are now living of this family. He inherited the fibre of his sturdy Welsh ancestors and grew up full of the energy and determination known to but few men of his day.

When the call was made for volunteers to fight for liberty and freedom, Mr. Evans enlisted in the Thirteenth Regiment of Illinois Infantry. He served under Gen. Sherman and was in the engagement against Gen. Johnson at Charlotte, N. C., and saw active service until the close of the war, when he received an honorable discharge for his services in 1860. He served as a private but had been a true and brave man and for his loyalty and valor no better record could he referred to than his Colonel, Mr. Lawrence, of Madison, Capt. Jones, of the same place and Lieut. Lewis, of Munsey, Ind.

Our subject has ever been a close student of human nature, it having been one of his greatest pleasures to study character as found in his travels throughout the country. This knowledge of human nature has given him a great advantage in his dealings with men. He is a man who has experienced much that is known to develop the sternest characteristics of one's nature. His early experience in Kentucky when involved in the feud that threatened himself and family, taught him vigilance and caution, while it developed daring and recklessness. When Mr. Evans was a young man the hot blood of the Southerner of Kentucky was even more pronounced than now, and a man took his life in his hands, when by a word, he acquired the hostility of an acquaintance.

Mr. Evans was married in 1848 while in Kentucky, to Margaret Reibland who was born and reared in that State. She is the mother of eight children, four of whom are now dead, having passed away in early years. Those who have a monument in the hearts of their parents, are Anna, Margaret, Mary E. and Wallace. The living children are Sarah J., Jennie, John W. and Lorenzo D. Sarah is the wife of William Simpson, who is proprietor of a farm in this township. Jennie is the wife of Jerome La Don and lives on a farm in Moweaqua Township. John W. took to wife Elizabeth Gordon, and now lives in Donovan, Ill. Lorenzo D. is a farmer in this township.

Extracted 11 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 293-294.

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