HENRY M. EVANS

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  1020

HENRY M. EVANS, a prominent farmer and timber dealer of Brooklyn, Windham county, Conn., is not only the largest landowner of the town, but is also one of its most enterprising citizens.

The early records of the Evans family locate the great-grandfather of Henry M., Jonathan Evans, in Smithfield, R.I., where he followed agricultural pursuits and died at an advanced age.  His son, Elijah Evans, was one of the numerous family, who was born in 1786, in Smithfield, R.I., and lived in that locality until a few years after his marriage.  About 1818 he moved to Brooklyn, Conn., and there purchased a farm which has been the family home ever since.  The acreage of the estate has remained the same as at the time of purchase, but the original residence has been renovated and has had three additions made to it.

Elijah Evans carried on farming and also butchering, buying considerable stock for that time.  For a long time he conducted a meat market at Brooklyn Center, the farm being given over to the management of his sons as soon as they were old enough.  Until stricken with a dropsical affection, he was a man of great energy and industry, but a few months of illness reduced him so that his death occurred April 28, 1856.  As the result of his industry, he was able to leave his family in comfortable circumstances, a fact which gave him much comfort, as he had always been devoted to their welfare.  A Democrat in his political views, he supported the party actively; he was a consistent member of the Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, living the Christian life he professed.  He married Waty Smith of Smithfield, R.I., who did not survive him long, her death taking place March 10, 1858, both being buried in the Witter cemetery in the town of Brooklyn.  The children born to these good and worthy parents were six:  Mercy, who died in infancy at Smithfield, R.I.;  Elijah, who took an interest in the meat business and although he only lived to the age of seventeen years, was an expert in his line and of the greatest assistance to his father;  Juni, who became a farmer and married Emeline Coburn, later dying in Hampton;  Rachel, who married Harvey Cleveland, a farmer, and died in Wauregan, Conn.;  Thomas, who married Eliza Kennedy, and in early life taught school, but later became a stock dealer, in Danielson, Conn., where he died;  and Elisha, the father of Henry M.

Elisha Evans, the youngest son of Elijah, was born May 21, 1831, in Brooklyn and enjoyed the benefits afforded by the public schools through the winter seasons, assisting his father in the meat business and on the farm in the summers.  Being the youngest of the family, he remained at home and managed affairs, caring for his parents until they passed away, and then succeeded to the farm.  Mr. Evans had more progressive ideas than many of his neighbors and was well known as a successful dealer in stock.  For many years, especially between 1850 and 1860, he made it his custom to take an annual trip through Vermont, New Hampshire and Canada, where he would buy cattle and horses, disposing of them in Brooklyn and the surrounding towns.  In a small way, he also dealt in lumber, being a man of business sagacity, able to turn almost any line to his advantage.

Naturally of a robust constitution Mr. Evans took little care of his health when it interfered with his industrious habits, and probably it was this lack that finally caused his death at the age of fifty-six years, Nov. 8, 1887, after a lingering illness of six months.  Mr. Evans was a man who was much missed in his community, having been reliable and prominent in all public affairs, serving faithfully the Democratic party all his life, and efficiently filling the offices of the town, at the time of his death being town road surveyor, an office which he had capably filled for twenty-five years.  Mr. Evans was a consistent member of the Unitarian Church, of which he was a liberal supporter.

Elisha Evans was married June 16, 1856, to Miss Dilla Cady, who still survives him.  She was born July 25, 1835, in Brooklyn, and was a daughter of Lemuel and Lydia (Taylor) Cady, the former of whom was a farmer who spent his life in that locality.  The children born to Elisha Evans and his wife were:  Charles C., who was born Nov. 9, 1857, and died July 9, 1867;  Esther, born Aug. 8, 1861, who married Jerome M. Woodward, and resides in Hampton;  and Harvey S. and Henry M., twins, born Oct. 22, 1863, the former of whom died Sept. 17, 1864.

Henry Morey Evans was born in the house he now occupies, and is encircled still with the surroundings which gave him a happy boyhood.  Until he was nineteen years old, his winters were passed in the district school, while his summers were devoted to farm work on the home estate.  At the age of twenty years, Mr. Evans was hired by Dwight Bassett, of Brooklyn, a miller, to drive his team, and the young man continued with Mr. Bassett for one and one-half years, or until the illness of his father necessitated his return home, where he has remained ever since, with the exception of eight months, when he was in the employ of the dairy of the Wauregan Company.  As early as the age of seventeen years, Mr. Evans saw the commercial advantages to accrue from a well managed lumber business, and since that time he has been engaged in getting out timber, being at present in partnership with his brother-in-law, Jerome M. Woodward, of Hampton, in his line, their trade in timber of all kinds being a very large one.

Mr. Evans has been a successful farmer and not only operates his own farm, but also one comprising 168 acres which he purchased a few years ago from Jesse Fuller.  Combined with an industry which enables him to show satisfactory results in this and other lines, Mr. Evans is successful also as a citizen, on account of his upright character and sterling honesty.  In politics he follows in the footsteps of his father and grand-father, upholding the principles of the Democratic party, and he has faithfully and efficiently served his town in many responsible positions.  His first public office was that of assessor, and soon after the close of his term, he was elected as second member of the board of selectmen, holding this office through the year, being re-elected in 1900, and serving until the fall of 1901.  In November, 1901, he was elected to represent Brooklyn in the State constitutional convention, in this election receiving a very decisive majority over his Republican competitor.  The convention was held in the State capitol, beginning Jan. 1, 1902, and adjourned May 15, 1902.  At the present time Mr. Evans is chairman of the board of relief, and is the representative from Brooklyn to the General Assembly of 1903-04.  Mr. Evans is one of the progressive men of his section and is identified with many of its leading interests.

The marriage of Mr. Evans took place Aug. 18, 1894, to Miss Susie E. Andrews, who was a daughter of Russell Andrews, of Wauregan, and the children born to this union are:  Walter H., a sturdy little representative of his father, born March 28, 1896;  and Edith May, born Dec. 6, 1898.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Evans belong to the Unitarian Church, to which Mr. Evans is a liberal contributor, and they enjoy the respect and esteem of the whole community.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel great-great granddaughter of Cyrus White of Rockville, Ct.

 

Return to Main Page

This page was created by Linda Pingel on April 7, 2008
copyright 2008 - all rights reserved