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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Ohio: Van Wert County

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Re: Rowlan Evans? one of 1st settlers in Van Wert Co.
Posted by: Kathryn Moore (ID *****4621) Date: May 31, 2009 at 20:20:04
In Reply to: Rowlan Evans? one of 1st settlers in Van Wert Co. by viola stephens of 493

This is the only Rolland Evans I can find in Van Wert County.

History of Van Wert County, Ohio and Representative Citizens; Thaddeus Gilliland; 1906, pp. 732-734

ROLLAND EVANS, one of Venedocia’s venerable retired and highly esteemed residents and one of the best-known citizens of York township, was born at Llanbrynmair, Montgomeryshire, Wales, July 21, 1820, and is a son of William and Margaret (Davis) Evans.

The parents of Mr. Evans lived and died in Wales, the father at the age of 87 years, and the mother at the age of 79. Of their nine children, our subject is the only survivor, and was the fourth in order of birth.

Rolland Evans was reared on his father’s farm, where he remained until 22 years of age; he then decided to emigrate to America. With his young wife, in 1842, he took passage in a sailing vessel to make his first voyage across the ocean. This was completed in five weeks and three days. Mr. Evans has crossed the Atlantic nine different times, and has noted the improved methods of transportation on each trip. On his first trip he landed in New York City and from there went to Utica, New York. He was able to perform almost any kind of manual labor, and during a protracted period was engaged as a wood chopper. In 1845, he joined his uncle, John Evans, at Paddy’s Run, Butler County, Ohio. The latter died in 1893, age 96 years.

In 1849, Mr. Evans settled in Jennings township, Van Wert County, buying 80 acres of land three-fourths of a mile from Venedocia, for which he paid $310. The land was covered with forest growth, and before it could be conveniently reached a road had to be cut through. For a number of years he assisted in making roads in different directions, good highways being very necessary adjuncts at all times to successful agriculture. Mr. Evans found his nearest mill depot at Delphos, and a trip there necessitated his staying over night. Spencerville consisted then of a single frame house, although the frame of the first mill was being laid. During the period required to clear his farm, Mr. Evans and family lived in a hewed-log cabin, which remained the family home until 1879, and subsisted mainly on the game which was plentiful all about them.

Mr. Evans still owns the farm in Jennings township, as mentioned above, and which now contains 127 acres of well-improved land. He continued to reside there until 1880, when he retired from business activity, purchasing his present dwelling in Venedocia. This residence was the first one erected on the west side of Main street, and is a very comfortable home. Although Mr. Evans reached this locality with a very limited amount of capital, he possessed the qualities which brought success, and is now one of the substantial men of this region. He has interested himself with all the agencies which have contributed to make Van Wert County civilized and prosperous, and early identified himself with educational and religious affairs. In those early days of the first Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church in Jennings township, serves were often held out-of-doors, with the sky for a canopy and with dense woods all around to echo the hymns of praise. Those were the days when those revered preachers, William Bebb and Thomas Morris, ministered to the people and with earnest persuasion led their thoughts away from the sordid cares and many hardships of their daily lives. For some time also services were held in the home of Rev. William Bebb. Mr. Evans was a liberal contributor to the building of the first church edifice.

In 1842, in Wales, Mr. Evans was first married, espousing Jane Jones, who was a daughter of John Jones. She died in 1884. To their marriage two children were born at Utica, two at Paddy’s Run, and two in Van Wert County. Mr. Evans married (second) on August 28, 1886, to Mrs. Ann (Morgan) Jones, a daughter of John Morgan. She was a widow at this time with a family of three sons and one daughter. She also has one sister and one brother.

The children of Mr. Evans were: William D.; John, who died age 19 years; Robert, who died in infancy; Eleanor, who was married May 4, 1865, to Oren O. Pugh, has six children and since the age of 15 years has been a consistent member of the Calvinistic Methodist Church; Margaret (wife of John N. Jones, who at death left two children); and Mary, who united with the Calvinistic Methodist Church when but 15 years of age, married Richard Breese, resides in Van Wert and has four children. Mrs. Evans belongs to Salem Welch Calvinistic Methodist Church at Venedocia. Mr. Evans has every reason to be proud of his descendants, 16 of whom are grandchildren and 14 are great-grandchildren.

William D. Evans, the eldest son of Rolland Evans, was born in Butler County, Ohio, in December 1846, and accompanied his parents to Van Wert County. He was only 14 years of age when he united with the Calvinistic Methodist Church at Venedocia, and he had been a consistent member and an earnest worker until his lamented death on September 6, 1891.

On February 27, 1873, William D. Evans was married to Sarah A. Davies, who was born in Butler County, Ohio, May 19, 1849, and was 15 years of age when she was received into the fellowship of the Calvinistic Methodist Church at Gomer. She is a daughter of the late David D. Davies and wife, the former of whom died in 1900 and the latter in 1902. The children of William D. Evans and wife were: J. Russell, who married Sarah Williams, of Oak Hill; Robert T.; William A.; Edgar R., who died in 1902, David C., and Bertha A.

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