Evan Evans, a successful business man of Grangeville, came to this town in 1880 and for almost twenty years has been one of her enterprising and highly valued citizens, taking a deep interest in and giving aid to every measure and movement intended to promote the general welfare. He was born in Norway, February 5, 1855, and is of Norwegian ancestry. His parents were Andrew and Mary (Olson) Evans, successful farming people and respected members of the Lutheran church. The subject of this review acquired his education in his native country, and at the age of seventeen went to England, where he took passage on an English steamer and sailed to the Mediterranean Sea. While he was in Italy, May 6, 1872, he entered the United States naval service on board the Shenandoah, a man of war, and sailed under the American flag for two years or until the Shenandoah went out of commission, April 23, 1874. She was commanded by Captain Wells, Lieutenant Higginson and Robley D. Evans. They were at Key West, Florida, for some months, engaged in drill work, and Mr. Evans speaks of his service in the navy as one of the most valuable in his life. He was paid off at New York city and then, leaving the sea, he went to New Hampshire, where he visited his sister, after which he made his way to California.
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Locating at Truckee, in the Golden state, he there engaged in furnishing wood to a railroad company, under contract, and made considerable money in that venture. He remained in California until 1880, when he came to Grangeville where he has since made his home. Here he was first employed in carrying the mail, under contract, between Mount Idaho and Pierce City, making the journey on horseback. He received a fair remuneration for his services, and continued that labor until the route was discontinued. He next accepted a position in the butchering business at Warrens, with the firm of Chamberlin & Bentz and subsequently returned to Grangeville, where he engaged in stock-raising, beginning in that enterprise with twenty head of cattle. He carried on that industry until 1890, raising, buying and selling cattle, having at times as many as three hundred head. He met with fair success, and retired from the business when stock was bringing high prices. In 1891 he opened a butcher shop at Grangeville, in partner-ship with his former employer, Mr. Bentz, the connection being continued with mutual pleasure and profit until 1896, when Mr. Evans sold out. In the winter of 1897 he purchased the hardware business of Davy & Bonnell, built up a good trade and enjoyed a large and remunerative patronage until 1899, when he was forced to retire, the close confinement of the store undermining his health. He is now living partially retired, although he personally superintends his investments. During his residence in the thriving town of Grangeville he has made several judicious purchases of realty, which have increased in value with the growth of the town. In 1893 he became the owner of a beautiful plat of six acres within the corporation limits and has erected thereon a delightful residence. Another purchase which he made, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, he sold to a Lewiston stock company, and half of it has been platted and is called the Lewiston addition to Grangeville. He has also made a forty-acre addition to the town, called the Grand View addition, and well is it named, for it is high and splendidly situated and commands a fine view of the great Camas prairie and the surrounding mountains. He also has forty acres in reserve and his realty holdings class him among the substantial citizens of Idaho county. He also has various valuable quartz-mining interests, and is a successful, energetic and enterprising businessman, his reputation in business circles being above reproach.
In 1885 Mr. Evans married Miss Ella Jones, a native of Oregon, and a daughter of Seth Jones, who is numbered among the pioneers of Oregon and Idaho. Their union has been blessed with two bright daughters, Irena and Mary. They have a pleasant home, which is a favorite resort with their many friends. Mrs. Evans is an esteemed member of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Evans is an active member of the Masonic fraternity, having been identified with Mount Idaho Lodge, No. 9, for fifteen years. He has acceptably filled many of its offices and has the honor of being one of its past masters. He is also a’ Royal Arch Mason, belonging to the chapter at Lewiston, and his name is on the membership roll of the Woodmen of the World. In politics he is a Republican, and is a most loyal citizen of his adopted land, unswerving in support of its institutions. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, and he was serving as one of the school trustees of Grangeville when the present fine school building was erected. Leaving the “land of the midnight sun,” Mr. Evans came to America to try his fortune, and here his well directed labors have been crowned with success. He is truly a self-made man, and as the architect of his prosperity he has builded wisely and well.