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The subject of this memoir was born in Schwara, princi­pality of Reuss, Germany, on May 31, 1824. He received his academic education in his native country, and, studying medicine, received therefor his diploma. In 1846 he came to the United States, and settled in Carbon County, Penn­sylvania, where he resided two years, and then moved to Brookville, Indiana, thence to Burlington, Iowa, where he practiced medicine, leaving Burlington in 1851, for Cali­fornia. He crossed the Plains, and after spending the Winter of 1851-2 in Salt Lake City, came on to this State, and settled at Taylorsville, Plumas County. Here he engaged in farming and mining, as well as practicing his profession, and had for partner in farming and mining the celebrated pioneer Peter Lassen.  The Doctor afterwards moved to Marysville, but remained there only a short time, going thence to Foster’s Bar, the Yuba River, thence to North San Juan, Nevada County, and in 1851 settled in Carson City. He joined the Major Ormsby party, as its surgeon, and went out to fight the Indians, but was for­tunate enough to be one of the survivors of the ill-fated expedition. He next settled at Placerville, El Dorado County, and was in charge of the County Hospital there, and was elected County Coroner. In 1863, he moved to Aurora, Nevada. In 1866 he came to Sonora, and in 1870 was elected to the Lower House of the Legislature, serving one term. He is is now in charge of the County Hospital, which position he has held for the past seven years. He married Frances, daughter of Calhoun Colwell, on May 1, 1850. Mrs. Jennie Rooney, Lilian, Frederick, Frank. and Paul, are the names of their children.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 355-356.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Pennsylvanian, but went to Texas in early life, and was a soldier in the Mexican War.  Coming to Tuolumne, he ran for the office of County Clerk and achieved it, being on the Democratic ticket.  He was an excellent business man and born politician.  Again County Clerk in 1858, he rose to the State Legislatorship in 1864.  Removing to Stock­ton, he has held the latter office for San Joaquin County and achieved prominence; has been many times mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor.  That he will achieve that or a higher office, is not improbable, as he is still in the vigor of life, and withal exceedingly popular.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 403.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton







Among the many notable present or past residents of old Tuolumne, no one has ever occupied a more prominent position in public life, and no one has distinguished him­self in a higher degree, by the possession of valuable qualities of mind and heart, than juts the subject of this sketch.  During a third of a century General Evans has continued to retain the respect and admiration of his con­temporaries, and now, after long years spent in public ser­vice and private enterprise, we find him in possession of those valuable mental gifts which have made his career a succession of high achievements.


He was born in Tecumseh, Michigan, in August, 1826.  Going to Texas in his early boyhood, his youth was there passed during the time when the heroic pioneers of that State were preparing for the struggle which gave them in­dependence from the hated dominion of Mexico.  In the subsequent period, when Texas constituted a republic, his father became a member of the Cabinet of the "Lone Star" State.  The fortunes of the war, however, drove the family from their pleasant home, and in the bloody and memorable conflict at Alamo, the brother of young George met his death while in command of a detachment.  Directly after these stirring events find transpired, the subject of our account removed to New Orleans, there to attend school, and at a subsequent period to enter the dry goods store of Thomas Sheldon & Co, and again, at a later date, to go into the service of the Western Marine Fire Insur­ance Company.


Somewhat later, when war broke out between the United States and Mexico, Mr. Evans, now come to the age of nine­teen years, proceeded again to Texas, and enlisted in the independent company commanded by the celebrated Captain Ben.  McCulloch, and served until the battle of Monte­rey, being attached to the regiment of Colonel Jack Hays.  After the taking of that city, Mr. Evans, with his comrades, were disbanded, when he returned to Texas and re-enlisted with McCulloch, receiving the appointment of Assistant Quartermaster, performing those duties acceptably until the company received its final discharge.


The arts of peace now demanded his attention, and we accordingly next hear of him as proprietor of a hotel at Saltillo, where he remained not long, going back to Austin just at the beginning of the great movement westward to the golden hills of California.  As might he expected from the General’s well known activity and love of adventure, he at once joined the moving throng, forming a company of gold-seekers, who left Austin on March 17, 1849, and pro­ceeding westward by way of the Colorado River, touched California soil on the 4th of July of that year.  Passing through Los Angeles, the cavalcade came to Tuolumne County, arriving first at Don Pedro’s Bar, and going next to Wood’s Crossing, then the most notable mining place in the county, as well as the first discovered.  On the 17th of August, Mr. Evans entered the town of Sonora, then in the very earliest period of its existence.  The attractions of the new place did not detain him long, for we next hear of him mining at Murphy’s, in Calaveras County, and later at Pine Log, where he, in company with C. M. Radcliff, located the well known “Texas” claim, which still bears its early name.  This was in the month of October.  In the next month Mr. Evans sold out his interest in the claim for $16, and walked to Sonora, entering there the service of Messrs. Green & Holden, and so remaining until the year 1851, when the state of his health compelled him to return East.


Spending a year or so in various places in Arkansas and Texas, and having partially recovered his health, he pro­ceeded next to cross the Republic of Mexico, arriving at Mazatlan, on the shore of the Pacific, whence he came to San Francisco in a brig, arriving in the Golden Gate in May, 1852.


Before the great fire of June, 1852, Mr. Evans had re­turned to Sonora, and after that disastrous event he entered into partnership with ‘‘ Uncle Josh Holden, and erected the American Exchange, a public house, which they kept until the following year, when it was burned.  In the same year he became County Clerk, having affiliated with the Democrats.  He performed the duties of this office until 1855, when he removed to San Francisco, to take a position in the Custom House, under Milton S. Latham, then Collector of the Port.  Since that year the General’s changes have been so numerous, that the limits to which this brief account is necessarily confined will not permit more than a hasty mention.


Becoming Secretary of the Senate in 1856, again County Clerk of Tuolumne in the following year, and, at the expiration of his term, Minute Clerk of the State Senate, Under Sheriff of Tuolumne during the administration of Dan.  Patterson, the proper performance of these duties filled up the years until the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion, when he became Major of the Second California Cavalry, and achieved a war record whose main points are as follows: Mustered in at Camp Alert, San Francisco; then proceeding to Wilmington, he established Drumm Barracks; removed to Camp Latham, near Los Angeles; the next Spring proceeded to Owen’s River with a detach­ment; fought the Indians successfully; established Camp Independence; July 4, 1863, was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel; went to Visalia to put down Southern sympathizers, leaving Captain T. H. Goodman, now an officer of the Central Pacific Railway, in charge of Camp Independence. The subsequent months were spent in maintaining order in the difficult Department of Southern California, and after a time Lieutenant-Colonel Evans removed to Salt Lake, when, in consequence of the suspected treason of Colonel Simms, the former assumed command, being promoted to the Colonelcy of the Regiment and Brevet Brigadier-General.  His acts during these years belong to the history of the military affairs of the nation, and it is sufficient to say here that the duties that devolved upon him were performed in the most efficient and praiseworthy manner, reflecting credit alike upon the General and the Government in whose service he was.


Re-signing has command in May, 1863, he returned to his home in California and for a time represented the soldiers as delegate to this Sacramento Convention which nomi­nated Low for Governor of this State.


Elected now to the State Senate from Tuolumne, he held the office for four years, then becoming Adjutant-General of this State, but resigned to again enter the Senate Chamber.  After the session he again became Adjutant-General owing to the resignation of the incumbent, and he served during the remainder of Low’s a the administration, and through the first half- year of Governor Haight' s term.


Removing now from Sonora to Stockton, he continued upon his political career, being elected first to the Common Council of that city, then Mayor, and finally State Senator from San Joaquin County; and at the end of his term of four years was renominated by acclamation, again to serve in that situation.


Our account now draws near to the present time.  In 1880 General Evans was appointed Harbor Commissioner, by Governor Perkins, and he consequently removed to San Francisco, where he has since resided, with his family.  Marrying Miss Fannie B Markham, on August 8, 1857, the couple now have six children.


It would be difficult, indeed, to select a subject whose life would furnish a greater store of incident, adventure and enterprise to spur the pen of the biographer than that of the gentleman under discussion.  Living for so many years in the midst of the most active affairs, and being him­self one of the most energetic and far-seeing of men, there is necessarily an immense deal to recount of which no men­tion can now be made.  It would also be interesting to discuss the future of a life like General Evans’, and en­deavor to foresee the results to which such qualities of brilliancy and persistence may give rise.  Even yet in the middle of life, as it were, with the fruits of an immense experience to guide him, and still in the possession of the fullest powers of mind and body, and held in the popular estimation as one of the best regarded of California’s famous citizens, there is every expectation of a future whose suc­cesses may infinitely surpass those of the past.



“A History of Tuolumne Co, CA” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Appendix pg. 32-36.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Mr. Evans, whose birth occurred in Rhode Island, and whose early years were spent in Massachusetts, came to California in the spring of 1858.  Proceeding first to the northern mines, he finally came to Tuolumne in 1860, and settled at Yankee Hill, near Columbia, and remained there until 1863.  In that year he removed to Sonora, and has claimed that place as a residence ever since.  Constantly engaged in mining since his arrival, he has made himself conspicuous as a discoverer and owner of quartz mines several of which, under his management, having become valuable properties.


“A History of Tuolumne County, CA” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Appendix Pg. 9-10.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton


© 2002 Nancy Pratt Melton

Tuolumne County Biographies