On the roll of the "boys in blue" who fought for the preservation of the Union and kept the country intact appears the name of Franklin Evans. He is now a well-known resident of Mission township, Brown county, where he has resided since 1878. He was born in Pike county, Indiana, on the 22d of June, 1842, and is a son of Dennis Evans, whose birth occurred in France. The father was reared and educated in the land of his nativity and when a young man crossed the Atlantic to the new world, taking up his abode in the Hoosier state. He was married, in Evansville, Pike county, at the age of nineteen, to Julia Grisson, a native of Gibson county, Indiana, and a daughter of Dr. Thomas and Polly (Vinn) Grisson, both of whom were natives of Indiana and are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Evans began their domestic life in Pike county, where the father died at the early age of twenty-three years, leaving his widow and one son, Franklin, their only child. In politics Mr. Evans was a Whig.
The subject of this review was reared and educated in Indiana and Illinois. During his youth he worked as a farm hand in those states and was trained to habits of industry, economy and honesty, and these have proved important factors in his successful career in later life. The educational privileges which he received in the common schools were greatly supplemented by lessons learned in the schools of experience. For some years he resided in Sangamon county, Illinois, and when President Lincoln issued his call for three hundred thousand men he offered his services to the Union, enlisting in August, 1862, as a member of Company B, One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry. He served with that command for eighteen months, during which time he underwent many sufferings. He was in with fever and rheumatism, hearing and eyesight were greatly affected and indeed so serious was the trouble with his eyes that some years ago he lost his eyesight entirely and has since been totally blind. Such were some of the great sacrifices which the soldier made in order to defend the Union, and their names should ever be engraved on the pages of history and the country should ever be mindful of the debt of gratitude which it owes to them.
For some years after the war Mr. Evans resided in Logan county, Illinois. In 1870 he married Ellen Whittaker, a lady of intelligence and culture, who has been to him a faithful companion and helpmeet through many years. She was born in Ohio, but spent her girlhood in Mason and Tazewell counties in Illinois, there obtaining her education. Her parents were Samuel and Ann (Tettle) Whittaker, both of whom were natives of Ohio. They had a family of four children, of whom two are living: Charles, now a resident of Mason county, Illinois, and Mrs. Evans, of this review.
In 1878 Mr. Evans left Illinois and came to Brown county, Kansas, where he now owns a valuable farm of two hundred acres, which is under a high state of cultivation and is improved with all modern conveniences and accessories. Rich meadow lands and well-tilled fields, a good residence, substantial barns and outbuildings and an orchard add to the value and attractive appearance of the place and stand in exemplification of the fact that the owner is a progressive and enterprising agriculturist. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Evans had been blessed with twelve children, nine of whom are now living, namely: Hattie, Leatha, Jackson, Bessie, Sherman, Alta, Nettie, Gladys and Elmer. Those deceased are Julia A., who died in 1871; Maud, who died at the age of sixteen years; and Beulah, who died when seven weeks old.
In his political views Mr. Evans is a Republican, having been a stanch advocate of the principles of that party since attaining his majority. He has, however, never sought or desired public preferment. Socially he is connected with the Grand Army post of Hiawatha, and his wife is a member of the Evangelical church. Frank and genial in manner, he is a progressive citizen and an honest man whom to know is to respect and honor.
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