Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project



WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 776-78. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


Morris G. Evans, locomotive engineer on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, has been engaged in railroading since he was twenty-four years old. and for more than thirty years has pulled the throttle. Until 1879 Milwaukee was his headquarters, then he came to Mason City, Iowa, which has since been his home, his present work being the hauling of passengers between Mason City and Mount McGregor. Mr. Evans resides with his family at No. 416 West Seventh street, where he built a handsome home.

He is a native of Monroe county, Pennsylvania, born in [August 11] 1849. His earliest recollections, however, are of a cabin in Wisconsin, his parents, Abraham and Rebecca (Flight) Evans, having left their eastern home and came west in 1850, the year following his birth, making the journey across the country in primitive pioneer style, with a yoke of oxen and a span of mules, and reaching their objective point with a cash capital of only sixty cents. On this journey Abraham Evans was accompanied by two brothers and a brother-in-law, one of whom, Alexander Evans, remained in Wisconsin and improved a farm. About half way between Janesville and Madison, Abraham Evans secured title to half a section of land, built a cabin, and established his home, and there he lived for over forty years, the cabin in time giving place to a frame house. When they landed there game of all kinds was plentiful, including deer; and they lived in their wagon until they could cut logs for the cabin. Madison at that time was built of log houses and contained only about one hundred and fifty inhabitants. After he had established his home he helped to build a log school house, about half a mile distant, and became prominently identified with the best interests of the community. From the organization of the Republican party he was one of its staunch supporters, and in 1866-7 he represented his district in the Wisconsin state legislature. After about forty years spent on the farm he retired and moved to Madison, where he and his wife died, his death occurring in 1898, at the age of seventy-three years; hers in 1905, at the age of eighty-eight. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he was for many years identified with the Masonic order. Of their four children, Joseph, a member of Company D, Seventh Wisconsin Infantry, was killed in the second battle of Bull Run; Theodore, a practicing physician of Madison, Wisconsin, received his education at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Toronto, Canada; and Amy, wife of Albert Hawkins, resides at Madison, Wisconsin.

At Madison, Wisconsin, Morris G. Evans married Miss Ellen Collins, a native of Rochester, New York. When she was quite small her family moved to Wisconsin and settled at Hebron, from whence in 1858 they went to Dane county, where she was reared and educated. Mr. and Mrs. Evans have one daughter and one son: Etta B. and Claude T. The former, a graduate of the Mason City high school, is now a saleswoman, representing automobiles in Milwaukee; the latter is engaged in the plumbing business at Mason City. He married Miss B. Vivian Duffy, of Dickinson, North Dakota. Mrs. Evans was a daughter of John and Priscilla (Sansom) Collins, natives of Devonshire, England, who came to America shortly after their marriage, settling in New York state, subsequently moving to Michigan and later to Wisconsin. Still later they went to Parker, South Dakota, and from there came to Clear Lake, Iowa, where the father died in 1896, at the age of sixty-eight years. The mother returned to Stoughton, Wisconsin, where she now resides with a daughter. In their family were four sons and two daughters: John 0., a farmer, who died in Minnesota, December 8, 1908; Herman, of Stoughton, Wisconsin, is retired; Andrew, a contractor and builder of Tacoma, Washington; Mrs. Evans, wife of the subject of this sketch; Mrs. John Evans, of Stoughton, Wisconsin; and Wesley, of Clear Lake, Iowa. Mrs. Evans, like her husband, was reared a Methodist, and both are worthy members of that denomination. Mr. Evans, fraternally, is associated with the B. of L. E., Sanborn Lodge, No. 117, also with the I. O. 0. P., and Mrs. Evans belongs to the Rebekahs.

NOTE: Morris G. Evans died on July 3, 1916. Ellen (Collins) Evans was born October 6, 1856, and died on February 7, 1939. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2014



  • Return to Biography Index Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page


    © Copyright 1996-
    Cerro Gordo Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.