John S. Evans biography

The ginning industry of Crafton, Wise county, is conducted by the firm of Hunt & Evans, of whom the latter is the subject of this personal notice. He was born in Itawamba county, Mississippi, April 23, 1861, a son of a farmer, Andrew J. Evans, who was born in Columbia county, South Carolina, in 1833. The latter grew up there and passed his early manhood as an overseer. Prior to the rebellion he moved west to Mississippi and served in the Confederate army from that state. Henry L. Evans was his father and farming constituted his vocation also. He passed the last years of his life and died in Mississippi in 1885. For his life companion Andrew J. Evans chose Frances, a daughter of Henry Lessel. Mrs. Evans was born in South Carolina in 1835, and is still living, a resident of Wise county, but her husband passed away in December, 1885.

Eight children resulted from the marriage of Andrew J. and Frances Evans, as follows: Tennie, wife of W. Milholland, of Wise county; Martha, who married V. W. Cowart and resides in Johnson county; John S., our subject; James, of Cheyenne, Oklahoma; Simson, of Wise county; William, of Davidson, Oklahoma; David, of Wise county; and George, who makes Scurry county, Texas, his home.

At about fifteen years of age John S. Evans accompanied his parents to Texas. His was a country life in youth and the district school was responsible for his limited education. When he started out for himself, after attaining his majority, he rented land four miles north of Crafton and began its cultivation with a tem for which he owed the purchase money. He continued farming with some degree of success until 1891, when he met an opportunity to go into the gin business, and he arranged for a half interest in the old Prugle gin. The four years he was interested in this plant he made some financial progress in the plant he made some financial progress and then sold his interest and put the “Red Gin,” on the Rock Island Railroad east of Crafton, in company with Lewis Combs and Kendrick. With this plant and firm he was associated profitably for five years and then disposed of his interest and bought he Crafton gin of R. L. Madden and took in Mr. Hunt as a partner. The plant has a value of five thousand dollars, is equipped with four seventy-saw stands, with a capacity of thirty bales a day, and during the season of 1904 eleven hundred bales of cotton passed out of their property.

August 18, 1886, John S. Evans and Miss Maggie Skaggs were united in marriage in Wise county. Mrs. Evans was a daughter of Berry Skaggs and Susan (Best) Skaggs, who came to Texas from Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Skaggs live at Gainesville, Cooke county, and are the parents of: Mrs. Evans, born November 18, 1870; David, deceased; Mollie, who is unmarried and resides in Wise county; Lonnie, of Gainesville; Hattie, wife of Ed Riley of Paradise, and Retta, of Gainesville, Texas.

Mr. and Mrs. Evans’ children are four in number, namely: Jessie, Agnes, Gladys and Dallas. Mr. Evans maintains his political interests with the Democrats, but has not ambition for a public office. He believes in the efficacy of religion and has brought up his family in the doctrines of the Christian church.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 458.