Friday, March 27, 2009

Willam M. Evans homeplace

I'm guessing - have no proof - that the home pictured below belonged to William M. Evans, my great-great-great grandfather. The original photograph was among the possessions of Thusie Evans Robinson, my great-grandmother. I am not even sure that the photographs are of the same house, perhaps the first one is a view from the rear of the house?

William M. Evans was one of the largest land-owners of Itawamba County, owning four thousand six hundred acres in 1891. In "Goodspeed's History of Mississippi" William is referred to as "one of the self-made, wealthy men of the county." Born in Georgia in 1818, he met and married Sarah Pearce, daughter of James Madison Woods Pearce and Elizabeth Skinner, in Paulding County. William was the son of William Evans and Sela Dunn who died in Madison County, Georgia before 1840.

Between 1845 and 1847, William and his brother, Thomas, left Georgia for Alabama and Mississippi along with their wives and their wives' families, the Claytons and Pearces. The Pearces settled in Marion County in what became Pearce's Mill although some Pearces later moved to near Mantachie in Itawamba County. William and his brother Thomas bought land in eastern Itawamba County along the border with Alabama. If you drive east along U.S. Highway 78, the interchange with Miss. Hwy. 23 is part of the original holdings of the Evans family. Thomas and his children left for Texas before 1880 although some of his descendants still live in Itawamba County and are connected to the former Evans Lumber Mill.

Interestingly, the Evans family, unlike many large land-owners of the time, owned no slaves, according to the 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules.

Sarah Pearce Evans died in 1863, probably during childbirth with her son . William, who served Itawamba County as supervisor in the 1880s, died in 1896. William and Sarah's children were: Martha Ann, b 1845, married Talmon Harbor; Elizabeth, b 1847, married James Harbor; Sela, b 1848, d 1863; John Thomas, b 1850, married Elizabeth Ann Bishop; Susan Florence, b 1852, married Henry J. Robinson; William D., b 1863, married Mary E. Unknown.

If anyone has any information about these photographs, or the Evans family, I'd love to hear from you!

1 comment:

Janice Tracy said...

Mona, don't you just love (and hate) family mysteries like this one? I am confident that you will find the answer, and I plan to continue reading your posts to see what you find!