Sunday, June 7, 2009

John Thomas Evans

John Thomas Evans
April 2, 1850 - December 15, 1929

Death of Mr. John Evans
Itawamba County Times

Mr. John T. Evans, who had lived for many years about two miles south of Tremont, died Sunday night. Mr. Evans had been in feeble health for the past several years, and down about helpless for about three weeks before death relieved him of his sufferings.

He was an old respected citizen of that section and when we first formed his acquaintance nearly thirty years ago. He was honest and firm in his convictions, and did not hesitate to state his position on any subject when questioned. He and Dr. J. M. Walker and others of the age of men who lived back some twenty-five years ago were great friends. We are sorry to learn of his death.

The body was laid to rest in the Asbury Cemetery, near where he had lived and labored so long. Of his immediate family, his wife, one son and one daughter survive him, the other children having married and moved off from the home. He was a faithful member of the Methodist Church, and the preacher always had a hearty welcome at his home. Such men will be missed when they are gone, and we wish the world was filled up with characters such as we always took Mr. John Evans to be.

John Thomas Evans is buried in Asbury Cemetery, but this is the cemetery of the old Asbury Methodist Church, not the present one. The former church burned sometime after 1900, and a new church was built at its present location on Highway 23 south of Tremont. The old cemetery is now on private land, not accessible by car but only by foot. When I was there earlier this year, some kind person or persons had cleared out the abandoned cemetery. The cemetery is also known as the Gilmore-Evans Cemetery or Old Asbury.

John was the son of William M. Evans and Sarah Pearce, and he was married to Elizabeth Ann Bishop of the Bexar community.

According to his grandson, Lawson Robinson, John T. Evans sang "Oh, Happy Day" and "Nearer My God to Thee" on his deathbed and is said to have prayed the following prayer: "Lord, draw near and take me into Thy possession." Lawson was the oldest grandchild of John T. Evans and was a Methodist minister, of which John was quite proud being the stout Methodist he was.

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