Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


OWEN M. EVANS. There are not many Vermonters in Greene county, notwithstanding the fact that this New England state is one of the oldest in the American Union, and has been sending her population westward for over a century to help build up and develop the newer sections of our country. They have the record of being good citizens wherever they have located, being industrious, intelligent and law-abiding, for the most part. Owen M. Evans, chief engineer at the Springfield Wagon Works, and one of Greene county's honored citizens, is such a man.

Mr. Evans was born in Castleton, Rutland county, Vermont, December 27, 1862. He is a son of Moses Evans, a native of Wales, the little rugged country where all the numerous family of Evanses originated. There he grew to manhood and from there emigrated to the United States in the fifties, locating at once in the famous Vermont quarry district. He engaged in prospecting and got out roofing slate for himself, owning and operating slate quarries at Castleton. His death occurred in 1897, at the age of sixty-five years, and he was buried at Fair Haven, Vermont. Before leaving Wales he joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and was for many years active in church work. Politically, he was a Republican. His wife, who was known in her maidenhood as Jane Williams, was also a native of Wales, where she spent her early childhood, emigrating to America when thirteen years of age, and lived with her brother in Vermont until her marriage. Her mother died some time before she left her native land. She was a daughter of Owen Williams and wife. She died in 1910 at the age of seventy-two years and is buried at Fair Haven, Vermont. To Moses and Jane Evans thirteen children were born, named as follow: Annie married William Peck, a carpenter and contractor at Stamford, Connecticut, where they still reside; Owen M., of this sketch; John is engaged in farming in Pennsylvania; Laura married William Owens and they live in New York City; Jane, widow of John Tackebury, lives in New Rochelle, New York; William is engaged in the grocery business in New York City; Moses is engaged in the bakery and confectionery business in West End, New Jersey; Elizabeth has remained single and is engaged as bookkeeper for the Bell Telephone Company at New Rochelle, New York; Margaret, widow of Llew Perry, lives in New York City; Katie, who lives in Florida, is a twin sister of Nellie, who married Harry Owens, a slate operator at Poultney, Vermont; Winifred is unmarried and makes her home at New Rochelle, New York.

The paternal grandfather of the above named children, whose name was Owen Evans, was a native of Wales, where he spent his entire life; he was a slate Operator, and this business has been the principal vocation of many of his descendants.

Owen M. Evans, of this sketch, grew to manhood in his native state, and there attended the common schools, and when twelve years of age he went to work cutting stone, continuing for three years, then worked as a farm hand in that community for three years, after which we find him operating pumps and engines at the slate quarries at Castleton, subsequently working as engineer for the Castleton Milling Company, holding this position one year. Leaving Vermont when twenty-eight years of age, in 1890, he came to Springfield, Missouri, and soon thereafter secured employment with the Dunlap Construction Company, later worked for the Metropolitan Street Railway Company, then was trimmer and lineman for the Springfield Lighting Company. In March, 1893, he was employed by the Metropolitan Electric Railway as chief electrician at the power house, and he held this position until the spring of 1900, when he went with the Springfield Brewing Company as chief engineer, leaving there in July, 1901, and began working as night engineer for the Springfield Ice and Refrigerator Company. In November of that year he went with the Springfield Wagon Company as chief engineer, which position he has continued to fill to the present time giving his usual satisfactory and faithful service. When he began with the last named firm, steam was used throughout the plant, but Mr. Evans devoted his spare time for years to the study of electricity and has become a capable and thorough electrician, and, at his solicitation, the company installed an electric power plant in 1914. In January, 1913, Mr. Evans was promoted to the position of assistant superintendent, the duties of which he ably discharged for a period of two years, but finding the work too engrossing, he resigned, preferring the position of chief engineer. He has been in the employ of the Springfield Wagon Works thirteen years.

Mr. Evans was first married in 1886, to Annie Fox, a daughter of Henry and Margaret Fox. Her death occurred in 1909, at the age of forty-six years. This union was without issue: In 1911 Mr. Evans married Millie Grantham, widow of Howard M. Grantham. This union has also been without issue.

Mr. Evans is a member of the National Association of Steam Engineers, in which he has long been active and influential; in fact, he has the honor of being known as the founder of this new important and widely known association, of which he has for some time been president. He belongs to the Masonic order, including the Knights Templars. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Woodmen of the World, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias Sisters, the Order of the Eastern Star and the Royal Neighbors. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and politically is a Republican. He is chairman of the board of stationary engineer examiners. He was twice elected city councilman from the Sixth ward and served two terms of four years in this capacity. He is known as the father of the Concrete Paving Company, of Springfield. He is devoted to the work of city progress, and he was one of the prime factors in starting the movement that led to the paving of our streets. He has always been conservative in the expenditure of the city's money; in fact, has done much for the general and permanent good of Springfield in many ways, and in all the positions of trust which he has occupied he has proven himself to be most capable, energetic, honest and trustworthy, meriting the esteem in which he is universally held, and he ranks with the most representative and useful of our citizens.

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