Who Are the Children

Do you have any family units that seem to have extra children? That’s my situation with the family of my potential double cousins: Henry Evans and his wife Mary Elizabeth Thompson. My RootsMagic file has nine children in the family.

  • Jacob A. Evans (1851-1943)
  • Matilda Evans (1853-1920)
  • Viola E Evans (1855-1921)
  • James M Evans (1858-1935)
  • Dora C. Evans (1860-1908)
  • John F. Evans (1862-1936)
  • Frank W. Evans (1863-1909)
  • Isaac Edward C. Evans (1865-1943)
  • Lillie Belle Evans (1867-1939)

As I’m updating the research on the descendants of Henry and Mary, I’m finding disagreement about the children in the family. The FamilySearch site doesn’t list Dora. However, if I go back to the 1870 census record for the family, all nine children are listed.

Henry Evans was shown on the 1870 census in Adams county, Iowa. His household included Mary E, a 36 year old female; Jacob A, a 19 year old male, Matilda E, a 16 year old female, Viola, a 14 year old female, James M, a 12 year old male, Endora, a 10 year old female, John, an 8 year old male, Francis W, a 7 year old male, Isaac E, a 5 year old male and Lena Belle a 2 year old female. All of the children were born in Iowa.

1870 U.S. Census, Adams County, Iowa, population schedule, Washington Township, Adams County, Iowa, page 2, Image 2 of 14, family 8, Henry H Evans; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2018)

Then, an obituary for Henry Evans in the Loup Valley Queen doesn’t name the children but says he left six children.

Henry Evans
On Thursday night, July 8th, occurred the death of Henry Evans, on Spring creek a few miles north of this city.
Mr. Evans was born in Warrick county, Indiana, and lived to the ripe old age of 81 years, and was up to the time of his death, quite hale, however he had been bothered with paralysis, which disease caused his death on the date mentioned above.
On August 22, 1850, he was married to Mary Thompson, at Ottumwa, Iowa, and for 59 years these people have fought life’s battle side by side, reared a family which stands as high as the highest in the estimation of the good people of this country, and through their efforts, they were able to accumulate a goodly store of this world’s blessings.
Deceased leaves a wife and six children to mourn his departure, and his friends are so numerous as to make it necessary to say that they are numbered by those with whom he met.
Funeral services were held at the home on Friday, July 9th at 3 o’clock p.m., ably conducted by Rev. J. W. Seabrooke, of the Callaway M.E. church, after which the remains were tenderly borne to their last resting place in the beautiful Fairview cemetery.
Through these columns we wish to extend the heartfelt sympathy of friends and neighbors to those who have been left behind to mourn the loss of a loved one.
Card of Thanks
To those friends and neighbors who were so kind we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks for their valued services during the sickness of our beloved husband and father. May they be rewarded with blessings extended from a higher hand than any upon this earth.
Mary Evans and family

“Henry Evans,” The Loup Valley Queen (Callaway, Nebraska), 15 July 1909, page 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 March 2023).

That’s six children instead of nine. Since Dora Evans Sloan died in 1908 prior to Henry Evans, that might account for one discrepancy. Another child, Frank Evans, was murdered in January prior to his father’s death. While mention of Frank’s murder is scattered throughout quite a few newspapers, the article published in The Deming Headlight on January 8, 1909, gives details of the crime.

Frank Evans Murdered
Well Known Stockman Cruelly Struck Down

One of the most deplorable cases that The Graphic has had occasion to chronicle for a long time is the killing of one of our most influential cattlemen, Frank Evans, which took place in “the Jog” some eighty miles southwest of Deming, between two and three o’clock New Years morning.
About eight-thirty a.m. on January 1st Dr. Swope received a telegram to come at once to Hermanas as Frank Evans is badly hurt. In less than an hour with Frank Nordhaus driving his big auto they were whirling away to the relief of the wounded man.
Mr. Evans, accompanied by his assistants, Edward Cohen, S. Billingslea and Jim Kennedy, were moving a herd of some four-hundred range cattle to a new range recently secured in the extreme southwestern part of the territory. They had reached a point some fifteen miles below the international boundary line fence and there camped for the night. Mr. Evans and his principal assistant, Eddie Cohen, retired in the same bunk after a hearty supper, Kennedy and Billingslea occupying separate beds at some distance away. Both were sleeping soundly when awakened by Kennedy at two a.m., when he pulled the tarps from their heads and inquired which was on the side next to where he stood. Ed Cohen asked, “What do you want,” and Kennedy replied, “Thought I would get breakfast.” Cohen replied, “It is too early to get breakfast.” “Well,” said Kennedy, “I will make an fire and we will have plenty of coals.” Cohen then went back to sleep to be awakened some time latter by Kennedy striking Evans in the head with an ax. This he repeated twice before Cohen could spring from his bed and stop him. When confronted by Cohen Kennedy threw the ax away and in spite of the efforts of both Cohen and Billinglsea, who are both small men, he cut the rope halter and sprang upon Evans’ horse, which stood ready saddled, and rode away. With the light of a firebrand Evans’ companions examined his injures. Three gaping sickening wounds showed the effects of the assassin’s blows with the pole of the ax
The boys hastily dressed and while one did all that was possible to relieve the unconscious, dying man, the other rode hastily away to summon help from a camp some two miles distant. Mr. Evans was still breathing. The amount of injury was not easy to determine in the poor light. A hasty consultation was had and Cohen rode way to summon medical assistance while Billingslea rode in the opposite direction to notify Mr. Peterson, a partner of Evans in the CCC Cattle Company, of what had happened.
Dr. Swope met Cohen at Hermanas and then learned the particulars of the homicide. Mr. Peterson reached the scene at 11 o’clock to find that Evans has expired some two hours and a half after receiving the wounds. He placed the body in a hack and started for Deming. Dr. Swope and his party met the corpse some ten miles below the international boundary. The remains were brought to Deming that night, where they were prepared for burial and later shipped to the former home of Mr. Evans in Nebraska for interment whither they were accompanied by Mr. A. Rankin, another partner of Mr. Evans.
Kennedy, after committing the foul deed, rode to Hachita, where he got breakfast. HE then walked some little distance east to a siding, where he boarded a train going east. Ed Cohen met the train at Hermanas and succeeded in detaining Kennedy until an officer could come for him.
Frank Evans has lived in the vicinity of Deming for ten or eleven years. He was a quiet unassuming man and has been eminently successful in his business. He probably did not have an enemy in the county.
James Kennedy came to Luna county some three years ago and was well known in Deming. He was rather eccentric and when under the influence of liquor was often entirely without reason. He had settled on a claim five miles south of Demin and had asked work of Evans to help him pay expenses. There was no difficulty between the men and no reason can be assigned for the foul act.
The examining trial of Kennedy was held at Hachita on the fourth, the offense having occurred in Grant county. Kennedy plead not guilty to the charge and was held to the action of the grand jury without bail and is now in jail at Silver City.
Evans was unmarried, as is Kennedy, and was about 50 years of age.
Kennedy is probably 35.

“Frank Evans Murdered,” The Deming Headlight (Deming, New Mexico), 8 January 1909, page 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed onine 25 March 2023).

Then an article about Frank Evans’ murder in The Mason City Star names his siblings.

Frank Evans Murdered
Former Custer County Citizen Meets Death in New Mexico
Frank Evans, a former resident of Custer county, was murdered near El Paso, Texas on New Year’s day and the remains were shipped to Callaway, arriving there on Wednesday and were buried on Thursday of this week.
This murder is without question is one of the most dastardly crimes on record, and the particulars as we are able to learn them are substantially as follows:
Mr. Evans is a man forty two years old and for a number of years has been interested with Wright Rankin also of this county in the cattle business at Deming, New Mexico. A short time ago another range was secured for their cattle and at the time the crime was committed, Mr. Evans was engaged in moving the cattle from the old range to the new one. After proceeding about sixty miles with the stock the cattle were left in charge of a man named Canada, who was a neighbor of Messers. Rankin and Evans and was taken along as cook. He was to look after the cattle that night and in case any thing went wrong, was to awaken the members of the party who were sleeping. During the early hours of New Year’s morning, Canada secured an ax and split open the head of Frank Evans while he was asleep, killing him instantly.
Canada then took Evan’s horse and endeavored to get away but was captured after he had gone about ten miles and is now in jail awaiting trial.
Wright Ranking accompanied the body of Evans to Callaway and he was buried on Thursday afternoon of this week. Frank Evans was known as a peaceable, quiet citizen, both in this county and in New Mexico. He leaves a father, mother, three brothers and three sisters in this county. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Evans, and brothers, Jake, John and Ed and sister, Mrs. J.J. Stivers, all reside near Callaway. His other two sisters Mrs. Jesse Gandy resides in Broken Bow and Mrs. John Price near this city. His parents are upwards of eighty years of age.
— Custer County Chief

“Frank Evans Murdered,” The Mason City Star (Mason City, NE), 15 January 1909, page 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 26 March 2023).

So comparing the 1870 census record to The Mason City Star article reveals the following.

1870 CensusFrank Evans MurderedNotes
Jacob AJake
Matilda EMrs. Jesse GandyMarried Jesse Gandy
ViolaMrs. J. J. StiversMarried John J Stivers
James M
EndoraMarried Silas Doan / died 1908
Francis Wmurdered Jan 1909
Isaac EEd
Lena BelleMrs. John PriceMarried John Huston Price

Based on this analysis, it appears that James M. Evans likely died prior to his father’s death in 1909. Further research will be needed to learn more about James Evans.

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