JOSEPH T. EVANS. The men who have given of their energy, skill,
ambitious vigor and enthusiasm to build up a community are the benefactors
of humanity, and their names cannot be held in too high esteem. In every
undertaking there must be a logical beginning, and the man who lays the
foundations of what afterwards may become a large and flourishing city must
have the courage of his convictions and unlimited faith in the future of the
location he selects as his scene of endeavor. The late Marshall A. Evans was
a man whose keen mind and boundless enthusiasm looked far beyond the narrow
horizon of today, and easily read the signs of a dawning tomorrow. To him
belong the honor of founding Grand Tower, which for years was known as Evans
Landing. His work is accomplished, his day is ended, and all that is mortal
of him lies at rest, but the results of his planning, his sacrifice and
development live today, and will as long as civilization lasts, for he built
upon the solid foundation of merit, honesty and faith in humanity. His son,
Joseph T. Evans, today one of the leading merchants here, holds his father
in highest veneration, and he is not alone in this, for all who understand
what the place owes Mr. Evans join his descendants in honoring his memory.
Marshall A. Evans was a young man when he settled at Evans Land - the early agriculturists here, as well as attending to the needs of the boatmen, and he also engaged in shipping corn and acting as agent for the Grand Tower Mining and Transportation Company, seeking in every way to advance the community which he had founded, and becoming the owner of considerable land here. A stanch Democrat in his political views, he was elected to positions of honor and trust by his fellow townsmen, who recognized and appreciated the honesty and ability of this pioneer and made him city clerk, city attorney and assessor. In his death, which occurred in 1901, the city and county lost one of its ablest business men, and one whose entire career was marked by the strictest honor and business integrity. Mr. Evans was married to Miss Rebecca Snider, an estimable lady of Jackson county, Illinois, and they had a family of seven children, of whom Joseph T. was the fifth in order of birth. Mrs. Evans, a lady of refinement and Christian character, survived her husband only two years.
Joseph T. Evans was born at Evans Landing, November 20, 1866, and his education was secured in the public schools here. He early in life became familiar with the merchandise business, thus gaining experience that has since proven of great value to him, and he later went on the road as a traveling salesman. After spending two years as postmaster of Carbondale Mr. Evans, in 1896, returned to Grand Tower and established himself in the mercantile business, in which he has since continued. .He has inherited many of his father's business abilities, which have assisted him in building up a large trade here, and like his father he has given his allegiance to the Democratic party, although he has never sought nor cared for public office. He has always taken a great interest in anything that pertained to the welfare of this city, and has seen the little settlement that his father founded grow into one of the thriving commercial centers of Jackson county. For a number of years he has been connected with the Masons, and he has many warm friends in the lodge and throughout the city.
In 1895 Mr. Evans was married to Miss Lucy A. Spring, of Cobden, Illinois. They have had no children.
Extracted 16 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 1028-1029.
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