No names are more worthy to record on the pages of history than the names of those who are producers of the means of subsistence. To that class belongs Elgin Evans who, for thirty-five years, was one of the largest grain producers of Stanislaus and Merced Counties. Strong, active, intelligent and public-spirited, it is to such men as he that California owes the development of her resources.

The fifth in a family of ten children, Elgin Evans was born in Mineral Point, Wis., on May 7, 1866. His father, John Ewell Evans, a native of Ohio, was one of the pioneer California gold miners. He returned to Wisconsin and married there Margaret Jane Davis, a native of Illinois. Her father, Ephraim Davis, a native of Wales, was a trapper who came to southern Wisconsin while Chief Black Hawk held sway. He crossed the plains and was a frontiers­man in California. Grandfather and grandmother Evans were both born in Wales, and the former crossed the plains twice in the early days, but went back to Mineral Point, where he died in 1871, at the age of eighty-seven. His wife followed him at the age of eighty-three. Elgin Evans' father died when the son was six years old, and three years later his mother married J. H. Haskell. Then the family came via the Union and Central Pacific Railroads to California and settled first in Alameda County and in 1878 removed to Merced County. From that time on Elgin Evans farmed in Stanislaus and Merced Counties; the very first year he raised 30,000 sacks of grain, 23,000 of which were oats.

In 1890 Elgin Evans was married to Miss Wilhelmina Rosenquist, a native of Sweden, a dutiful wife and loyal helpmate who has borne her husband four children, as follows: Edwin Chester, who lives in Merced, married Miss Mercedes McNamara, a native of Merced County, and they have one child, Maryle Renett; Clara Ethyel became the wife of Frank Pelton Montgomery, has one child, Norine, and lives in Hollywood, Cal; Herby Elgin married Mamie Souza of Merced and has one son, 'Herby Elgin, Jr., and resides in Long Beach, Cal.; Gladys Elvira is a student in the Livingston High School. Fraternally, Mr. Evans is a member of the Masons, the Odd Fellows and the Elks lodges of Merced. In politics he is a pro­gressive Republican. He is a Methodist, while Mrs. Evans adheres to the Lutheran faith in which she was reared. Mr. Evans quit grain farming in 1923, after he had raised 23,000 sacks of barley the previous year. He lost two harvesters and a caterpillar tractor by fire; and the price of farm machinery having increased while the price of grain had decreased, he thought it was a good time to retire.


History of Merced County California With a Biographical Review OF The Leading Men and Woman of the County Who Have Been Identified with Its Growth and Development from Early Days to the Present

Author: John Outcalt (1925)

Elgin Evans,  page 777

Contributed by: Carol Lackey