Family History of Eli Joseph EVANS
The following family history was in the papers of the late Di Ann VICK. It was written by Eli Joseph EVANS7 (Lucinda6, Little Berry (or Littleberry) “Berry”5, Joshua4, William3, Richard2, Joseph1).
SMITHVILLE DEKALB COUNTY TENN.
August 11th, 1931
I, Eli Joseph Evans Son of John G. and Lucinda Vick Evans, was borned in Liberty, Tenn., on the 11th, day of December 1850. I am now browing (sic) old and the infirmities of my body are such cousing (sic) me to be more feeble, and as I am the only one left of six children of my Father and Mother and the oldest Evans now living in the country, so I will leave with you my parentage as far back as I can remember from my Grandparents to the present time. I knew and associated with all of my grandparents children, Vick &nEvan's (sic) and knew who each one married and what they all Idi (sic) for a living, all of these have long passed away, in giving you this I will not be able to give birth's and death's as I have not the records before me.
My Grandfather Joseph Evans married Sallie Griffith, they lived and died on a farm about one mile north east of Dowelltown, Tenn. I have been unable to find what cemetary (sic) they were put away in, to then (sic) was borned six children, three boys and three girls, the oldest was Auriler, there was Louisian, Paralee, John G. William and Lemual Evans.
Auriler married Marlon Bratton of Liberty, Tenn., Louisian married John Barr, these two families moved to Illinois when I was very small and I know nothing further of them nor their children, they were farmers, Paralee married Fox Frazier, whe (sic) was the youngest child and was living with her widowed mother when she married, her father died several years before her marriage, so Paralee and Fox Frazier bought the old home place.
My Grandmother Evans was a la ge (sic) woman weighed some 200 lbs. Aunt Paralee found her dead in bed one morning just as she ususally (sic) slept, on her retiring that night she was as well as usual (sic). Us children always called her Big Granny, and Grandmother Vick was small and we called her Little Granny, (sic) Big Granny smoked a stone pipe with a cane ste, (sic). when (sic) we heard of her coming to stay a while with us we got busy and got up quite a bit of smoking tobacco for her.
My Uncle Lemual Evans married a Kersey at Short Mountain, Tenn. and to them was borned three children, twin boys, one named Johnand (sic) the other Joseph and one girl named Sarah, I think they have all passed away, Uncle Lem sold goods and made saddles and Horse (sic) collars.
Uncle William Evans married Paralee Clark at Liberty, she was a daughter of Joseph Clark's and to them was borned three children, Josheph (sic), Robert and Sarah, I think they have all passed away. Uncle William married the second time after the death of Aunt Paralee, to a Miss Neal and to them was borned three or four children, I don't know the names of these children or their where abouts (sic).
My father John G. Evans was borned 1January (sic) 5th, 1919, died April 18th, 1889. he married Lucinda Vick near Liberty, Tenn., Daughter (sic) of Little Berry and Roada (sic) Vick. I can't give the date of marriage as the family Bible with the dates of marriage, death and birth's (sic) is lost, but to this union was borned four boys and two girls. Arteley Tennessee, was the first borned, February 10th, and died May 12th, 1917. William Lafayette was borned August 30th, 1847, and died May 6th. 1929. Eli Joseph was borned December 11th, I85O, and Auriler was borned August 21st. I852, died December 26th, I9OO. Thomas Berry was borned April 24th, 1859, died November 7th, I9I0. Lumual Evans was borned September 5th, I861, died April 5th. I879. He was the youngest child never married, he got over-heat in a hay field took Typhoid fever. He was fleshy unusually so to (sic) his age, he was the first one of our family to go away, he was a bright happy boy.
William Lafeyette was the eldest boy, he married Sarah Pistole, near Temperance Hall, Tenn. His wife's mother was a widow woman when they married they lived in the house with her mother and a fter (sic) her death Will and wife bought the farm where he lived and died. His widow is still living, (corrected as of November 1943. Sarah Pistole Evans having passed away) (sic) To them was borned three children, tow (sic) girls and one boy, Nettie was the first borned, she married a man lived in Oklahoma, no children to this union, they still live in Oklahoma. Buna married John Reynolds a farmer near Temperance Hall, Tenn. to them was borned some four or five children, this is real bright family and prosperous, Buna is a real mother, she loves her children and they obey and love her. (She inserted page for up to date record of) Buster the only boy married a Caplinger and they have one child a boy, he bought Bro. Will"s home place and lives on it, Buster is one of those positive character (sic), and you can depend upon all he says and he expects the same of you.
Brother Will and I were old chims (sic), went to school together slept together, our dispositios (sic) were not just the same, I liked to play pranks to laugh at, he was always positive and would command me, he would not tell a story to keep me from getting a whipping still he loved me, he always seemed not to be healthy as I was still as you see he has lived longer than any of the children, he was not a large man he was a full type of a Vick as you will see he was nearing his 82nd, year when he went away, I was present when he passed away, he passed just as he lived so gentle and seemed easy. He has gone to be with our family that has passed over the river.
I will now speak of Bro. Tom as B, he was borned April 24th, I859, went away November 7th, 1910, he first married Miss, Fannie Winnard of Smithville, to them was borned four boys, Hascal the oldest, Howard, Morton and Ernest the boys grew up to manhood. Hascal went to Chattanooga to get work and married over there, the other three boys also went over there several years ago, Hascal died a few years ago he left his wife and two girls, they have since married and seem to be doing well. To go back to Bro. Tom he married the second time to a widow tracy (sic) in Smithville, Tenn. he passed away in a few years after his last marriage, Bro. Tom was another tupe (sic) of the Vick's mother's side small and very quiet and gentle character disposition more like our father.
My sister Aurilar follwed (sic) me she was borned in I852, she married Son Williams near Dowelltown, Tenn., to this union there were no children (sic), her husband was a shoe drummer, neither one of them lived long went away early, her husband died from enlarged liver, sister went away at 48 years of age she was always gentle and kind to everyone coming in her presence, she was more of the Evans type nice size and unusual mind, she loved her people she really worshipped mother after father went away, as said before she had no children of her own.
I will now speak of the first borned sister, Ten as she was called by all who knew her, she was fleshy of the Evans type the Vicks were more on the small order, in her childhood she was cheerful and happy, was sunshine to all around her, when she grew up to womanhood with a family this fine disposition never left her all that knew her both white and black loved Aunt Ten as she was called. If she had any trouble which we all have no one knew it she was an unusual character.
Our father taken sick in her home and passed away at Liberty, Tenn., in 1889, my mother also spent her last dyas (sic) in her home in Smithville Tenn., July 7th, I908. (sic) of which I will say more later on, it is wonderful to think when the end comes to pass away one can be in the tender care as sister Tennessee, she married Napoleon Woodsides in Liberty, Tenn. and to this union was borned several children, the ones now living two boys and two girls, Etta, Willie and Edgar, these three live in Smithville, and Fred lived in Texas, (sic) Edgar married Miss, Emma Bond a daughter of Pomp Bond In Smithville, Tenn., to them was borned two girls one of which is married and other single.
Willie first married a son of T. W. Wade of Smithville, Earl Wade and to them was borned a son Earl Wade Jr. who is now living with his mother, his father died soon after Earl was borned, (sic) Willie then married Euguen (sic) Hendon the editor of the Smithville Review and to them was borned three girls, the oldest Mildred is now a teacher in the college at Smithville, Tenn., (sic) Mamie the next oldest is now in the female college in Mufreesboro (sic), Tenn., the youngest is at home in school at Smithville High School.
Fred married Miss. Fannie Lee and to them was borned some four children they moved to Texas several years ago and I hear they are doing well, Etta has never married, she Is strong and healthy full of life and fun, she reminds me of her mother more than any of the children, she loves her people.
I will now tell you of Napoleon Woodsides the people called him Uncle Pole he was a miller of the first class run roller mills, run the first one that came to Liberty before the Civil War, and his last work was to run a 50-barrel mill for me called Smithville roller Mill, under his milling we sold all the flour used in this country and exchanged flour for wheat, he was a fine judge of whaat (sic) he had so much experience, he lived several years after sister Tennessee went away, he was in the war between the states he was on the Federal side and First Leutenant (sic) in Colonel Stokes Regiment, said to have made a good soldier, he was in this war about three years.
I will now tell you about our good father I say good there was no better, he was kind, gentle and considerate with all he came in contact with, was not a great talker as some men, I have seen men congregate and get up arguments about policies or scripture or
anything and if father was in their presence you would see him leave the crowd, I have heard said by their neighbors father's brothers and sisters were all kind to each other unusally (sic) this way in their home while being raised up. Father was a carpenter and first class to do the finest of work, his advice and example to us children was so impressive h e (sic) would say if you can't speak well of any one (sic) don't say anything. I never heard him speak hard of anyone, I never heard him use cuse (sic) words, he was a Mason, and he never belonged tt (sic) any Church he was a Baptist in belief, his mother was a Methodist and all of her folks the Vicks were. When the states had so much talk about separating the slave and free states in 1860 & 61, he voted no separation following this was a four years bloody war, (sic) Father was exempt from this wasr (sic) ye (sic) was too old, all kind of business was stopped so my father swapped two houses and lots in Liberty, for a 100-acre farm on Dry Creek with this we could make a living and he owned this until his death. Father was county Register at his death 1889, he liked 15-months serving his four year term for which he was elected by the county. Some what strange he went to be with his brother William in his last sickness and after putting his brother away in Salem Cemetery (sic) he was taken sick at Sister Tennessee's in Liberty and grew worse and worse until the end came, and this was the last of that good family on this earth to meet in the great Beyond of which I am pround (sic) I am a part of, yes that meeting will be a great meeting where all good people go, no more trouble, no separation, this is grand to think about.
I have told you as far back as I know of my Father's people the Evans family, I will now give you information I have much further than I have told you, I have on hand a letter of inquiry which I here give you.
Editor’s note: To be continued