Pueblo County, Colorado
Washington Irving Evarts

Contributed by Jean Griesan.

Washington Irving Evarts, a well-known farmer and stock-raiser residing near Beulah, Pueblo County, is a man whose successful struggle with adverse circumstances shows what can be done by industry and economy, especially if a sensible wife seconds his efforts to secure a home and competence. Born of poor parents, he was obliged to make his way in life without any of the aids which are usually considered essential to success, and on leaving his native state did not even have a coat to wear.

Mr. Evarts was born in Killingworth, Middlesex County, Conn., May 7, 1827, was educated in the common schools of that state, and there learned the blacksmith's trade at the age of sixteen years. At the age of twenty-two he went to Ohio, where he worked in his uncle's blacksmith shop for one year, and then proceeded to Wisconsin, where he assisted in putting together the iron work on the first bridge across the Wisconsin River. For twelve years he resided in that state, spending several of the winters in the pine woods, where the people would come for hundreds of miles for lumber, and he often had as high as one hundred ox-teams to shoe in one season. His next home was in Fillmore County, Minn., where he conducted a shop for three years, and then removed to Junction City, Kan., and stayed in Kansas about one and a-half years. From there he went to Missouri. For eleven years he was engaged in business in Missouri, and about twenty-three years ago came to Colorado, locating in Beulah, where he engaged in blacksmithing for eight years. At the end of that time he settled upon his present ranch, which at that time was all wild land, and he has made all of the substantial improvements now found thereon. He keeps upon his place a fine grade of stock, and in his farming operations has met with a well-deserved success. He experienced all the hardships and trials incident to pioneer life, and has had some adventures with the Indians. In early days he took one trip of several hundred miles with an ox-team, and has also visited California.

Mr. Evarts was married in 1861 to Miss Hannah Kidder, who was born in Maine, her parents having gone to Maine from Vermont, but she was reared in New York state. Her father was a farmer of the Green Mountain state, where in early days his mother had to fight the Indians while her husband was fighting for the freedom of the colonies in the Revolutionary war. Mrs. Evarts deserves great credit for the part she has taken in improving the farm. With the money she earned as nurse in Pueblo she bought stock for the place, and paid for many improvements upon the same. She has ever been a great worker, and is a most excellent woman, highly esteemed by all who know her. Mr. and Mrs. Evarts have a family of five children, as follows: W. I., who is married and lives in Silverton, Colo.; Oliver Leonard, at home; Mary, wife of Albert Wilford, who lives near our subject; Capitola, wife of James Berg, a farmer, stock-raiser and owner of a sawmill; and Jennette, wife of Calvin Hercules. They have lost one son, Bert, who died at the age of fourteen years. They also have fourteen grandchildren, who delight to visit at the home of their grandparents.

Politically Mr. Evarts is an ardent supporter of the Republican party, and has ever taken quite an active and prominent part in local politics. He has served as constable and justice of the peace for some time, and has ever been found true to every trust reposed in him. He is a great temperance worker, and has been a member of the Sons of Temperance, the Good Templars and the Recobite Society.

Extracted from "Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado," published by Chapman Publishing Company in Chicago in 1899.

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