David Evans

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David Evans, of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Bishop of Lehi, Utah county, Utah, from 1852 to 1879, was born October 27, 1804, in Cecil County, Maryland, the son of Israel and Abigail Evans. His early training in life was on the frontiers in Pennsylvania. His rugged character qualified him for the events which were to follow.

In 1826 he married Mary Beck and moved to Richland county, Ohio. Here he bought and opened up a new farm, where he lived until he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 6, 1833. On the 11th of the same month he was ordained a Priest and immediately commenced traveling and preaching, selling his farm to enable him to perform his missionary labors.

Being ordained an Elder July 21, 1833, he went with Zion's Camp from Ohio to Missouri in 1834, and received ordination to the First Quorum of Seventy under the hands of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, April 29, 1835. He attended the "School of the Prophets" in Kirtland.

During the Great Apostasy of 1837 and 1838 Elder Evans left Ohio for Missouri in charge of a company of saints, part of the Kirtland Camp. Most of those he led he had baptized himself. In Missouri he bought land and again made a home. He was with the Saints through all their persecutions in Missouri, among which was the terrible massacre at Haun's Mill. In December, 1828, he and family were compelled to flee from the State of Missouri, leaving all their property behind.

He then went to Adams county, Illinois, and commenced preaching and baptizing many. He lost his wife, after which he moved to Nauvoo and married Barbara Ann Ewell in November, 1841. In 1842 when Nauvoo was organized into Wards he was ordained Bishop of the Eleventh Ward. He remained in Nauvoo until the Saints were driven out, when he was appointed captain of a company to cross the plains, and arrived in the Valley Sept. 15, 1850.

He moved to Lehi the following February, over which place he was appointed to preside as Bishop, the duties of which he faithfully performed for twenty-eight years. He tendered his resignation on account of old age and failing health, Aug. 24, 1879.

Elder Evans located the city of Lehi and laid it off into blocks and lots with a pocket compass, tape line, and square. He was elected to the first legislature of Utah and acted for many years as a member of that body. He was colonel of militia, served as major of the Lehi Military District several terms and was mayor of Lehi city three terms.

He married Climena Gibson in 1854, Rebecca Coleman in 1856, and Christina Holm in 1861, was the father of forty-one children and a good provider for all his family.

His death occurred June 23, 1883, and the following day a special train was dispatched from Salt Lake City, which brought President Wilford Woodruff, Bishop Edward Hunter and several other leading men to attend the funeral. The cortege to the cemetery was the largest ever formed in Lehi, 115 vehicles being in line. Bishop Evans was remarkable for his great industry, frugality and charity to the poor, his public spiritness and broad self-acquired education.