History of Robert James Evans
Colaborador: GwenythFuller Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Robert James Evans was born on July 2, 1881, at Lehi, Utah County, Utah, to Abel John and Louisa Emmeline Zimmerman Evans. He was the fifth of eleven children (three boys and eight girls) and was the youngest of the three boys of the family.
In 1888, his father, Abel John Evans, was called on a mission to Wales, leaving a wife and six children. While he was gone, Rob’s Uncle, Wm. S. Evans baptized him in the millrace of the old Mulliner's Grist Mill on his eighth birthday, July 2, 1889. He was later confirmed by George Webb.
He attended school in Lehi and loved sports, which he played very well. He ran sprints and played basketball, which activities continued into his college days.
As Rob grew older, he and his brothers would work in the sugar beet fields. They worked thinning the sugar beets in the fields on other farms to help in providing the family with the necessities of life.
Early in 1900 the General Authorities sent brethren to the wards to seek missionaries, and at a sacrament meeting held in the Lehi Ward, they called for volunteers. Rob responded along with three other boys. Following graduation from the 8th grade at the age of 18, Rob received a call to the Southern States Mission. He was ordained an Elder and received his endowments in the Salt Lake Temple, and then ordained a Seventy by Apostle John Henry Smith. Rob labored for the first 18 months in the East Kentucky Conference and then in the Florida Conference. He indicated “made many friends and baptized some very fine people into the Church.” He had many other experiences, including sleeping in the open with no bed and missing many meals during much of the time. After returning from the Southern States, he was called to serve a mission in some of the Utah mining towns.
The fall after returning from his mission Rob got a job working for the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company at the Lehi Sugar Factory where he worked the next three years while attending school at Brigham Young Academy (BYA) and Brigham Young University (BYU). The next two years Rob devoted himself to school at BYU. In addition to his studies, he was active in athletics, debate, the school paper, and he participated on a committee to raised money for the purchase of the original campus site of the university on College Hill. In the spring of 1907, Rob graduated from the Brigham Young University with a normal diploma and received a state certificate to teach.
While at BYU he also met his eternal companion, Alice Hazel Stallings of Salt Lake City, Utah,. On August 21, 1907 they were married in the Salt Lake Temple.
In the fall of 1907, Rob and Hazel entered the Utah State Agricultural College (AC) at Logan, Utah, where Rob majored in Agronomy while Hazel took a few classes. While at the AC, Rob again competed in basketball. During their senior year at the AC, their first son, Robert John Evans, was born. On May 25th, he received his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture.
In the fall of 1909, Rob, Hazel, and 6-month old Robert left Utah by train for Ithaca, New York.
Rob entered Cornell University majoring in Plant Breeding with his research in the area of using artificial means in forcing plants to vary. He was elected to the national honor scientific society, Sigma Xi, in the Cornell Chapter and in the summer received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Plant Breeding and a minor in Plant Physiology and in Farm Management.
Following graduation he was appointed to the staff of the Utah Experiment Station and later as the county agent Leader and then as Extension Director. During the time two more children were born, Joseph Stallings Evans and Ray Stallings Evans, both of which died shortly after birth. Two daughters followed, Helen and Hazel Joy Evans. Paul William Evans was born a few years later. While in Logan he taught Sunday School and served on the stake high council.
In 1924 he left the Extension Service, and returned to Lehi to take over the farm. They raised hay, grain, sugar beets, and sheep. They also had milk cows and horses for the farm labor. In the fall of 1924, Rob and the family moved to Ogden, Utah, where he served as the head of the Department of Agriculture and Biology at Weber College, for a year. While in Lehi he served on many farming organizations and associations on the state and local level. In 1928 he was elected to the Utah State Senate. He also served on the stake Sunday School board and on the high council.
In 1931 Rob to return to Utah State College as head of the Department of Agronomy and Soils, which position he held until he retired. He again served in the stake Sunday School and on the high council, as well as a member of the council executive committee of the Cache Valley Council of BSA.
After retiring, the family moved back to Lehi where he kept a large garden for many years. He also substituted in seminary, continued his involvement with the Directors Crop Improvement Association and his support of Utah State University, and with his service in the Church. On Tuesday, September 5, 1967, at 2:30 pm., he passed away.