Genealogy is one of my interests. Although Johnny didn't share that particular interest, he accompanied me to court houses in a number of states, old cemeteries, and genealogical societies in search of my ancestors.
These are my paternal great grandparents. Willis Franklin Evans was born February 21, 1856 in Ohio and he was the oldest son of George W. Evans and Lavina Mackey who were pioneer settlers on this vicinity. He married Emma Winters in 1881. Emma was the daughter of George Winters and Mary Ann Stenger. In 1883 Willis and Emma traveled from Illinois to Blue Hill, Nebraska in a covered wagon. They had a few children in Nebraska then came back to the old home place in 1895. On their way back Willis, Jr. fell out of the wagon and his sister Lona saw him and got him back into the wagon. They had 12 children. Willis died on July 19, 1928. Emma died on December 28, 1935.
About 30 years ago I found this photo of Willis Franklin and Emma Winters Evans among some old pictures of my grandmother's. I knew that they were farmers and thought that they looked like a very hard working couple. I also thought that their clothes hinted of poverty.
Imagine my surprise when a second cousin shared this photo with me. It was then that I learned that much care and planning was involved during those days when having formal portraits taken. In this formal portrait, they appear to be a prosperous couple.
My grandfather, Edward Charles Evans, was the oldest son of Willis and Emma. He was born June 6, 1887 in Blue Hill, Nebraska. He worked as a superintendent for Tower Products Company in Chicago, IL. On September 24, 1925 he suffered injuries at work when something weighing 700 pounds fell on him. He died on Sunday morning, February 14, 1926 in West Side Hospital from toxemia due to fracture of the spine when he was injured. My father was only nine years old at the time of his father's death.
As my sister and I never knew any of our father's family, we are hoping to travel to Illinois and meet some of our father's relatives.