1843 – Obituary of Jesse Evans

[as published in the Western Christian Advocate, Vol. X, No. 25, Cincinnati: J.F. Wright and L. Swormstedt for the Methodist Episcopal Church, publishers (Oct. 6, 1843), p. 4 (image from the copy in the Archives/Library of the Ohio Historical Society)]

Obituary of Jesse Evans in Oct. 6, 1843 issue of the Western Christian Advocate

Obituary of Jesse Evans in Oct. 6, 1843 issue of the Western Christian Advocate

Major Evans was born in Maryland about the year 1755, (record lost;) removed when young, with his father, to South Carolina, and again to western Virginia, when about twenty years of age. He was commissioned in G.R. Clarke’s Illinois regiment in the year 1778, and served as captain during the remainder of the war. He remained for sometime after the close of the war in western Virginia, where, among other trusts confided to him, he more than once served as a member of the Legislature. He removed to Missouri and located himself at Cotesandes Seine [Cote Sans Dessein], in an early day of the settling of the state; and only removed from there to the opposite side of the Missouri river, where, in his own log cabin, on the 28th of July 1843, he died in peace. For sociability, charitableness, and genuine love of country, Major Evans was rarely, if at all, surpassed. His amiableness of disposition, and firmness of principle, secured him confidence and friends wherever he was known. As a pioneer and soldier, he endured and suffered much. It is true, much of Major Evans’ life was spent without due attention to the great interests of the soul; and the exact time when he did effectively commence this great work, I am not prepared to state. It is not quite three years since he professed to find “peace with God,” and as far as I could learn the work seems to have been gradual. He told me himself, he had been praying to his God for several years. His steady devotion to Christ, was the best evidence of the genuineness and depth of the work of grace in his soul. He had a certain spot on a hill near his dwelling, to which he resorted for private prayer as long as he was able to walk. There, he told me himself, he had often sweet communion with his God. Indeed, with him, the privilege of praying seemed specially esteemed. And I always observed that when prayer was to be attended to in the family, he was particularly desirious to have all the servants come in. I have often heard him repeat two or three times, “Tell them all to come in.” and no man ever died more lamented by his servants than he: three he left free. Father Evans was remarkably fond of religious company; and in his house Methodist preachers always found a welcome home and a hearty friend. He was indeed liberal in the support of the Gospel. He had a steady and abiding aversion to idleness and intemperance, and often advanced useful and impressive remarks in relation to both. With many parts of the Scripture he seemed to be quite familiar. I have heard him repeat the instructions, promises and threatenings of the Bible, with a connectedness and accuracy truly astonishing for his age. In what part of his life he learned them, I am not prepared to say. As illustrative of his devotion to Christ permit me to relate an occurrence. For sometime before his death he was unable to walk much, or to rise at all from his knees. The last time I preached there, we requested him, as he was so feeble, to remain on his seat during prayers. He replied in an audible voice, so that all the congregation heard him, “No, I will bow my knees before my blessed god;” and so he did, and always did, though he had to be lifted again to his seat. He had united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. His friends entertain no doubts of his happiness. He often said, “I am prepared to meet my blessed God.” His end was peace. He had his senses to the last, and died without a visible struggle. “The righteous hath hope in his death.”

Affectionately yours,
L. Waugh.
Gage [Osage] county, Mo.