The following biographical sketch is adapted from
the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 3, p.627
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.
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
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.
Gentlereaders wishing more information on Elder Evans are invited to visit The Bishop David Evans Family Association web site. It contains a more complete biography, timeline, descendants, ancestors, and information about the association.
History of the Church, Multiple citations; see index
LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 3, p.627
The Bishop David Evans Family Association web site