JOHN CALHOUN EVANS

JOHN CALHOUN EVANS














(See Pictures and Letters)


John Calhoun, the first and only son of John Martin and Sarah Evans, oldest brother of six sisters, was born in Edgefield County, South Carolina, on February 22, 1833. The 1840 U.S. Census of the Martin Evans family notes "1 male, 5-10" years old. The 1850 census lists "John C., 17, farmer," along with his parents, aged 45 and 31, plus six sisters.


        During these years his parents were active members of Tabernacle Baptist Church,
his father's attendance noted regularly in church minutes. In 1850, when John Calhoun was 17, his father was first ordained as a deacon in the church where he would remain active until his death at age 60.







            Although John Calhoun is not recorded as joining the Salem Church as were his sisters, the first available information on him is dated in 1859 when he was
26 years old. Found in the old M.B. Evans family Bible, dated October, 1859, the document concerns pledges to support "the ministerial labors of Elder S.B. Sawyer, Orangeburg District. We believe that he should be compensated for his labors...and do promise to pay the sums affixed to our names for the year 1860." J.C. Evans signed second (amount not clear).




        S.B. Sawyer was at that time the preacher at Willow Swamp Baptist Church, the home church of the Fickling family. Florence Levicy Fickling, 7th of 11 children of a Baptist preacher, had just joined the Willow Swamp Church in August of the previous year (1858) and was baptized (apparently by Rev. Sawyer) on August 25th.


Distance again becomes an interesting fact: Willow Swamp Church was located some 80 or 90 miles from Salem Church and the home place of John Calhoun Evans. There is no record of his joining Willow Swamp, yet he was second on a list of those attempting to support the preacher at that church. Why was he interested in a church that far from home in the first place? Why was he concerned with supporting the preacher? And why was this pledge list the oldest record kept (by his wife?) after his death? As with his father ("like father, like son!"), was he drawn to the church, which in those days was also the center of social life, where the apparently vivacious Fickling' girls attended?


Although Willow Swamp Church was on record opposed to dancing, the Fickling' girls were apparently "tempted" anyway. Florence's younger sister Cornelia was later "reported for dancing" (recorded in church minutes). A month later the "case of Sister Cornelia Fickling" was brought up. She "made satisfactory acknowledgement and was forgiven." Others who did not were expelled from the church. Was Florence also "fun loving?" She was 21 at the time of John Calhoun's interest in Willow Swamp Church. We know from receipts still available that she was purchasing "homespun" material, "calico, marino, cambric, and fringe" from Orangeburg that same year, and charging it to her Uncle. On another bill she charged "11 yards of calico, 1 pair of hose, I handkerchief, 1 bonnet, hair pins, 3 yards of black silk, 2 yards of chambric silk, 1 yard of fringe, 1 pair of gauntlets, 1 red dress, and 1 pair of sissors." Also "1 pair of china vases, 1 comb and brush, 1 pair of puff combs, 12 more yards of calico, 1 pair of gaiters, 1 collar, and 1 china mug."


On yet another bill she charged a room at the Merchant's Hotel in Charleston, "2 and 3/4 days board, $4.25, passage on car to and from Charleston, $6.25; rideing on omnibus twice, $1.00; Mrs. Gamble for trimin 1 bonnet, $2.50." That same month, May, 1860, she charged from "A.F. Browning, Importer of Rich Dress Goods, Embroidery, & Negro Goods Of Every Description, 243 King St., Charleston S.C.: 1 Jar Hair Greese, 2 pair Lace Mitts, 2 pair White Cotton Hose, 1 handkerchief, 1 box soap, hooks & eyes, needles & pins, cotton cord, spool cotton, 6 yards linin tape, 4 and 1/2 yards of fur bordering, 4 yards black twill, 24 yards of calico, 9 yards Printed Brilliantes, 10 yards stripped gingham, 10 yards plain gingham, 5 yards of checkered gingham, 12 yards muslin, 1 muslin robe, 20 yards of Longcloth, 1 lace print, 1 hoop skirt, 1 spiral bustle, 1 pair cossets, and 7 yards of Coating." Total bill, $41.26, including 94 yards of material in all. Although she charged these goods to her Uncle (oldest sister's husband) who paid them for her, she later signed a note agreeing to repay him "plus interest for 4 months of $.26."


All this to note that Miss Fickling was extremely interested in clothing and dress, and quite a nervy young lady to be paying "passage on car to and from Charleston (some 100 miles from home)," plus staying in a hotel in Charleston for "2 and 3/4 days." No doubt she must have been quite attractive to this young farm boy whose mother still did not sign her name when his father died 4 years later.


The next information available on John Calhoun is from two years later, March 7, 1862, when he was in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and had already been wounded. From the "4th Div Hospital, Cheraw S.C....Private J.C. Evans, Co J, 2nd Reg. Artillery, S.C. Vols, a prisoner (? or private) of war is hereby discharged from this Hospital with permission to visit his home in Edgefield Dist. So Ca," sighed D.U. Clarke "Surgeon in Charge."


In June of that year (1862) while still in the Confederate Army, he acquired on the 28th a leather bound copy of the New Testament and Psalms (in my possession in 1993). Also in his handwriting on the front cover is this poem: May the rose of happiness/Ever blom in the/garden of thy destiny/May you never now sorrow/but may your life flow/as freely as the lilly/that grows in the/Garden of Eadon/Is the constant/wish of your friend, signed J.C. Evans. In the back is this note: May the roses of happiness/ ever bloom in the garden/of thy destiny, signed, Your Cousin, Mittie Corley.


John Calhoun Evans' continuing interest in Florence Fickling is confirmed in 1864 by a valentine he sent to her on February 14, from Fort Johnson, S.C. Included with the valentine is this handwritten poem: To Miss Florence: It is not that my lot is low/ That bids this silent tear to flow/ It is not grief that bids me moan/ It is that I am all alone. The autumn leaf is dear? and dead/ It floats upon the waters bed/ I would not be a leaf to die/ Without recording Sorrow's Sigh. The woods and winds with sudden wail/ Tell all the same unvaried tale/ I've none to Smile, when I am free/ Or when I sigh, to sigh with me. Yet in my dreams, a form I view/ That thinks on me, and loves me too/ I start - and when the vision's flown/ I weep, that I am all alone. Signed, Respectfully your  Devoted Valentine...P.S. Please write soon and oblige your famly.


Another poem undated but kept with the valentine: May your life flow as free as the lilly that grows in the garden of Eadon/ And may you never know sorrow but may  sweet joys and pleasant dreams Ever hover over thy brow is the wish of J.C./ Fair the Well/ (I had to borry ink to back my letter.


Florence Fickling received this letter dated Sept. 8, 1864, from James Island, Batry Zero: Excerpts: James Island is a dull place but not with standing I prefer it before going to  Virginia. I am sorry to see that so many of our brave boys have fallen in those last fights but alas it is nothing more than we can expect at a time of war like the present. What a sad but glorious cause. I think the cause worth the sacrifice....I feel pretty surtan that the war will close in the course of 6 months more....it is getting so very fashionable to be marrying at this time but do not expect I  could stand any hand as I have been away so long and got so far behind hand with the Girls and expect soon to hear of you and Miss Lizzie being going to marry, but if so you must  be shure and ask me to your weding and will come home if I  haf to run the Block....the Yanks continue shell the City of Sumpter and our difenst works but little affect. Sumpter is Steel a living Monument to the world with her Banners flying  in defyance to the Vandals although these months She has had  living streams of fire poured up on her walls....Yours as Ever Lovingly, Fair the Well.


An October 8, 1864, letter to Miss Florence: Excerpts: ...I received yours of the 18.

You can not imagine the pleasure that It afforded me on the reception...On yesterday we last a man. It was Sam Lee. He dide of brain affection dide in Horsepittle on the Island. Also we lost another member last Week. It was John Marchant he was detached in  citty and dide with yellow fever. his wife also di'd a few  hours before he did. the fever is verry bad over thare. I  heard Col. Fedrick say that 9 out of 10 dies that takes it.  ...We are all stopt from going over to citty not Even our Mail Boy not allowd to go. the mail is sent over to us.... We have no news on the Island. It is one of the dullest places I ever saw. I wod of been so glad to been at the Association but could not make the trip without running away and I do not approve of that. you must tell me all  about it and if you say my Sweetheart thare and whose the next wedding is going to bee as it is fassionable it looks  like all the Girls will marry before the War closes. You must be shure and give me a tickett to your wedding. I think I wold run the Block under such surcumstances...To day we are going to bee reviewed by General Hardee...every fellow is flying around preparing...I am lisning for good news from Generl Hood...he has gone to the ? of Shurman and taken the  Rail Road. I think the war will End some time next year and If we are every whipt we will whip our Selves by the men staying out of Survis. I do not know if you can read this my ink is so bad. I must close wright soon, yours truly. I will commit your letters to the flames to rest in ashes ples do the same. J.C. (Obviously, she did not, as these letters were found after her death.)


Also his belongings contained a small religious booklet entitled Religious Forms for The Camp and Hospital, including hymns, prayers, and scriptures (Psalm 52) for "The Soldier Under A Lingering Disease," and Psalm 66, "For the Soldier Returning In Safety." Handwritten on the page is: "given John Evans while in hospital at Charleston." (See in records)


In 1865 John Calhoun Evans returned home from the war wounded and with this booklet plus the shell removed from his leg. According to his youngest sister Nancy he Came home in the spring of 65 limping from the wound and gave me this Ball. He was my only Brother. He was the oldest child of my parents, a family of 7 children and I  the youngest and I am the only one now living this 1924 (Signed Nancy Evans Peterson. This note was with a minnie ball which passed through John C. Evans thigh during the Confederate Ware. The minnie ball and note are now framed and in my possession (1993).


Three years after returning from the war John Calhoun Evans was married to

Florence Levicy Fickling on Feb. 14, 1868, at Willow Swamp, S.C. The ceremony, at the home of Mrs. Mary Tyler (her older sister), was officiated by Rev. S.B. Sawyer, still pastor of the Willow Swamp Church which at that time had 80 white and 122 black members. (Salem
Church had 56 whites and 4 blacks; Tabernacle had 39 whites and 10 blacks.) This is the same preacher who John Calhoun had attempted to raise salary money for in 1859.


Florence's youngest sister, Cornelia Ackling, then aged 22, married William E. Thomas on December 24 that same year (1868).


John Calhoun And Florence in 1888


        Their first child, born later that year, died as an infant. John Byron, their second child, was born in Edgefield, S.C., on May 21, 1869 (15 months after their marriage). Before John Byron was 2 years old, his parents, along with his mother's sister, Cornelia, her husband, William E. Thomas, decided to move to Louisiana. They, along with their son, John Byron and Cornelia's first son, Clarence, and an another child, Billy Grimes (not confirmed by available data), sailed from Charleston in late 1870 around the coast of Florida, through the Gulf of Mexico, to New Orleans. Then, up the Mississippi River and into the Red River, they landed at St. Maurice, Louisiana , where Saline Bayou runs int
o Red River. They came to Natchitoches Parish and visited with Captain Babers at a log house (Near Belton Blewer Place in 1979; I have square nails from this log house in my possession).


Why did these two young couples decide to leave their home in South Carolina and come to Louisiana? John Calhoun and Florence were 37 and 32 years old. William Thomas was 33, his young wife Cornelia only 24. Both families had young sons less than two years old. His grandson, J.O. Evans, would write 125 years later: my grandfather left his home in South Carolina...destination Texas, searching for a more suitable place to live and give his family a better life than South Carolina had to offer. As they were passing through Louisiana they found a good camping location in Winn Parish...the place being among tall pine trees, sandy hills and beautiful wild flowers, gave them a feeling of wanting to live in North Louisiana rather than the plains and dry hot weather they had read about in Texas. After camping here several days they decided to settle here.


Perhaps other history from the area in which they settled may give further clues. We know from other records that many others had preceded them from South Carolina. The HISTORY OF BIENVILLE PARISH notes: The first permanent settlement in the parish

(called Mount Lebanon) was made in 1836 in the northwestern section of the parish by a group of South Carolinians. Many of the pioneers who followed were from the Edgefield District of that state also. Settlers from other areas began arriving almost daily in the late 1840's and in the 1850's...This tide of emigration reached its peak in the late 1850's. An article carried in the NEW ORLEANS DAILY CRESCENT on March 13, 1851, about Bienville Parish (formed from the lower part of Claiborne Parish in 1848), noted: This Parish is filling up very fast. There have some sixteen or seventeen hundred persons moved into it within the last twelve months, some one thousand or twelve hundred slaves included.


Provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, had officially opened lands in what would later become Bienville Parish, for settlement and purchase. Later in September of 1820 another Act of Congress stated that grants would be made to certain officers and soldiers who had engaged in military service for the United States. The U.S. Government built a "Military Highway" in 1827-28 through the wilderness from Fort Jessup, South of Natchitoches, to points in Arkansas and on to Fort Towson in Oklahoma. This road went through Natchitoches (established over 100 years earlier), Grand Encore, Campti and Fairview Alpha. Although this area was inhabited by the Caddo Indians, a treaty was signed By President Jackson with them in 1836. Thus, by the 1840's, with lands available, an established travel route through Natchitoches and what would later become Bienville Parish, and a treaty with the Indians, potential settlers must have found the area attractive.


By this time land had ceased to be available in South Carolina, except by inheritance or purchase. Information from other families which left South Carolina about this time include this information: They all left South Carolina after an earthquake. In the Carolinas there was no land available unless inherited from parents. With large families, some of the children had to move on to find land.


Specific information is available on several other families coming to Louisiana. John George Readhimer (who later sold land to John Calhoun Evans) came to Louisiana in 1857. The Readhimers had originally come from Switzerland to America in 1805, settling in Edgefield District, South Carolina. John George was born in South Carolina in 1830 (three years before John Calhoun).


The Frey family (father of Lang Frey) also came to Louisiana in December, 1857. Reinhard Godfried Frey came from Basel, Switzerland to South Carolina. He married a lady born in S.C. Their son? Isaac Sebastean Frey, born in May, 1828, came to Louisiana along with the Readhimers, Blewers, and Bishops. Included in the group in this trip which came overland rather than by boat, were John George Readhimer's mother, Harriett Ann Blewer Readhimer, and several of his brothers and sisters. Their father, Peter Readhimer, had died in S.C. in 1849. One of his sisters, Henrietta Victoria, born in 1837 in S.C., later married Isaac S. Frey (Their children were Lela May, Katherine or "Kate," John, and Renard Lillian, "Rennie," named after his grandfather). His mother's brother, John Blewer and her aunt Kate Frey were also along. Was this "Aunt Kate" Katherine Blewer, who had married John Jacob Frey in January, 1815, at St. Phillips Church in Charleston, S.C.? (Kate, daughter of Isaac S. Frey, married W.M. Jones) (There was a double connection of Blewers and Readhimers. Christianna Blewer, who died in 1828, had married John Readhimer and their third son Peter, born in 1800, married Harriet Ann Blewer, a daughter of John George Blewer.) The group was on the road for 73 days in covered wagons.


The story is told that when the group got to Saline Bayou in the spring, the creek was overflowing and there was no way to cross. While waiting for the water to go down, the Freys, who were tanners, found the woods full of red oaks, the bark of which made good acid for tanning leather. They decided to settle there in the Friendship Community. The Reidhimers and Bishops later came on to settle what became the Readhimer Community. John George's home place joins the present Briarwood Preserve on the West side. (Dorothy Lee Nichols Hughes, his great grand daughter, has a photograph of the front of this home made around the turn of the century).


The next year, according to church minutes Sister Harriet Ann Reidhimer and Sis Hennietta Readhimer and Meney Thomas joined Old Saline Church on August 14, 1858. Six years later, in January, 1864, Harriett Blewer Readhimer married Stephen P.Loe, born 1797 in N.C.


Other early settlers, some from the Charleston District of South Carolina, included James M. Williams, the Babers, James Holman and a cousin Bob, who settled in what came to be called the Carolina Community. James Holman married Martha Babers, a daughter of Billy Babers. George Blewer married her sister. The Holmans are said to have come from the same place as the Ficklings and were related in some way...were also related to the Babers as were the Readhimers. The Waters were related to Ficklings also to the Holmans. They left S. C. after an earthquake.


The Corbitts also came from South Carolina, in 1852. Isaac Corbitt, born in 1806 in Barnwell County, S.C. had married Winnfred Stallings, born 1815 in S.C. They came to Louisiana by boat, landing at Cheneyville on Red River. Their furniture, household goods, cattle, horses, mules, oxen, wagons and tools were brought with them. Here they converted to wagon transportation and headed For Saline Bayou (several miles north of Saline)....Their homestead consisted of a two-story house, (S.C. style), several tenant houses, saw mill, cane mill and grist mill. The family acquired large land holdings in the area. Winnie became a member of Old Saline Baptist Church in 1853, joined by her husband Isaac in 1856. From the church minutes of November, 1860,...Isaac Corbett was appointed to superintend the building of a new church house at the Saline.













































    Their second son, John Hill Corbitt, born 1839 in S.C., married Harriet Ann Readhimer, born 1854, daughter of James Peter Readhimer, born 1825 (older brother of John George Readhimer), and Annie V.T. Casey, born Aug 30, 1827 in Tipperary, Ireland. The Corbitts settled in the Brown Community (later Ward 7, and the Boylston Place). John and Harriet Corbitt (grandparents of Blanch Walker) had 10 children. One of them, James Isaac, "attended his 1 year of learning" in Line School near Natchitoches and Bienville Parish line. "The school, a one-room log structure, was located just inside Bienville Parish at the junction of the old public road and the L&NW Railroad, one mile south of Saline. He boarded with one of his Readhimer uncles while attending school." He married Ella Rhodes in 1905. (This is the same school which Bunyan Evans attended and in which Delilah Cloud taught while boarding with Cornelia Thomas in 1890.)


Records of the Old Saline Baptist Church confirm many of families. The church was organized in September, 1844, G.W. Baines (grandfather of Lyndon Baines Johnson) the first pastor. Gravestone information (taken 9/93) shows the following families coming from South Carolina:


Dr. B.S. Sweat, Born Barnwell C.H. S.C.; 11/15/1808-1878

Annie Trotti, wife of Dr. Sweat; 1832 in Barnwell Co; died 1888

Mrs. H.T. Sweat Born Barnwell Dist. S.C.; 8/22/1815; died at Briarwood La. 9/8/89

B. Screvern Sweat Born Barnwell Dist. S.C. 3/3/1851; died Nat. Parish 1883

Fannie E. Sweat 1841-1914

Dr. E.T. Edgerton; 1827-1901

Alice T. Edgerton; 1853

B.S. Edgerton; 1861-1901


Dr. Benjamin Screven Sweat, an inveterate student and reader...most scholarly man, had married Harrietta Theresa Trotti, 17 year old daughter of Laurence and Ann Trotti, when he was 24 (1832). They had gone to live on Briarwood Plantation, on the Edisto River near the station of Midway, halfway between Augusta and Charleston. This was the plantation of his wife's family. Twenty eight years later he sold Briarwood and joined the migration of thousands of others living along the Atlantic seaboard. During the 1840's and '50's war clouds hung of the country.The rising tide of animosity between the Abolitionists of the North and the slave owners of the South caused a great unrest, and the Great Migration westward was at its height...Many of these found a familiar type of soil in the pine-clad hills of North Louisiana, a beautiful virgin land. There were great forests of virgin longleaf pine unbroken, mile upon mile...


Dr. Sweat's son-in-law, Dr. E.T. Edgerton, and Edward Patterson, a cousin of Mrs. Sweat came to Louisiana on a scouting trip first and located plantations a few miles from Old Saline Church. They persuaded Dr. Sweat to buy the Joshua Prothro plantation in the northern edge of Natchitoches Parish late in 1860. He sold the Edisto plantation, Briarwood, and in December of 1860 started west, arriving some time in January. They traveled by train to Mobile, thence to New Orleans by boat, where they boarded a steamer up the Mississippi and Red Rivers, landing at St. Maurice. By carriage and wagons, they traveled across the country to their new home, which they named Briarwood, in memory of the old home left behind.


One of the daughters of Dr. and Mrs. Sweat, Caroline Trotti Sweat, born in Barnwell District, South Carolina, March 12, 1853, was seven years old at the time of the family's move. She later married James Alexander Dormon at her father's plantation home, Briarwood. Caroline Sweat was an inveterate reader, especially leaning to history, biography, and poetry. Her father had a very fine library, so whe acquired a broad education...Besides poems and short articles she was the author of a novel, "Under The Magnolias," a story of North Louisiana immediately after the War Between The States. She studied Latin with her children, and at 45 took a correspondence course in French. Her husband was educated at Old Mt. Lebanon University, taking all the courses offered in Latin, Greek, History, and Mathematics in two years. He studied Law and practiced at Sparta and later at Arcadia. Two of their 8 children were Virginia Trotti, born in 1876 at Sparta ("Miss Virginia"), and Caroline Coroneos, the last daughter and 6th child, born July 19, 1888.


Caroline Dorman graduated Judson College in 1907, became an artist and writer, an authority on trees and flowers of this region. She is thought to be the first woman forester in the U.S.. She also became an authority on Southern Indians, and was appointed by President Roosevelt, in 1935, on the DeSoto Commission to represent Louisiana. She was the only woman on the commission. Caroline carefully preserved the Briarwood Plantation of her father, collecting plants from many areas. She is credited with being a guiding force in the establishment of the Katichi National Forest. Caroline C. Dorman died at Briarwood on November 22, 1971.


Other graves of South Carolina settlers:


Harriet A. Blewer, wife of Stephen Loe; born Charleston S.C. 1808-1893


William Mobley; born Edgefield Dist. S.C. 1801-1884


Sallie A. Row, wife of J.G. Readhimer; 1845-1901

J.G. Readhimer; 1830-1908

W.W. Readhimer; 1840-1920

Jack Readhimer; 1876-1943

L.J. Readhimer; 1845-1910

Martha S. Malone, wife of L.J. Readhimer; 1849-1921

Henry Row; 1816-1885

W.T. Row; 1843-1918 First Sarg., C.S.A.


Graves of the Corbitt family, noted above:


J.H. Corbitt; 1839-1917

Mrs. J.H. Corbitt; 1854-1921

Isaac Corbitt; 1806-1873

Winney, wife of Isaac Corbitt; 1815-1862


The oldest dated marker I found was of Rebecca Boatright, born in 1773.


Rebecca

Wife of William Boatright

Born 1793

Died 1857

Aged 62 years


Next to this grave was:


A.T. Vansant; 9/7/1810-1855


Not much is known of the VanSant family...the family made entries for land in Bienville Parish between 1848 and 1850...in Township 14 Range 6. Their neighbors were Boylestons, Corbitts, and Koonces. The 1850 Parish census listed members of the family as Addison VanSant age 41, born S.C., Jefferson Vansant age 35, born S.C., Rebecca Boatright age 60, born S.C. and Katharine VanSant age 69 born S.C.


The J.C. Evans' Family Graves are in the following order, left of present center, near oldest part of cemetery, beginning on left in first row:


John H. Evans; 8/5/1910-8/27/1930

Sovern R. Evans; 2/20/96-3/21/18; Pvt Co. B. 348 Inf.

Claud Wilber Evans Babe; child of J.B. and Fannie L; 3/9/05-1/7/06

Claude Oswell Evans; son of J.B. and Fannie L; 12/3/02-12/27/05

John Calhoun Evans (data elsewhere) "Thy trials ended/Thy rest is won"

Florence L. Evans (data elsewhere) "71 yrs 5 mos 10 dys; Faithful to her trust/even unto

death"


Next Row of graves away from church (East):


Cornelia A. Thomas; Apr 7, 1846-Aug 20, 1929

W.E. Thomas; Born in S.C. 3/27/1838-4/29/1887

John Byron Evans; May 21, 1869-Aug. 27, 1937; "We will meet again"

Fannie Gardner, wife of J.B. Evans, born 6/18/1866-7/18/1893; aged 27 yrs 1 mo: "Why should we start and fear to die?/What timorous worms we mortals are/Death is the gate of endless joy/And yet we dread to enter there"


Next Row of Graves (East)


Fred H. Evans; 11/2/1912-2/29/1944

Fannie Rogers Evans; 2/12/1875-1/10/1955


From this information we may conclude that many families and scores of individuals had been coming to this section of Louisiana from southern South Carolina for at least 34 years when the group founded Mt. Lebanon in 1836. Many of them were from the Edgefield District where John Calhoun Evans was born. Some had come overland; others had come by boat as did the Evans' and Thomas' who came in 1870.


Whatever their reasons, they came and apparently acquired a property in Natchitoches Parish in Section 11, T13N, R6W, on a branch of the Eight Mile Creek which is itself a branch of Saline Bayou, and began to build a log house. The property must not have belonged to them at the time (see deed in 1882). This house, with notched log construction, 5 rooms, front porch, and mud chimney was still standing 121 years later in 1992 on a property known as D.E. Williams Place (reached by turning left off the Highway running East from Readhimer School site; see pictures of this house in file).


Imagine what this must have been like! Here are newly weds with a 1 year old son and an adopted child in a strange new land, 1000 miles from home. No house. No job. Given Florence's dress concerns at age 21, is it a surprise that now at 32 she might return to her older interests? The first purchase receipt still available is for dress material from New Orleans. An order dated March 7, 1871, from Wm. C. Tompkins, Wholesale Dry Goods, #2 Magazine Street, Corner Canal, New Orleans: 1 piece Brown?, 1 piece of Blue Cottonade, 3 pieces of Fancy Prints, 2 Coats Spools (thread?) and 1 Lot of Papers and Envelopes. Total: $15.61. Since they had no credit established, the goods were charged to, J.P. Readheimer. Apparently they had made friends quickly.


        The next order, three days later includes the basics. On March 10, 1871, also charged to the account of J.P. Reedheimer, from I.W. Arthur & Co., Wholesale Grocers and Commission Merchants, 16 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, via the Steamer HODGE, the order included: 1 barrell of Imperial Flour, $8.25, 25 lbs Coffee, $4.50; 25 lbs sugar, $2.63, black pepper, spice, starch, 10 bars of Laundry Soap, 10 lbs Soda 1 keg of 5 gall Whiskey, $8.75, 1/4 Keg Powder, Shot Drops #3, and 1 Keg of Lard. Total: $44.06. The order was delivered to Carl P. Beinstein at Montgomery, La.


Four days later, on March 14, another order was received. Freight charges on the Steamer B.L. HODGE, on the New Orleans and Grand Ecore Weekly Packet to Montgomery, La. were $2.95 on 4 Kegs Powder, 1 Bbl Flour, 1 Box Sund (aries?), 1 Keg Whiskey, 1 Keg Lard, plus "storeage," $1.25. Also an order for 1 pair of boots, $1.75, from F. SELLES, Boot and Shoe Store, 157 Poydras St, New Orleans.


A letter from home (Sister Maggie in John Town, Barnwell District, S.C.) dated December 9, 1871, came later that year. Dear Bros, & Sisters....I hasten to write...thinking you are like we are anxious to hear how we are, as we are so sickly when last heard from. I am happy to say that we have improved very much here lately as we are all takeing bitters and it helps us very much....She goes on to report of trading potatos and 2 dozen eggs at the market there and getting eight lbs nice bacon for the same. I think here beats Lousana a long time (I wonder if they did also by this time!). Maggie continues: William Joe's sow is dead. She was taken sick in a few days after you left and we could do nothing to help her. Three of her pigs are yet alive but I am afrad they will all die. I hope you all arrived safe to Bro Johns. I was very sorry I was so weak when you left me. Jest think I could not even go to the gate to tell goodbye. Mother says Cornelia must write to her. Sends her love to all. Would like to seen you all before you left, says Nelie seems like of her children. She says you must all be good boys and ghals. I hope you will all have good luck and great prosperity. William's baby is the finest looking ghal about. I know he would like to see her again soon. She can talk and laugh, pretty shapely, and is the worse young one I ever had and don't get any better....Joe joins me in love to all. Miss the children and tell Bill he mus have me some fish when I come. The neighbors are generly well, hope this will reach you all same. I sign myself Your Sister, Maggie.


This, the only letter available until another 3 years later, raises interesting questions. Is Maggie one of John's or Florence's sisters? Or could she be a cousin and simply use Bro and Sister as terms of affection? The reference to arriving safe to Bro Johns implies that they were coming to join others they knew well. Was this Bro John a blood brother? Also, did Florence's younger sister Cornelia (the one disciplined in the church for dancing when she was 20) come with them? Cornelia's husband (she was married later in the same year as Florence and John) was William E. Thomas. Is he the Bill referred to as the one who mus have me some fish when I come? And what about when I come? Was travel such that Maggie intended to visit, or did she too plan to move? The reference to Maggie's mother saying Nelie seems like of her children implies that this must not be Florence's real sister.


On November 8, 1873, Florence L. Evans was received by letter in the Old Saline Baptist Church. Her sister Cornelia Thomas had joined on August 30. John Calhoun did not join at this time.


The next information available on the family comes from a letter written by John Calhoun to his family in South Carolina three years later. On October 3, 1874 he writes: North Louisiana, Nachatoches Parish; Dear Brother & Sister Excuse me for not writing sooner. Crops in this country generly sorry...one good bale cotton on 4 acres...the times are harde no money. Every thing high, bacon 12-15 cts, cotton about 14, brogan shoes 2.50. Calico 15 to 18. In Orleans from 8-10. I suppose Orleans is as cheap a market as the South has. You can get the Best of Surrip for 40 to 50 a gallon. Labor is coming down. The negroe is verry quiet at this time thoug have had some trouble. Had an Incerection at Coushatta on Red River the county Seat of Red River Parish about 25 miles from me. We soon had 1,000 men Some from Texas captured the party Hung 2 negroes The white men the leaders Skellawags, 6 in no, all Parish Officers Sherif Deputy Sherif Judge Magestrate an So on were tride By committy to leave the State they ask for gard of 25 men to gard them to the line of Texas. After going 40 miles at full horse Spead were overhaulde by 70 men taken the Prisners and Shot them all. That has cured the negroe and some of the Radicals. My parish has put all the Radical officers out office and they stay out. The Govenor would appoint more but they were afraid to Report. Since that the Citisons of orleans has made a charge on the Governor and his Metropolotors. kilde 15 men, he retreted to the Custom house under protection of the United States officers. They give 3 cheers to the citisons for that. So we have no Govornor at this time. I suppost Grant is Scattering about 500 troops over North La I think for the purpos of keeping down Insurections. I heard you had had a fight at Ridge Spring. Give me the Straite of it. Also one in Charleston. I think I shall go on to Texas. Bill Stone has gone on back to Texas he is in Lamar Co likes much better than hear...for me to come on to him. Some men from Texas say it is the place, some say not. Say they make 75 bushels corn to the acre...can by a beef to way 800 to 1000 lbs for 10 dollars, good horses 30 to 50 dollars, lands in places high though plenty good as in Texas for 1.00 to 5 per acres. I wish you were all out of that old State of Trouble. I have not had a letter from home in severl months. Although I can make a good living hear I pay no tax yet. My Boys ar verry fat and Smart. Billy can pick 60 lbs cotton. But has a grea deal of T?urner about him and mitey slow on the move. You must write soon. Give me a long letter. Florance joins in love to you all, Yours truly J.C. Evans (Direct thus: Saliene, P.O. Beanvil Pa La).


His next available letter, to his sister Nancy and Brother-in-law Baz Petterson in South Carolina is dated February 15, 1875: It is with pleasure that I attempt to write you a few lines. We are all in the Enjoyment of good health. There is a greadeal of coalds and A?ssadenick through out the country. Some Hooping Caugh we have iscape So far. Well I receive your letter of November, was truly glad to hear that you were all well. I also got the package of papers which I was so glad to get give me more news from SC than since I lefte there. I will be glad at any time to get a bundle when ever you get a surplus on hand. Well Baz the Political affairs of La are in a critical condition. We beat them fair an Squair by about 15 thousand, then to beat us they threw away some 8 or 9 Parishes just as nothing. We had severl parishes that did not voat a Radical ticket. We have no county officers, no courts, are under Militery despar? have been holding Legislations...Times are hard. Stock lower than I have seen them in 20 years, good Misouria horses for 1.00 dollar...I kill all my meat out the woods....land 3 dollars per acre and your own time to pay it. this land before the wor could not been got for 50 dollars per acre...This country the Negroes have all flock to the river to River planters & to See a boat - they have just about brake them all down...the negroes are wanting to scatter out again a few white men can't stand among them. I think if the laboring white men will go in thare and drive the Negroes out would be just as fine country as ever a man wants...but the times will get better soon. I am going to plant 8 or 10 acres in cotton...This March the 20, you must excuse my negligents I thaught I had sent off this letter. We are all well thoug I believe our Boys are taking Hooping caugh...my cattle are doing well, milch 5 cows...Plenty fine timber and beautiful settlement and good neighbours. My brothren law Workman has got in a difaculty with Wash Lynch a black smith. He went to Lynches on Christmas Eve knight for a settlement...Lynch drew his gun Workman drew a pistal but had to leave Christmas morning Workman went back to Lynch cared his gun and Lynch in Self defence put 5 buckshot in his breast and face. wold ave kild a common man. he is recovering they got worant for Tom W. The officers sent him word they wold let him no where they come for him to keep out way...J.C. Evans.


In March, 1875, this letter from Sallie Graves at Sandy Point, Brazoria County, Texas, dated the 7th: My dear Friends Florence & Nelie...She appologizes for delay in writing explaining that her mother had died in South Carolina.


A letter dated July 4, 1875 from Florence's oldest brother, H.S. Fickling, then aged 50: My Dear Sister and Famaly, I now imbrace this opportunity of answering your kind letter, which makes me so glad to get from you ..any of you. and to see how seldom..you will any of you will write to me, I received one letter not long since from Olivia She was not will and very dissatisfied, pore think I wish she was back here it is awful to live, and, dye dissatisfied. There is a Basket Picknick at Holmans Bridge today. I did not go on account of Sara's health. She is very unwell at this time...we had a weeks rain about 2 weeks ago crops is looking badly from it. I finished plowing today, my crop is tollerable good. Georganna and Allie is still single. George is spending some time with Sarah....Old Tyler is still on his same place I havent herd anything from him in a long time....Sahahs health is not so good (segrest I allude to)...Tell John I cant answer his long kind letter at this time I am in a hurry to get off to Blackville.... give him my best respect and kiss him for me. tell him to kiss you also for me. Oh Florance I want to see you so bad. please send me a lock of your hair in your next letter, write soon, excuse my short letter at this time, tell John to write me a nother long letter soon. I now must close, by saying I remain your true Brother untill death, Good bye sister. H.S. Fickling. P.S. I will be fifty years old the 5th of December. (See file)

Following his wife's move four years earlier, John Calhoun finally joined Old Saline Baptist Church in August, 1877. He was baptised on the 16, indicating that he probably had never joined the Willow Swamp Church in South Caroline where he went as a young man.


A July 3, 1878 letter from Florence's friend Sally Graves, now in Oyster Creek, Texas: My Dear Friends Florence & Nelie, I looked so long for most welcome missive. I had discided you all had moved away. But at last it came. Glad to hear from you all. hope you wont treat me so again for I so often think of you all and the good old by gone, gone forever we have had together. About this time we used to have such delightful protracted meeting at Old Willow and Two Mile Swamp, when we had the good old time folk to sing with us and enjoy the rich harvest. They have all passed away shore enough. Yes dear Nelie no one knows so well how to think of the past as I do. For since the death of Mother. And then the unexpected marriag of my Brother. I feel like my life is a complete blank. Just roaming, Lister and I over the world. Brother is kind to us but his wife we can see does not care to have us much around. She wants the house to herself. I have an offer to live with a strang lady in Houston. I think I will accept....I always think of mother and Old Willow. She used to seem to enjoy it so much. It was always a feast of great value to her soul to sit with the brethren and sisters and partak of the Lords supper. Wouldnt you all like see every thing once again at home....Kindes regards to your Husbands. Hurry Byron up for me. Kiss all the others. How many has Nelie? Most Affectionately, Sallie Graves.


The 1880 Louisiana Census of Natchitoches Parish lists: Evans, John, age 47, Farmer, born in S.C., both parents born in S.C.; Florence Evans, age 41, House Keeper, born in S.C., both parents born S.C.; Byron Evans, age 11; at school, born in S.C.; Bunyan Evans, age 8, at school, born in La. The Agriculture Census of Natchitoches Parish of that same year lists John Evans as owner of 40 acres of tilled land; value of farm: $300; value of equipment: $50; value of live stock: $400.


Tax receipts from 1880 until 1903 for J.C. Evans property, beginning at $5.90 and up to $17.01 in 1903 are available.


An 1881 letter from Joe Graves at Sandy Point, Brazonales, Texas, dated July 17:...This is the best farming country in the world...The only drawback is a trifle too much rain. I get S.C. papers every week. The state is on a boom. Property has gone up immensely. Some Carolinians who have been in Texas for years have gone back home. They had always held properth there and could not sell it till now. It is so valuable they wont sell. They set no limit now to its increase in value....This state is on a boom....Kind wishes for yours and Thomas' families. I forgot to tell you I have two boys, both fat and healthy. Your friend, Joe Graves.


On February 13 of the next year,1882, John wrote to his sister Nancy and her family: I received your letter of Jany the 1 we were glad to hear that you were well and aspecially that Mother was better off. I had the least idea but to hear of her death. We hare having the Hardes times in La for years. I believe some people will hafto suffer...I have about 100 bushels. I also fatened my meat. we will have more milk than we can milk....Black Lake ridges all under water...I am troubled alittle with Asthma now...Foorence has yoused one bottle of Dr. H.H. Wormers Safe Kidney and Liver Cure, has sent by Readhammer to the citty for more one bottle strengthend her and give her a fine appetite. I think wold be a good meddison for you   Nancy. I think it a good medison for many principally for Liver kidnes and bladder affections, for dispessy take 3 buttons nexvomico to the Bottle of good whisky is said to cure. For good lenament take one egg half teacup full of cider apple vinnegar the same of spirits Turpentine. Is an exlent for aches panes or brises....write soon, your brother J.C. Evans


In 1882,on April 19th (See deed in file) John C. Evans purchased from John G. Readhimer for $80.00 a tract of land lying and situated in the Parish of Natchitoches Louisiana, viz. the North half of South East Quarter of Section Eleven Township Thirteen Range Six West to have and to hold to his own proper use and benefit forever... Witnessed by J.A. Dormon and W.W. Readhimer.


On December 10, probably 1882 John writes home again: ...I am going to the River tomorrow with cotton. Times are hard...We get 9 1/2 to 11 for cotton at the River...I have my hogs ready to kill. I have 9 that will neat me about 1800 lbs of Poark. I am bilding me a new house roof 40 by 44 ft. Last year I taken a Carolinia paper. I think will take it again. It is The Christian Courier, printed at Colombia. I am now taking the Courier Journal...I have been thinking of trying to go to see you all this winter and to see what I could do for mother. It gives me greadeal trouble to hear of her condition and so far away from me and takes so much money for me to make the trip and back. So harde to get my money a head by labor. There is nothing to be made on free Negroes hear. I want you to do the bist you can for her. Cant you sell the olde place for something, let her take her part out and you take her and her part and also my interest in the same. Nancy try to get her to live with you for I no that her days are but few. I only wish I had them all hear. I would make somethinf of these children. Love to all. Direct Saliene PO, Beanvile parish. Write soon. J.C. Evans.


An 1883 letter to S.C.: May 31: ...Sorry indee to no that Mother was no better but was astounished to hear that she was still living. I had been long looking for a letter to   announce her death....It did not appear to me when I was thare that she could possbly ove stood it so lounge....I am laing bye my corn..I have a little crop 12 acres corn will make 15-20 to the acre if seasons holde 4 acres cotton. I am not much for cotton have one acre of up land Rice and of cane one potatoes. me and Bunyan do the worke. I am sending Byron to School. can only send one at time. We have a good Sunday School...


On July 27,1883, J.C. Evans got a Deed to American Tanning Process which allowed

him Shop Privalege to make and sell Leather at his hand, signed by Miller Bros., V.S.  Miller. (See instructions for making leather in file)


In November of that year (See letter in file) John C. Evans was Treasurer of the Saline Grange Cooperative Association. They signed a note for $101.66 and 2/3 cents for value recd.  Also W.E. Thomas (probably Cornelia's husband), J.W. Scott, and C.C. Barnett, Secty.

That same year on December 6: ...We received your letter on the las day of Nov bringing the Sad Intelligence of the death of Our dear Old Mother Sad Indeed ythough not at all unexpected to me for lon have I expected the and felt the Sadness on opening you letters and of the Suffering of Yer. One Greate consolation is trusting that she is at reas and pain no more. Doctor Pitts tole me when I was thare that she mite live 2 or 3 years yet though after all life is but a span...My health is tollable considering I have to get up almost every knite with asthma.I have it much liter than yous to be. I have a hope of a cure yet.Boys had Hooping Caugh this summer..My neighborhood are all Grangers. We have about 30 members. We have started a Coopperative Association that is a Grange Store. A cash System 3 0r 4 of us has put in 250 dollars and Elected a Salesman. I put in 50 dollars to see what it would be.. Sent of for a little Bill of goods the 1st of November with 250. He has kept it turning his sales amount to about 650 dollars. We have some county stores hear that are Just ruing the country. Our little Grange has brought one of them down smartely in prices. Their old custimers are going Right by their dore to go to the and say they are going to be Grangers. I tell you that tahe speculators may dred the Grangers for they will come to the front. The Grange only deals in first class goods. Standard only and sell at 10 percent above cost. Our merchants sell from 1 to 2 hundred per sent.. I went to Shreevesport last week, a conciderable River an Railrod Citty. I came back home to our little Grange Store and trade 20 dollars as soon as I unlode my wagon. Got better Bargains than could in Shreevesport. The Grangers is the Producer and the Consoomer. We ondly want to get in direct trade with the Manufacory and set a side the Middle man who has always et and wore the articles that never reach the farmer. Our state Grange meets at Alexandra next Tusday. I have some notion of going to it, and then some 40 further to Cous ? Souverign Evans. Not heard from him since I saw you . You and Bazel must set out and come out to the World's Fair at New Orleans next December. TellBazie I will sende him a few grass seed in this letter as I prise it highly. plant in the Garden Rite way. ...I have got me one Swarm of the Italion Bees. I think I will give tham a trial....Nancy if you are still having Cathur try snuffing   strong salty water up your nose. I will also send you another remedy. Florence joins in love toyou all. Tell Bazel to write soon as ever your brother untill death, J.C. Evans


In an 1885 letter to S.C.: January the 15...we receive your letter last fall saying you were coming out. I think it now getting time that you were saying somthing about what time or monthe you will be hear...let me no and I will meet you at Camptie Red River. Though if we were to make a misshap to meet you, get conveyance out to Dr. Pittses 7 miles on the way. I do not no that I will go to Fair or not. We had a very dull Christmas.This country is raining a flud today I expect there will be an overflow in Red and Missisipi Rivers.I am rasing plenty hogs can sell 12 or 13 hundred lbs pork selling at 5 cents. Our little Grange Store is still working. Sunday the third Sundies are our preaching days at Saliene Church. The health of the country good...


In 188? Florence Fickling Evans attempted to establish legal claim for some family property in South Carolina from Henry Fickling. It had apparently been taken by Burnett Tyler (See legal records in file).


Florence's sister Cornelia's husband, William E. Thomas died on April 29, 1887, while ploughing in the field, possibly of a heart attack. Cornelia was left with eight children ranging from age 9 months to 18 years.


That year, 1887, Mr. Evans bought from W.M. Poland, General Merchandise and Plantation Supplies, of Sparta, La., items including: 32 yds stripes, $2.56; 2 yds Jeans, .70; 4 yds  flannel, 1.40; 10 yds black prints, .60; 10 nut megs, .10;  also buttons and 5 spools thread, .25; total: $7.66.


Son, Martin Bunyan, then aged 16, was treated by Dr. E.T. Edgerton on August 9. Then John Calhoun had doctor visits on August 28, 30, 31, September 1 and 3rd, all at $2.50 per visit. The bill was paid in full on November 19th, 1888.


Nancy, John's youngest sister wrote on Aprill 20, 1888. Excerpts: Bazil started to Alabama...perhaps he will come and see your country. he went from Pencicola to Orleans and back for seven dolors and half. he don't no yet what he will do next year...he is running 2 saw mills now and gets more work than he can posable do...Bazil is braking very fast he has Disspekia very bad. he makes a heep of money but you no it takes a grate deal to run his buisny and he owes a good deal...lands you no are cheep hear and ours mostly in woods...Sarahs helth is bad. They live at the? Whites. Julia an Luther is getting along well. Theirin has sold his place that he was at when you and I was thare and bought near uncle Bill Wheelers. Mary lives above Edgefield...Julius an Ida are single. they rent land.   Barzilia is no acount in the world. got sory wife...


In 1889 Nancy wrote from S.C.: Dear Brother & family...tolarable well I am suffering with hayfevor again...my eyes gets so week that I can scersley hold them open. I take quinnine and use wash for my head, salt water a little warme. I have nasal douche insert a tube in one nastrel and the water will run out the other. I think it is Catarah and hay fevor that I have and I believe that Catarah is brought on by the use of kerosine, Inhale lamp smoke a little while ant it stiffles me. There is a great deal of sickness, mostly Typhoid fevor...I believe the children wrote to you about Aunt Nancy Evans death. Uncle Wiliam Wheeler is dead a mule run away with him and another man and threw them bouth out the bugey crippled up the yung man somewhat broke uncle Williams skull...Aunt Rosie Aunt Juila & Uncle Sampson is all thats left and all in one house...Nannie joined the church at Red Bank was babtised the 4th Saturday. I have always hoped that Bazil would at some time joined the church but I have almost despaired now I hope you and Sister Flarance will make it a special point to pray for him that he may yet see the error of his way and turn before it is two lat I can't believe but that he is only living out of his duty I cant help but think that he is a christian neglecting his duty it would be sutch a help to Bazzie if his Pa would Join the church...he gives three thousand dollars for the land and machenry he will move the mill next month Bazie talks of selling the other mill and establishing a lumber yard some whare says he can never send Bazzie to school as long as he works as he dose now no one els can fill Bazzies place in business. I think he ought to sell that old place of his Fathers and educate the children they had rather have an education than land & it is so often the case that a man will hunt girls that has a home just for that home. Educate children is my matter if you leave them nothing els then they can take care of them selfs...


In 188? Florence L. Evans attempted to claim property from Henry Fickling taken by Burnett Tyler. (See legal document in file). In 1890 the received this letter from her brother H.L. Fickling from Blackville, S.C., to My Dear Sisters Florance & Cornelia, I reccon before this you have herd of Sister Mary's Death. She dyed on the Sixth of June, and was buried on the eighth, at Willow Swamp church. I was at the Burial. But Sick. Sick. Sick. I was Sick at the stomache about two weeks and a half and vomiting a casionly in the time I went to a Dr. and got some medison. I took it about 2 weeks time all the time I was taking it I was sick. when it gave out I got better and felt better a bout a week. it the sickness has returned not on my a gain if I take a drink of water some time it will meke me vomit. if I eat a few mouthfulls it turnes me sick I am now in bad health. Sarahs health is bad She had a billious attack some 4 weeks a go She is up and a bout at times. the rest of our famaly is well that is with us. Lula is looking verry badly and weak. Charles has mooved over on my place this year him self and famaly is in bad health his baby is having feavor now it has spasoms at this time, you must excuse this short letter as I am going to Blackville now as soon as I can get off to our democrat club tho I am feeling badly My children is all of age but one that is luther he is sixteen I will now close my letter for this time you must write soon tell John to write...Your Brother in love H.S. Fickling.


Florence wrote to her son Bunyan who is away at school in 1889: My Darlin Boy Ill writ a few lines we are all as well as usual I was goad to hear you was well and satisfied Byron and your Pa is going to hall coton to day we have some to picke yet they are to go to Arcady and by the as next weak if they have good weather don't looke to hard I would like vearey mutch to see you all on drill I knoit is a pretey site I hope you are geting on with your studes Just doo not take up aney bad habets that is smoking and chewing I havent time to write they are geting the wagon redey to start this is a vearey cole morning I must close write soon. mutch love I hope the Lord will be with you and bless you is all that is rite your Mah


In a note to son Bunyan, probably away at school he wrote: Dear Buyan, Friday Evening. I am not so well having verry bad coald. Been making syrup 2 days got nearly 2 barels. I guess Byron has give all the news, Your Pah, J.C. Evans.


On July 14, 1890?, John wrote his sister Nancy. Excerpts: ...My health has been better this year than for a long time. I have dun more work. I have no cropper just me and Bunyan we have a good crop our corn is make some 350 bush our cotton verry good some high as my head will make a  bale to acre if no bad luck. I am fearul the worms will eat  the cotton this year...Byron was 21 years old the 21 day of May he is working a crop of his own...a pourful worker stout and able. Bunyan is just a s good. they are good boys and the finest workers I ever saw. they work too hard. Florances health pretty good. She is Bothard at times with Rheumatism in her feet. Cornelies's famaly are all well.  She is Boarding the School Mistres Delila Cloud (who later  married Bunyan). Thare is being some sicknes. Bowel affection mostly...Florances Sister Mary dide the last day  of May. She was the widos Tyler. She maried Jacob Frye of  Spartenburg the year 82....I see that Hampton opposes the Alliance men. I say put out all the old politicial leaders and starte a new....We have no fruit much. A few apples plenty figs. We are having excitement hear over the State  Lottery. the 25 year charter is out. they are asking for 25 more to be voted on. The company has offered as a Lisence to the State one million a year or 25 millions for 25 years more. they are making clear about one million a mounth. they are a monster and will Ruin our State Ready Ruined in politicks and will soon corupt the howl Government. I must close. write soon. love to all J.C. Evans. (A Louisiana Lottery Ticket was found with this letter; dated June 17, 1890)









An old ledger book found among the records of J.C. Evans' son, Martin Bunyan, has a page for J.C. Evans dated 1891. Charges include: 10 yds ticking, 10 cts a yard; 11 yrds gingham, $1.00; 1 dress patron, .30; 1 lb. tobaco, .60; 2 flame shirts, $1.00; 1 pr pants, $1.50; 1 pr shoes, .25; total of all, $47.57. A note at the bottom says not settled,' 95. The ledger also has pages for Sammie Thomas, 1892; Davis Patterson; Byron Evans, Feb., 1892; M.B. Evans; Thomas Rogers; Dr. Edgerton; Cornelious Sanders, 1904; Lee Johnson, 1893; and another final page on J.B. Evans, 1903. Whose ledger was this? Did J.C. Evans operate a store? If so, why was his name listed on a page?


Mr. Evans bought from Atkins and Wideman, General Merchants, of Arcadia, La.

on Dec. 19, 1891, the following items: 1 bbl apples, 3.50; 30# candy 2.25; 7 1/2 # cheese 1.13; 12 cocoanuts .75; 1 pr boots 2.75; 1 doll .20;  1 box catridges .60; etc. total: 35.90; paid in cash."


In a letter to his sister Nancy Peterson he gave his opinion of Louisiana politics and the state lottery: I think ther is going to be one of the greatest clashes next year fynancialy polittical and every other way Louisiana is in a wors fix than dewring the radicel rain we have this lottery to fight It a monster now worth 500 milions...The lotery has offered to the state a million and quarte dollors for 25 years to come for a new charter they old on soon be out they got it dewring Radical Rule they baught our last Legislator with the amendment which is unconstitional the Supprem Court Set on the case they Baught it.They will Eventualy Bye Every office in the State and putup a lottery or a gambling Hell in every town. John a Morison the Lotery man is a yanky from New York though says he is a democrat...In love your Brother as ever J.C. Evans


She wrote back on Sept 10, 1891, from Batesburg, S.C. Excerpts: I am trubled some what  with hay fevor. I have ben wating fome time on you to write I wrote in the spring and sent you one of Nananis picturs  and never have heard from you. keep thinking every weak  that you would write and I am ancious to no what is the matter. do write soon and long letter. love to all and   except a share for your self. your sister, Nancy I.


Apparently John loaned money to S.S. Sanders on the 15th of November,1892 The note for $17.60 and twenty pur ct interest from date in seed cotton or money was due the following November.


On Oct. 25 J.C. Evans signed another deed for the N1/2 of SW1/4 of Sec. 11,  T13N, R6W, 80 acres, for $80 from John G. Readhimer. This is the same property which he had previously purchased in 1882. Wonder why the second deed was necessary?


Florence heard from "Sister Olivie," April 6, 1893: Dear Sister, I hope you will ans my letter it it is wrote all togather to save I am now geting old to have to live on the espence of another so you see I have to be spearing Ben sent me $10.00 last fall but I had got so destitute for clother I had to put it all on my feet & back. Ben has put $17 on me since he left home five in my mouth We are all well as usual I am never well & oh there is such a grate truble just befor me a little baby & these too bad children to atend to & Ret to wate on Oh that God will give me strength to go thru with it all. Warner has as smart a wife as eney one but she has such an unruly temper ill & contrary She is no hand to cutout or sew I have all of that to do. Sister you don't no how hard it is to help rease your grandchildren & sick all the time. I have slept with the oldest one ever since the other one was bornd & it is nothing but my dutie tells me it is not, it seems that Ben has more feeling for me than Warner. Spring is late hear no corn planeied yet. there is a grate deal of deths & sickness. Sister Saras said they were all punie poor Adah I want to help her so bad Ben ordered tombstones for poor little Floid's grave. Sis Sarah said they had come & George Brunson put them up that cost five dollars. write soon & I will trie to do better next time. pray for us all as I do for you all your true sister Olivie.














            John wrote to South Carolina in 1897. His June 13 letter noted:...we are all well & have been in reasonable health for a long time my general health is good exc ashma bothers me. I am working all the time. I cant plow much...Some two monthes ago Foorance had all thes Teath Tacon out...she dont hardly look ntural her and Bunyan and Cornelier and Steller and Nena Burther all left   for Nacatoch this morning with load of chickens Bunyan is   juriman this week...Myself and boys have made a big corn crop...our country has more Tyfoid fever than I have ever known heard of severl deaths lately our neighbor Dr. E.T. Edgerton lost his younges daughter some 2 years old, Son 3  weeks ago....Byron and wife & brothern law were this week down to Saline Lake 25 miles to fish they got just all they wanted. They staid one nite at the Sale Works 10 miles from hear have Artezan Mineral Well lots of people go thare to fish and the Benefit of the Watrer people geather thare from 2 or 3 parishes. Some fish Some hunt deer lots Ladies go to Bath in the minerl water...Bunyan is Hawling up lumber...hw will soon have a good start. Is a splendid  manager has a smart and good wife and a smarte little baby 9 or 10 moths old just beginning to walk. Byron a good crop   and one of the finest looking boys in the country....I had thought of making another trip to Scouth Car though times are two hard and money hard to get. I must close Excuse Bad spelling Love to all as ever J.C. Evans


Dr. Powell in Montgomery, Louisiana, wrote Mr. Evans on April 24, 1899: I send you prescription to have filled for your asmattic affection to commence after you are through with medicine left you by me. On back, this: For asthma; 1 oz. Tincture poke root; 1 oz of the tincture of Lobelia; 1 oz. tincture Blood Root; 1 oz. tincture Slittingia; 1 oz.  coal oil; 1 oz Crushed sugar well disolved; mix well shake before using. Dose 1/2 teaspoonful 3 times daily 1/2 hour  after meals...Will make final cure if persisted in for awhile. F.M. Powell


Also John had a Receit to cure Cancers. take scrape of turpentine trees four parts melt together to make plasters take olde cloth make the plaster to cover the   cancer take sulphate zink sprinkle over the plaster first  two very thin then thicker two and three plasters a day when it cracks around comence greasing around with hogs lard in crack when it comes out wash with Casteal soap three timea a day and still greas with lard must drink  whiskey while aplying the plasters which takes from ten  untell twenty days." Also a "Receit to Cure Sore Eyes take Sulphate zink half teaspoonsull for a four ounce  bottle put in a little in the eye two or three times a day. Sure cure for sore eyes.


In the summer of '99 he apparently decided to apply for a pension for his service in the Confederate War. His old friend, now the Clerk of Court in Orangeburg wrote: I am glad to know that you are still living but regret to hear of your ill health and your trouble on account to the wound you received while in Service of C.S.A....You were with us for 3 or 4 years, Co "I" 2nd S.C. Vol. Artillery." He wrote in his affidavit: I G.L. Salley, Clerk of Circuit Court do hereby certify that I knew Mr. J.C. Evans a former South Carolinian well and knew the circumstances of his service in C.S.A. in the War between the States. He was in the service for 3 or 4 years and was a faithful soldier. Given under my hand and official seal this 1`0th day of August A.d. 1899.


Also he heard from another old friend, C..R. Jones, from Orangeburg, Aug. 10: Mr. John C. Evans, Saline P.O. La. My Dear Old friend and Comrade...I meet a member of Company I almost every day but we are all getting old now and will soon come to the  jumping off place. I will see Dr. Barton give him your  letter and get him wo write you which steps are necessary to be taken in order to accomplish your end, or aim.


John wrote to South Carolina on July 28, 1903: Saline La...Dear Brother Sister & Famaly all This leaves us all well I am up But not well I god the meddison that I had orderd I taken it 4 weeks and kept straight on the Decline Appetite no Better I then taken 2 weeks attack of dysentery I got it Broak up then my appetite improved some thougn not good yet I have been out to Bunyan's and Stad sevrel days we got your letter first and July the 20 Bunyan went to Nacatosh and got me some whisky. I am taking your home remedy I think it is helping me some though my caugh pretty bad yet I think will try Slocoms Medison nest a lady out hear at the Camps that she was down a year with what the Doctors could conumtion and Slocoms medison cured her I have but little faith in yankermans mediane for a case of my condition. I no yhou would like to have another Fish frye come over any day Bunyon went the other day and got good mess ...August 1st we are still having tight rains...Bunyan has not slde his timber yet Johnson has offod him $2000...I am going to Dr Tates today for some medison Write soon your Brother J.C. Evans.


The following year, 1904, John Calhoun Evans died on June 29 and was buried at Old Saline Cemetery. His tombstone notes: Age 71 years, 4 mos, 7 days: Thy trials ended, thy rest is won. After her husband's death Florence moved to a house across the road from present (1992) Woodrow Wafer's Place in Saline. She kept her son Byron's baby, Nena, after her mother died.


In 1907 Florence sold 110 acres of her land in Section 11, T13N, R6W, to W.R. Riggins. The deed was witnessed by her two sons, Byron and Bunyan. Nena was still living with her when she died on April 9, 1909. She is buried in Old Saline Cemetary next to her husband. Her tombstone notes: Age 71 years, 10 mos, 9 days


(In addition to the letters quoted, the following articles are now in my possession: A small "suitecase" or traveling box belonging to Florence Fickling Evans and brought with her from South Carolina. It was decapoged by Helen Marie Coker in the 1950's. Also a shaving mug belonging to J.C. Evans and his small leather-bound New Testament, dated 1862. I also have square nails from the old Captain Baber's house where they first stayed after arriving in Louisiana in 1871.)


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