Robert Evans referred to himself as Milton, but was known to others as "Squire Evans." He was born March 18, 1845 to Robert and Mary (Jenkins) Evans on the homestead farm on Evanston Rd, Tippecanoe City, Ohio between 25A and Peters Pike on the North side of the road. He had a vivid memory of a happy boyhood, spending most of his time in the fields and woods with occasional attendance at the district school, where his teacher presented him with a gift for good conduct in about 1851.
When Milton was about 18 years old, his father died making him an heir to the homestead. He received the East one-half or about 40 acres. At age 19, Milton, his brother Jesse, age 22, and his half brother, Moses, enlisted to serve in the Civil War. He was a private with Company "G" 147th Ohio Volunteer Infantry for one hundred days service, organized at Camp Dennison near Cincinnati on May 16, 1864, sent to Washington City, moved into trenches to protect the city from Early's Raid. Mustered out on August 30, 1864, having to pay 41 cents to the U. S. for equipment (one canteen)! After serving for 100 days, Milton became a member of "The Home Guards" for 4 years and 3 months. ( See this link for more information on The Home Guards.)
On March 2, 1867, Milton married Manervia "Jane" Keller (born March 23, 1846) with Rev. William Pearson performing the ceremony. History records indicate in 1876 that Milton was working several hands and teams on roads in Miami County. Four horses were used to pull a heavy road plow. The ground was hard and the horses were walking fast when the plow struck a stone. The plow handle struck his left breast and broke 2 ribs.
On Nov. 6, 1876 Milton was elected Justice of the Peace, a position he held for 42 years for Monroe Township, discharging his duties in a most creditable manner.
In 1879 Jane and Milton moved from the old Evans homestead to Ginghamsburg where he joined Albert C. Besom in a general store at the soutwest corner of 25A and Gingham & Frederick Road, namely "Besom & Evans" merchants and dealers in agricultural implements, dry goods, and groceries." During this time, a post office appointment was obtained by Christian Besom, Albert Besom, and R. M.Evans (May 13, 1889 to Nov. 7, 1893.) On Aug. 2, 1894 the firm dissolved with Milton selling out to Besom.
Milton and Manervia Jane were parents of 10 children during the years of 1868 to 1889. They are: Maris Alwilda, Lillie Hortentie, Sarah Arletta (better known as "Lettie"), Korah Webster, Zenitia Burzilla, Laura Alice, Anna Predemcy, Howard Virgil, Eldon H. and Rhoda Marie.
In 1890 Rober Milton bought 80 acres from his father-in-law Lewis Keller, near the old Evans homestead, but on the corner of 25A (a red brick house known as the old Keller farm.) Milton took up farming although he did not do it himself. This left more time for his active part in politics. He was an active member and leader of the Republican party and his Justice of the Peace duties earned him the title of "Squire." He was an active member of the D. M. Rouzer Post, GAR of Tippecanoe, Fidelity Grange, and the United Brethren Church of Ginghamsburg where he was Sunday School Superintendent and a class teacher for 15 years, and contributer to the building. He worked untiringly to obtain the land right-of-way for the traction line, the D & TT, running from Dayton to Toledo. He was one fo the first to own an auto in Tippecanoe and also a Bell telephone.
In 1896 Mr. Evans erected his large more modern and tasteful residence on the SW corner of 25A and Evanston Road, still owning the 40 acres of the old homestead.
In 1918 Evanston was named after him as was Evanston Road.
Manervia Jane died on Feb. 6, 1909 and her funeral was held at Ginghamsburg Church. According to Harbaugh's History "She was a lady of Christian life (united to M. E. Church in Tippecanoe at age 21 and 10 years; later transferred to Gingham U. B.) and exemplary character, one who filled every position that life presnted to her with the completeness of a good woman."
Five years later, on March 2, 1914, Milton remarried to Anna Cushwa Schaffer, who lived on Fourth Street between Down and Broadway (Coddinton house). Anna had 3 children by her previous marriage.
Squire Evans kept many, many interesting records now in the possession of his only son's great granddaughter Jill Alexander Heffner. Som of interest follows: In 1896 he had a partnership with a Mr. Neal in the Troy Novelty Works. On May 2, 1911, he filed his personal property tax - Automobile $200, Household $100, Grain $100, Watch $10, Organ $20, money on deposit $2250.00, Bldg & Loan Stock $13,620.00, Notes, Mtgs & accts. $5750.00 for a total of $21,460.00.
In his journal he had a page for each heir and it appears that he left his widow $2000 in his will. His chldren as heirs got various amounts of money, probably because some had borrowed from him. Each got a final settlement of $17.78 in addtion to: Rhoda got $5051, Anna P. got $5001, Korah $6451, Laura $6651, Sarah Arletta (my ancestor) $5866, and Lillie Underwood received $5976.
According to reunion notes he was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 160-165 pounds, had a light complexion, brown hair, and hazel or gray eyes.
This is a quote from the Biographical Record (1900) of Miami County, Ohio. "He is one of the substantial and highly repected agriculturists of the community and belongs to the progressive class of citizens who believe that time should bring improvement and that the enterprise of today should advance beyond that of former years. During his active career he has been found true to the duties of citizenship and to those of public and private life in every particular, and well does he deserve representation in the history of the county wherein his entire life has been spent."
Robert Milton Evans died on his 73rd birthday on March 18, 1918, and he and Manervia Jane are both buried in Maple Hill Cemetery, Tipp City, Ohio.