David Minshal Evans - 1821- 1911
Merthyr Tydfil, a small town in the southern part of Wales, on the River Cats, being the country's seat and market town, is located 24 miles northwest of Cardiff , a very large and busy seaport. The principal industries are coal mining, iron and steel, although a great deal of food is raised close by.
We presume David Michelle Evans was born here on July 20, 1821 as two older children were born and died here. David's father worked at this place. David's father, David Jones Evans, was born at Bala Marionette, Wales on December 10, 1786, his mother Sarah Michelle was born at Denbigh, North Wales on May 29, 1796 . When David was a small boy the family moved to Liverpool .
Liverpool, England is the principal seaport of England, for the Atlantic trade and one of the greatest trading centers in the world. The chief industries of this city are milling, iron and steel working, sugar refining, manufacturing, machinery, engines, tools, chairs, tables, watch making, jewelry, confectionery, tobacco and oil, brewing and distilling. There were extensive shipbuilding yards and docks. Seagoing vessels traveled up to Liverpool Channel, where passengers as well as cargo were unloaded. There were many fine schools and colleges here, also trade schools. This place was very attractive to David's father, with plenty of work and good schools close, as he now had a family to educate, and get employment. Three brothers were born here as follows: William, John and Charles. At this place they received their education and grew to manhood.
William worked for the railroad for many years and became very expert in the iron trade, making such things as candle holders, fluffing irons, also flatirons and many other useful and ornamental things. He also was a very good carpenter and mechanical engineer. David served an apprenticeship in carpentry and was employed as ships carpenter and cabinetmaker.
This family were devout Baptists, all attending church regularly. David and William were very good singers, and they belonged to the church choir. They often sang duets together, David singing bass and William tenor. They organized a singing group consisting of Mary Holding, Isaac Grace, John Cunliff, David and William. They sang in church and civic affairs and were very much in demand. They always went Christmas caroling.
One time when William was on his way to church he heard a man singing and stopped to listen. The song was so beautiful it impressed him so he stepped inside and sat down and stayed to hear the sermon. Needless to say he was scolded for not arriving at his own church. He went back many times to hear this man, who was John Taylor, Mormon missionary, and finally got his brothers and also his parents to go with him. They were very much impressed and investigated the Gospel, finally joining the church.
William and David were baptized November 28, 1841 in the River Mercy. The River Mercy is 70 miles wide and is also called the Liverpool Channel.
David and Mary Holding were married by elder George Mickelson in Liverpool, England September 28, 1842. Later she was sealed by Heber C. Kimball on November 12, 1855. She was born July 16, 1821 and was the daughter of John and Mary Fitten Holding. It was decided that the whole family would work and save toward immigrating to America, and finally to Utah. William came first, landing at New York, where he worked for a short time, then went by rail to St. Louis where he obtained work and saved to help the other members of his family come and join him. He then went to Kanesville, now Council Bluffs, where he again got work building wagons to help the pioneers cross the plains to Utah. When they had earned enough they travel to Kanesville and joined William. At Kanesville, he sent for David and his wife, who arrived at New Orleans where they stopped and got worked building wagons to help the pioneers across the plains. Now they all worked and all saved money for their mother, father and Charles. They all worked very hard to get their wagons and supplies to go to Utah when a terrible epidemic of cholera broke out in the camp. David's mother contracted it and within several hours died, August 10, 1850. Her death was a great shock to all and especially their father, and after much consideration he decided not to go on to Utah but to return to England and his son John, who had remained there. The father lived there five years, died on March 4, 1855 and was buried in Looting cemetery, outside of London.
At this time David and Mary had the following children; William Holding Evans, born July 22, 1843 -- died 1850. David Holding born April 24, 1845 and died December 22, 1847. Edward Holding born April 25, 1849 in New Orleans - John Holding, born May 17, 1847 and died December 26, 1847 - Charles Holding born March 27, 1852 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. David Holding and John Holding both died in Liverpool in December of 1847.
They all worked very hard to get ready to start across the plains. A Mr. Ballo, who had a band, invited them to join his band to help furnish entertainment for this company of saints crossing the plains. They had a fairly good trip to Utah and many times enjoyed the music of this band. The following children were born to them after their arrival in Salt Lake City, Utah : Josephine Holding Evans -born January 31, 1855 ; Mary Elizabeth Holding, born March 15, 1857 ; Sarah Jane Holding Evans, born October 29, 1859.
David lived in the 15th ward for a short time when he went to work for a Mr. Chadwick, helping to build a home on a piece of property on Third South between First and Second West receiving the east end of this property as his pay. He then built several homes here and lived on this property most of his remaining life. This is where Mary Holding Evans died on February 24, 1867.
David helped in the breaking of the ground for the temple. He also did work in the temple. He played in Mr. Ballo's band for that occasion and many others. One in particular was when Horace Greeley, founder and editor of the New York Tribune, visited Utah in 1859. He attended the dedication 50 years later. He did the work in the temple for his kindred dead.
David was one of the presidents of the 23rd quorum of seventies. He was also a high priest attending church faithfully. He was the first choir leader in the old seventh ward.
David married Jean Owen Court, July 20, 1867, Apostle Wilford Woodruff performing the ceremony. Jane was born September 12, 1837 to Thomas and Amelia Owen Court who came to Utah October 23, 1869 in the James Needham company. Jane came to Utah ahead of her parents in September 24, 1863, at this time David needed help in caring for his five children.
At one time David owned acreage out in North Salt Lake, near the Cudahy packing plant. He sold the land for $1200. He was a builder and contractor, and worked for such men as Captain Hooper, Horace Eldredge and Lewis S Hills, known as the big five. He owned a good span of horses, a wagon, and a light buggy, which they used when they went to Nephi to visit his brother William and his family. At one time he owned a cow and he had a good garden and small orchard. He would experiment with grafting in his fruit trees. He had a fine tool shop where he spent some time making all kinds of gadgets. He took very good care of his tools.
He was a good neighbor, faithful church member, and a wonderful musician living until he was past 90. He died August 1911.