Ira Hobart Evans
Ira Hobart Evans was born in Piermont, New Hampshire, on April 11, 1844. Following the death of his father in 1852, his mother moved the family to her hometown of Berlin, Vermont, where the young Evans attended school and later graduated from the Barre Academy. With the Civil War and a call to arms sounding across the country, Evans enlisted as a private in Company B, 10th Vermont Volunteer Infantry on July 1862. He would later be promoted to captain and eventually brevet major.
Major Evans received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with Company B, 116th U.S. Colored Troops, at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, Virginia. According to the citation, on April 6, 1865, “Evans voluntarily passed between the lines under heavy fire from the enemy and obtained important information.” Following the assassination of President Lincoln, Evans was selected to march in the Honor Guard for the fallen Commander-in-Chief.
At the conclusion of the Civil War, Evans was transferred to Texas as part of the federal forces to help oversee Reconstruction and served as the provost marshal of Brownsville. In 1867, he was discharged from active duty in New Orleans. Liking Texas, he returned to the area and soon entered politics. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives and became the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives at the age of twenty-five. In addition to being a legislator, Evans was a businessman, religious leader, and a philanthropist.
Evans was an early member of the Vermont Society, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) with a National Number of 2751. His Vermont Society number is 51. His SAR patriot ancestor is James Hobart, who served as a private in the New Hampshire Troops in 1777. Evans signed his application on November 5, 1890, while living in Austin, Texas. On December 8, 1896, he founded the Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and transferred his membership to that new state-level society. He held Texas Society membership number 1, and served as the group’s first president.
Ira Hobart Evans died in San Diego, California, on April 19, 1922, of a heart ailment. His body was returned to Berlin, Vermont, to be buried with members of his family in the Berlin Corner Cemetery.