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Henry Angas Evans

Upon disembarking the Madras with his parents and uncle in 1843 at Port Adelaide, Master Henry Angas Evans, 4-years old and fortunate to have survived the voyage, embarked on a life of opportunities like no other. Henry's parents, Henry snr and Sarah, h aving two years prior lost an infant son (George Lindsay), protected their only child, if not molly-coddled.
   While his father set about making his mark securing stable industry to support their new life, young Henry's mother had his full attention.  Devoted to his parents,
Henry jnr became well versed in the values of personal godliness, evangelism, philanthropy and an uncompromising work ethic - principles abided by his Baptist Calvinist grandfather, George Fife Angas.
   As devout non conforming
Protestant dissenters on a pioneering frontier, Henry jnr's parents had few options educationally if they wanted their son to be suitably socialised and well connected.  With his cousin James Angas Johnson, Henry jnr undertook elementary education in Angaston at Mr Edward Nesbit's school.  At the conclusion of the school examinations conducted in the Union Chapel in March 1853, Henry received an honourable mention, and a first prize medal for good conduct and general improvement.  Mr Nesbit endorsed the cousins with written references to support their applications for acceptance to attend The Collegiate School of St Peter, in Adelaide.  In their final year both made the Class Honours List in their First Class stream; prizes for writing (James) and drawing (Henry), and second prize for English essay - James at the final examination, and Henry at the mid-year examination.
   When Henry finished school and returned to his parents, Evandale was well established with orchards providing fresh fruit to the thriving mining towns of Burra and Kapunda, as well as supply to burgeoning export markets, plus vineyards, from which wine was profitable. Henry jnr was to experience an exciting period alongside his father with the enormous expansion of Evandale Fruits, whilst observing his father's active promotion and entrepreneurship. Henry senior was a formidable role model for his son as he strived his enterprise, whilst fulfilling civic and pastoral duties, in addition to being called upon to attend the health and welfare of district residents.

In 1862 at the age of 23, Henry Angas proved his mettle:-

[From our own Correspondent.] August 12.

The rain has fallen in torrents during the last two days, flooding the country in all directions. The [River] Gawler, which takes its rise a few miles from Angaston, rose higher on Monday night than we have known it during the last 20 years, and did a great deal of damage along its course.

    Mr. Edward Salter (son of Mr. William Salter, and a young man much esteemed throughout the district), was rescued from a position of fearful peril by Mr. Henry Angas Evans, of Evandale, who happened to be passing the night of Monday at his residence.

    The weather was tempestuous, and the rain descended in torrents, when a little after midnight Mr. Salter, fearing mischief to a flock of sheep that were folded near the house, resolved to visit the fold, Mr. Evans determined to accompany his friend, notwithstanding many earnest attempts of Mr. Salter to dissuade him from it.

    A creek, now swollen with the rain, lay between them and the sheep. Mr. Evans cleared it at a bound, and was rounding up the sheep that had broken from the fold, when he heard loud cries from Mr. Salter, which, he at first thought had reference to the sheep but, being continued, he became alarmed, and quickly repaired to the spot from whence they came; there he found Mr. Salter clinging to the bank in too exhausted a state to extricate himself from his perilous situation.

    Mr. Evans was just in time to save his friend from a watery grave, for he could get no firm hold of the bank, and the waters was rushing against him with such force that he must in a few moments have yielded to their power. It appears that Mr. Salter, in attempting to leap across the creek, had swept him away for a considerable distance, and would in all probability have speedily terminated a valuable life but for the prompt help of his friend.

South Australian Weekly Chronicle
& South Australian Advertiser 16 August 1862


Almost to the day one year later at North Adelaide, Henry Angas Evans married Marianne Price who had migrated from Bolton, England in 1850. 

The couple made their home at Ivanhoe, a five-room house built on the estate at Evandale, and over the next 26 years, 12 children were born to them:
Alfred Lindsay (1864-1903)
Frederick Lavington (1865)
George Angas (1867)
Edith May (1868)
Arthur Henry (1871)
Ada Louisa (1873)
Rosetta Alice (1875)
Charles Mayson (1878-79)
Percy Reginald (1880)
Ethel Sarah Constance (1883)
Lillian Ivy Constance (1885)
Maurice Leslie (1889)

Throughout this duration southern and northern wings were added to Ivanhoe homestead to accommodate the expanding family.

On the eve of the birth of his first daughter, father of three, Henry jnr became fatherless when in 1868 Henry snr died suddenly.

Henry jnr shared the temperance convictions of his mother and as the new superintendent of  Evandale business he actively demonstrated he was true by ceasing the production of wine, pulling vines, and grafting appropriate varieties to currants and table grapes.He diversified to sheep grazing and wool production, an industry his father had tried and considered precarious.

   His father's passing caused a watershed period for both Evandale and the temperance crusade.   He and his mother formed a branch, or "tent", of the Angaston Band of Hope at North Rhine.   Through active promotion and local meetings in the Independent Chapel, membership quickly grew as people pledged to absolve themselves and others against the consumption of alcohol. The congregation as a whole were not entirely comfortable their chapel was used for such evangelism, so the North Rhine Band of Hope and Abstinence Society built their own meeting house, next door to the Chapel financed by Henry and his mother.

Looking to the future Henry made the enterprising move of undertaking an extensive overseas study tour of the best methods of preserving fruit.  By 1890 he had imported and installed at the cost of 800 pounds [sterling] state of the art American dehydration equipment thus increasing output to 400 bushels of fruit over twenty-four hours.   The increase in productivity exponentially increased the need for efficient transport to market and Henry joined the campaign for a railway to Angaston to be built.

Our Fruit Industry. Keyneton-Its Environs.

[By our Special Correspondent.]    

Chronicle 14 December 1895
... the object of this article is to bring under notice a happy, thriving, pretty district, of which Keyneton is the township... we enter Ivanhoe, the estate of Mr. Henry Angas Evans.
Mr. Evans has for years past made fruit culture the principle feature on his estate. Just at the present moment it is truly refreshing to gaze over the vast acreage of beautifully-green fruit country at Ivanhoe and Evandale.Attaining one of the many points of vantage, a glance at the surrounding gardens and orchards impresses one with the idea that South Australia yet has hope when the soil will produce thus luxuriantly.

   On the Ivanhoe and Evandale alone there is over 150 acres under fruit cultivation, and over 100 acres are in bearing.
Mr. Evans seems to have a preference for apples, and during the fruit season from January to April dries close upon 10,000 bushels. About 28 acres are growing currants and raisins, while apricots, peaches, plums, and almost every other fruit are represented...

  The system which Mr. Evans has for drying the fruits is a very complete one, and is easily understandable. The apparatus for paring, coring, and slicing is most ingenious, and all the machines are driven by-steam. Mr. Evans's partiality for machinery has earned for him in certain quarters the name of "Yankee" Evans, which is after all a complimentary appellation in a colony which requires more enterprise.
The paring machines are decidedly interesting, and each of them (there are five) put through a bushel of apples in three minutes, while each slicer deals with two bushels a minute.

   The drying-room is also a study in itself, while a big area of fruit spread out on perforated trays to dry in the season is quite a novelty to the uninitiated...

At the time of Henry's death in 1901, Evandale was managed by his sons. His obituary published in the Chronicle described the following:
"The deceased gentleman was a prominent supporter of the Congregational Church and Band of Hope at Keyneton.  He was of a kindly, but retiring, disposition, and was much liked by his employees for his consideration and interest in their affairs.

"He shrank from taking a prominent position in public affairs, but was ever ready to assist in every good movement. The deceased gentleman was in Angaston nine days ago in his usual health, but took a chill, which resulted in pneumonia, and after a few days' illness he passed away."

Henry Angas Evans was laid to rest in the North Rhine Cemetery on 5 September 1901 and his estate was sworn not to exceed 51,000 pounds [sterling].


Thirty-eight years later he was remembered "at an interesting ceremony ... in the Da Costa dining hall at St. Peter's College, when the headmaster dedicated a table (to be placed under the great western window, and used chiefly to hold a bowl of flowers) to the memory of the late Henry Angas Evans, of Ivanhoe, Keyneton. Mr. Evans, an old scholar of the school... was a grandson of George Fife Angas. The table was the gift of several of his descendants, and was handed over to the school by Mr. Maurice Evans, a son, and also an old scholar. The assemblage included members of the third generation, and two great grandsons - John Keynes and Colin Lillecrapp, students at the school."

The Advertiser 24 March 1939