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, having two years prior
lost an infant son (George Lindsay), protected their only
child, if not molly-coddled.
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.
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
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.
Australian Weekly Chronicle
South Australian Advertiser 16 August
Almost to the dayone 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
five-room house built on the estate at
Evandale, and over the next 26 years, 12 children were born to them:
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)
this duration southern and northern wings were added to
Ivanhoe homestead to
accommodate the expanding family.
the eve of the birth of his first daughter, father of three, Henry jnr became
fatherless when in 1868 Henry snr died suddenly.
jnr shared the temperance convictions of his mother and as the new superintendent
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.
father's passing caused a watershed period for both
Evandale and the temperance
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.
our Special Correspondent.]
Chronicle 14 December
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
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.
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.
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...
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.
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."
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."