The Abridged Version of the life and death of William “Earl” Evison
William Earl Evison was born to Francis C. and Alvaretta Metcalf Evison in Morenci, Lenawee County, Michigan, on 3 Feb 1883. He was registered as William E. but was also known as “Earl”.
Earl lived with his family until he married Belva L. Rogers, daughter of Edward Rogers (also spelled as Rodgers) and Hannah “Ann” Stevens, in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, on 2 Nov 1904.
Earl and Belva had 6 children (one set of twins) born between May of 1905 and March of 1923 in Lucas County, Ohio. All, except a daughter, died young. Earl was a carpenter by trade.
Both Belva and Earl died in Toledo, Ohio: Belva on 2 Jan 1941 and Earl of a cerebral haemorrhage on 2 Apr 1951. They are buried in Toledo Memorial Park in Sylvania, Adams County, Ohio.
The Unabridged version of the life and death of William “Earl” Evison
The following are the details of the lives of William “Earl” Evison, his wife, Belva Rogers Evison, and their children: Violet May, Ruth Hannah, Forrest Dale, the twins and Russell Earl Evison.
Birth and Childhood
William “Earl” Evison is the oldest child of Francis C. Evison. He was born to Francis and his first wife, Alvaretta Metcalf Evison, on 3 Feb 1883 in Morenci, Lenawee County, Michigan. Although he was registered as William E. Evison when he was born, he was also known as “Earl”.
In 1884, 16-month-old Earl was living in Morenci with his parents and his maternal grandmother, Mary Metcalf.
Then it appears that Earl’s parents divorced, sometime between 1884 and 1894. In 1894, Earl’s mother re-married — to Charles Frederick Barber. And in 1897, Earl’s father re-married — to Cynthia A. Stevens.
Marriage and Children
On 2 Nov 1904 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, Earl married Belva L Rogers, daughter of Edward Rogers (also spelled Rodgers) and Hannah “Ann” Stevens.
Their first child, a daughter named Violet May, was born the following year — on 22 May 1905 in Adams Township, Lucas County, Ohio. Sadly, Violet May died on 22 Mar 1906 when she was only 10 months old. Violet was buried in Forest Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio.
About 9 months after Violet May died, Earl and Belva’s second daughter was born. Her name is Ruth Hannah Evison and she was also born in Adams Township, Lucas County, Ohio, on 31 Dec 1906.
In May of 1910, Earl, Belva and Ruth were still living in Adams Township and Earl was employed as a wagon driver (coal).
During WWI, Earl was required by law (Selective Service Act) to register for the US army. On 12 Feb 1918, he filled out his WWI Draft Registration Card and was described as having a medium build and height, with blue eyes and brown hair. On his registration card, Earl listed his occupation as “carpenter” in a nitrate plant in Toledo. I couldn’t find any records that Earl actually went overseas to fight.
Near the end of 1918, tragedy struck the family once again. In October of 1918, Belva gave birth to stillborn twins 😦
Earl and Belva and their two surviving children, Ruth and Forrest, were enumerated for the 1920 US Census — still living in Adams Township. It appears that the Evisons were a close-knit family because Earl’s father, Francis C and his family (including Earl’s widowed grandfather) were living just down the road.
Tragically the following year, Forrest died. He was only six years old when he died of meningitis and convulsions on 29 Nov 1921 in Adams Township, Lucas County, Ohio. He was buried in the same plot as his sister, in Forest Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio.
Unbelievably, Earl and Belva lost another child a couple of years after Forrest passed away. Their son, Russell Earl, was born on 27 Mar 1923 but he died two days later (29 Mar 1923) of convulsions and birth injuries.
Russell was buried with his brother, Forrest, and his sister, Violet, in Forest Cemetery.
The 1930 Census provides more clues that the Evisons were a close family! Earl and Belva’s only surviving child, Ruth Hannah, was married by 1930 (married name: Bitz) and was living just down the street from her parents in Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. Earl and Belva owned the house in which they were living and the house was worth $5,500. And this census provides the answer to whether Earl fought in WWI — he answered “no” when asked if he was a veteran.
By 1940, Earl and Belva had moved to Spencer Township, Lucas County, Ohio — living next door to their daughter, Ruth, and her family. This Census asked each person what was the highest grade that they completed. For Earl it was Grade 5 and for Belva, Grade 6. Earl was still employed as a carpenter (house construction).
Death and Burial of Belva and Earl Evison
On 2 Jan 1941, 53-year-old Belva Rogers Evison died in the Women and Children’s Hospital in Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. Her cause of death is difficult to read but it is broncho ? (update: broncho pneumonia) and saphenous phlebitis, with a contributory cause of hypertensive heart disease. The Informant was her husband, Earl. At the time of her death, Belva and Earl were living at R R #1, Holland, Ohio.
William “Earl” Evison died when he was 68 years old of a cerebral hemorrhage and hypertension. He passed away in Sylvania, Lucas County, Ohio, on 2 Apr 1951. The Informant was his daughter, Ruth Evison Bitz. Earl was buried in Toledo Memorial Park in Sylvania on 5 Apr 1951.
My next blog will be about Ruth Hannah Evison, the only child of Earl and Belva to survive childhood and live into adulthood.