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Waldo Evans

Waldo Evans and Hannah Williams Evans

Waldo Evans was born 18 April 1910, the son of David Bowen Evans and Hannah Williams Evans. His father David had homesteaded in the valley in 1898, joining Waldo’s two uncles, Thomas and Lorenzo (“Ren’).  Both Waldo’s parents originally came from Samaria, Idaho.

Waldo’s father died on 30 December 1913 when Waldo was just three years old.  Eighteen months later his mother married Ed Snyder, the rural mail carrier, so Ed was the only father Waldo remembered.  Everyone liked Ed – he happily picked up items from town when requested to do so by the remote Arbonites, and he would sometimes pick up children from school and give them a ride home in his converted truck cab sitting on sleigh runners, pulled by two horses, which had a stove in it to keep everyone toasty. 

Waldo attended the Green Top School, located just east of the Gena Newport/Kevin North home (you can still see leftovers of this one-room school building in the middle of Kevin and Cindy North’s corral just east of their home). The Green Top school, called so because of its green roof, was District #12. At that time there were homesteading families on every quarter section (160 acres), so there were a lot of families with a lot of children attending.  In 1919 at least thirty-three children were attending the Green Top School in grades first through eighth.

When confirmed bachelor Waldo was thirty-three years old, he took over the rural route from his step-father Ed Snyder. He still loved the farm, and the farm came first; the rural mail carrier route helped to supplement the family’s farm income. No one today can understand the excitement when the rural mail carrier was sighted, especially when something had been ordered weeks before from the ubiquitous Montgomery Ward catalog. Waldo, like all other rural carriers, spent inordinate amounts of time on the road alone.  Conditions and roads were better than they were in the homesteading days, but there were still challenges such as blizzards, mud, floods, breakdowns, freezing temperatures, high winds, and dust storms. 

In those days there was a family on every quarter section (a hundred-and-sixty acres) so there were a lot of stops. Waldo went from delivering by horse to delivering by car, but often in the winter he went back to adopting his step-father’s mode of deliver – an enclosed truck cab set on sleigh runners, pulled by two horses, with a little wood-burning “monkey stove” roasting away inside. Waldo completed this route the next thirteen years, quitting in November 1946 so he could devote more of his time to the farm. He talked his friend Sod Williams into taking the contract to become the rural mail carrier, which he did for years; afterwards Sod’s wife Nelda took over the rural route.  

Waldo married Dorothy “Jean” Daniels on 25 April 1947 in American Falls, Idaho when Waldo was thirty-seven and Jean was twenty-four. Jean had been born in Rupert, Idaho on 16 February 1923, the daughter of Arbonites Thomas and Irene Condit Daniels. Jean was the granddaughter of John M. Daniels (known as “Donum”), who was an early Arbon homesteader from the West Fork area. Jean grew up in West Fork and the Pauline area (where the post office is).  

Waldo knew from a young age that he intended to marry pretty Jean. His future brother-in-law stated: “When Waldo was a young man of about eighteen years old or so, he was sitting with little Jean on his knee and told his future father-in-law [Thomas Daniels] that when Jean grew up he was going to marry her – he was obviously a man of his word” (Bannock Valley, page 193).

Waldo and Jean had five children: Lorraine Irene (“Renie”), 1941; Robert Larue, 1947; David Waldo, 1948; Monte Monroe, 1951; and Jerre Lee, 1954. At this writing in August 2019, all the children but Renie are living.

Jean’s father ran the Arbon store from about 1930 while Jean was growing up until he sold it to Jean and Waldo in 1960. Jean and Waldo then ran the store until 1975. According to the Bannock Valley history, “Living in a grocery story brought them in close contact with the people of the valley” (p. 63) and Jean learned to love the Arbon people.

At some time when Jean was growing up, the original log store burned down. The story was told to LaRue Gunter, Jean’s niece, and who owned the store from 1975 to 1978: “The store was somewhere between the crossroad [Arbon Highway and Mink Creek Road] and Vern and Carolyn Munn’s house [the little house between Stu and Judy Adam’s home and Barry and Valorie William’s home]. They [the parents] were returning from town and saw smoke pouring out of the building. Out of a window, several puppies were thrown to safety followed by Mary Lou, Virgie, Jack, and Jean. I once asked Jean why the pups were the first out. She replied that little sisters were easy to come by but Dad would never let them have a bunch of puppies” (Bannock Valley, page 193).

Waldo died on 23 May 1971 in Arbon, Idaho at age sixty-one.  He was buried in Pocatello.  Jean died at age fifty-two on 23 May 1975 in Arbon, Idaho, and was also buried in Pocatello, Idaho.

Sources:

Ward, Laurie Jean, Bannock Valley (Providence, Utah: Keith Watkins and Sons, 1982).

https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/LH8M-14B

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/48164288

The links provided here will lead to information on other family members.