John Gary Evans, Gov. of SC

Is your surname Evans?

Research the Evans family

John Gary Evans, Gov. of SC's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


John Gary Evans, Governor

Birthdate: (78)
Birthplace: Cokesbury, SC, USA
Death: June 27, 1942 (78)
Spartanburg, SC, USA
Place of Burial: Edgefield, SC, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Major Gen. Nathan George "Shanks" Evans (CSA) and Ann Victoria Evans
Husband of Emily Mansfield Evans
Brother of Mary Evans and Barnard Bee Evans

Occupation: Captain, Governor of South Carolina
Managed by: Leon Lovett Evans
Last Updated:

About John Gary Evans, Gov. of SC

Elected Governor of South Carolina in 1894 at age 31- youngest governor in SC history

He supported women's suffeage and opened the Univ of SC to women

He was a Major in the army and served in the spanish american war

The story of meeting his future wife Edith Mansfield Plum: He was in school at union college in NY, he attended an Episcopal church, and as he was early he had his pick of pews. A gentleman and his wife and daughter were seated next to him and appeared annoyed that the pew was occupied. After they were settled the gentleman slipped Evans a note saying " I pay $10,000/yr for the prividege of sitting in this pew" He passed the note to Evans who without hesitation wrote a reply " You pay too damed much" and returned the note. Within the year he married the daughter!

John Gary Evans (October 15, 1863 – June 27, 1942) was the 85th Governor of South Carolina from 1894 to 1897.


   * 1 Early life
   * 2 Political career
   * 3 Later life and career
   * 4 External links

Early life

Evans was born in Cokesbury, South Carolina to an aristocratic and well connected family. His father was Nathan George Evans, a Confederate general, and after his father died in 1868, he went to live in Edgefield with his uncle Martin Witherspoon Gary. After completing his secondary education in Cokesbury, he enrolled at Union College in Schenectady, New York. His uncle's death in 1881 forced him to withdraw from college due to financial constraints, but he would later graduate in 1883.

Political career

Admitted to the bar in 1887, Evans began the practice of law in Aiken and became known for his representation of poor farmers which led to the development of ties with John Lawrence Manning and Benjamin Tillman. He was elected in 1888 to the South Carolina House of Representatives at the age of 25 and elevated four years later in 1892 to the South Carolina Senate. His rapid political rise continued by being elected in 1894 as the 85th governor of South Carolina at the age of 31, youngest ever for a South Carolina governor. During his time as governor, Evans continued the policies of Tillman and presided over the constitution convention of 1895.

Pledging not to run for reelection as governor in 1896, Evans set his sights instead for the U.S. Senate race. He lost the election and his attempt for an open Senate seat in 1897 again proved equally unsuccessful. Frustrated, Evans volunteered as a major in the U.S. Army for the Spanish-American War in 1898 and helped create the civilian government of Havana. After the war, he resumed the practice of law in Spartanburg.

Later life and career

Further attempts at an open Senate seat in 1902 and 1908 proved futile and henceforward he focused his energies on internal Democratic politics. Three times he served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1900, 1912 and 1916. In 1914, he became the chairman of the South Carolina Democratic State Executive Committee and from 1918 to 1928 was the National Democratic Committeeman from South Carolina. Evans won a term to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1922 from Spartanburg and served on the judiciary and rules committees.

On June 27, 1942, Evans died and was buried at Willowbrook Cemetery in Edgefield.

External links

   * SCIway Biography of John Gary Evans
   * USC Biography of John Gary Evans
   * Marion County Biography of John Gary Evans
view all

John Gary Evans, Gov. of SC's Timeline

October 15, 1863
Cokesbury, SC, USA
June 27, 1942
Age 78
Spartanburg, SC, USA
Edgefield, SC, USA