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 Moody Henry Evans

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Moody Henry Evans

Birth
Newbury, Orange County, Vermont, USA
Death 29 Apr 1943 (aged 97)
Saint Johnsbury, Caledonia County, Vermont, USA
Burial Saint Johnsbury, Caledonia County, Vermont, USA
Memorial ID 38169888 View Source
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MOODY EVANS, AREA'S LAST CIVIL WAR VETERAN

-by Phil Corriveau
May 2008

Sixty-five years ago this past spring, the last surviving Civil War veteran in Caledonia & Essex counties was laid to rest; at the time only one other Vermont soldier was still living in the state.

Even at this late date, his grave has yet to be marked except for his initials, surname, and year of birth; and a Mason's symbol on the family monument. All efforts to locate a relative or organization willing to bear the expense of carving 25 letters & numbers in his grass-high marker have proved fruitless.

Moody Henry Evans was born May 25 1845 in Newbury, Vt and enlisted for the Civil War from Kirby, Vt at the age of 19 on Feb 13 1865. He was mustered into Co. B., 3rd Regt, Vt. Volunteers that same day and saw battle at Petersburg, Va. He was mustered out at Bailey's Cross Roads, Va. July 11 1865 when the Regiment was disbanded there.

Mr. Evans spent his life in the lumber industry as a sawmill worker, lumber marker, and surveyor; living mostly at Damon's Crossing in Victory and in St. Johnsbury. Once a bustling village with a post office, stores, and RR Station; today, Damon's Crossing can only be identified by where the Victory Branch RR bed crosses the Victory/Granby road a mile and a half east of the old bridge abutments in the Moose River.

While living in St. Johnsbury, he was a financial contributor to the publication of the Village Directories and a Grand Mason. The recipient of a $12/month Veteran's pension from 1910, his last days were spent at the home of John W. Murray on the New Boston Road, where Mrs. Murray cared for him. He died there April 29 1943, of heart failure, due to old age at 97y 11m 04d and was buried with his wife, daughters, and parents at the Grove Cemetery in East St. Johnsbury on May 05 1943; his military service apparently forgotten in the shadow of a more immediate war.

The story of his grave's rediscovery is an interesting one. A few years ago a member of the Barnet Junior Historical Society found an elaborate little girl's gravestone near her home in Passumpsic and inquired of her local librarian the reason for being buried so alone there. The librarian then inquired of a local genealogy hobbyist who knew the area's inhabitants of over a half century ago. The property owner at that time was the brother of a cemetery caretaker, raising the probability the stone was a discard, rather than stolen.

The gravestone reads, "Mira J.; Dau. of M. H. & Almira Evans; Died July 20, 1880; AE. 1Yr, 2Mos, 19Ds.; and is carved with elaborate ivy leaves & vines at the top. A search of Smith's Index to Vital Records in the St. Johnsbury Caledonian, uncovered the obituary of the child's mother a year earlier, which led the search to Victory, Vt. Here, the mother's open grave & bits of a larger, similar stone were found in an old cemetery, indicating a removal.

The search widened to surrounding towns and the county Gazetteers. Eventually, records were found revealing the family's history showing that the child died of measles in neighboring Concord. When the child's sister died in 1903, a lot was purchased; the remains of her mother, grandmother, and sister moved there; and matching, modern (to the time of 1903), grass-high markers placed. The gravedigger most likely found the elaborate child's stone too beautiful to use as simple backfill, and took it home.

Moody's is the only burial to take place in this lot since his father, Rev. Jacob Evans, died 100 years ago.


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M. H. Evans / 1846 - 19__


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