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John David Evans


John and Margaret Evans

John David Evans was born on Jan. 31, 1870 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA, the son of William J. and Evelyn "Eva" (McKinney) Evans Sr. He was a railroader who met a painful and tragic death while at work.

As an infant of four-and-a-half months' age, John was baptized in St. Theresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church in the Perrysville suburb of Pittsburgh on May 15, 1870. His paternal grandparents, David F. and Catherine Evans, attended as his sponsors.

When William was young, his father was badly injured in an accident, impacting his mental faculties. The boy and his brother Frank were admitted on Dec. 13, 1876 to St. Paul Orphanage in Pittsburgh, under the care of Most Holy Father Domenec. He was about age five at the time, and Bishop Domenic agreed to pay the boys' expenses. Two years later, his father died, and then when John was age 10, in about 1881, his mother married George Henry Minerd, and John rejoined the family.

On Nov. 20, 1901, in Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH, John married Margaret Elizabeth Casey (1882-1980), a native of Whitehaven, England who had emigrated to the United States in 1890. John was age 30 at the time, and Margaret was 19. They were 11 years apart in age.


Herbert Evans' grave

The couple produced 10 children -- Raymond Joseph Evans, Isabelle Eva Gaus, Herbert John Evans, Robley Evans, Margaret E. Evans, Alice Mae Evans, Regina Grace Nermyr, John Patrick Evans and unnamed twins who died as infants.

The Evanses made their home at 4424 Calvin Street in Pittsburgh in 1907.

Sadly, son Herbert contracted a deadly case of cerebro-spinal meningitis and died at the age of eight months, 10 days on May 18, 1907. He was laid to rest in the Calvary Cemetery in the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh. His upright grave marker is still erect and somewhat legible today. The cemetery is maintained by the Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

John worked as an locomotive engineer for the B&O, and he was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, an early union.

Circa 1920-1924, the Evanses resided at 4545 Friendship Avenue in the Bloomfield section of Pittsburgh. His duties involved work in the Allison Park suburb of the city, near what today is Route 8.


John with an unidentified fireman perched on a B&O locomotive



Pittsburgh Post, 1924

On the fateful evening of Jan. 26, 1924, John was caught in a freak accident at work, and was terribly burned. Suffering from second and third degree burns of his left thigh and left hand, he was hospitalized. Tragically, he did not recover, and passed away on Feb. 5, 1924. The Pittsburgh Post reported that:

The last cold spell was the indirect cause of another death recorded at the coroner's office last night... John Evans, 51 years old, ... died in the St. Francis hospital from burns of the body. Evans' overalls ignited at Allison Park ... when a sudden gust of wind blew the flames toward him from a bundle of oily waste burning on a shovel which he was holding. Evans ... was endeavoring to thaw a frozen pipe on his engine when the accident occurred.

An examining physician, W.J. McGregor, ruled the cause of death as "toxemia following 2nd and 3rd degree burns of left thigh and left hand..."


Calvary Cemetery, Pittsburgh

After a funeral held in the Evans home, a requiem high mass was sung at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church at 46th Street in Pittsburgh. Members of the Locomotive Trainmen union, as well as the B.&O. Veterans Relief Association, were "respectfully invited to attend." John's remains were buried at Calvary Cemetery.

In the days before wire news services, and when families requested it, newspapers often asked certain out-of-town newspapers to reprint obituaries for the benefit of relatives living far away. In the Evans case, the Pittsburgh Post requested that newspapers in Louisville, KY and Pittsburg, KS publish John's obituary. It's not known who in these distant cities would have known John well enough to receive this courtesy.

Margaret outlived her husband by more than half a century. Circa 1930, she headed a household on Cedarville Street in Pittsburgh, with five children under her roof, and son Robley and daughter Margaret working to help support the brood.

She died in Pittsburgh at age 98 on June 23, 1980. She was laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery, beside her husband and infant son Herbert. A death notice was published in the Post-Gazette, which noted that her survivors included nine grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Their grave marker was photographed by the founder of this website in July 2012.


~ Son Raymond Joseph Evans Sr. ~

Son Raymond Joseph Evans Sr. (1903-1977) was born on Jan. 2, 1903 in Pittsburgh.

He was joined in holy matrimony with (?).

They resided in Pittsburgh and produced two children -- Dolores White and Raymond Evans.

Raymond and his wife may have divorced, or perhaps she had been married previously, but she also had a son Harry Paisley (or "Palsley").

Raymond died on Dec. 7, 1977, at the age of 74. Interment was in Calvary Cemetery, following a mass of Christian burial held at St. Joseph Church. A death notice was printed in the Pittsburgh Press.

Son Raymond Joseph Evans Jr. ( ? -1979) was born in (?). He married Jennie Puskarich ( ? - ? ). Their children were Mark E. Evans, Michael R. Evans and Matthew M. Evans. The Evanses made their home in Shaler Township in Pittsburgh's northern suburbs. Raymond was a member of the Fox Chapel Lodge. Sadly, he died on Nov. 29, 1979. The Pittsburgh Press published a death notice.


Isabelle Gaus

~ Daughter Isabelle Eva (Evans) Gaus ~

Daughter Isabelle Eva Evans (1905-1993) was born on May 9, 1905 in Pittsburgh.

She was christened as a youth in St. Mary's Church on Ptitsburgh's 46th Street.

On May 9, 1928 -- Isabelle's 23rd birthday -- she was united in holy matrimony with 25-year-old William Leo Gaus (Oct. 13, 1902- ? ), a native of Pittsburgh..


William Leo Gaus

The couple produced two children -- William Joseph Gaus and Robert John Gaus Sr.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1930, the Gauses lived next door to Isabelle's widowed mother and younger siblings on Cedarville Street in Pittsburgh. That year, William was employed as a coil winder at a local electrical plant.

William passed into eternity in Pittsburgh on Aug. 25, 1967.

Isabelle died on May 23, 1993 at the age of about 87. A mass of Christian burial was held in St. Joseph Church. Her survivors, said the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, included seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


Bill and Mary Lois Gaus

Son William Joseph "Bill" Gaus (1931-2010) was born on Dec. 6, 1931 in Pittsburgh. At the age of 20, on Nov. 3, 1951, he wedded Mary Lois Yaman (March 4, 1930-1991). They were the parents of Marylou Gaus, William Gerard Gaus, Timothy Leslie Gaus and Kathleen Ann Gaus. William served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, from July 20, 1950 to April 21, 1954. He returned home and obtained employment as a steelworker and inspector at the Westinghouse Electric's Bettis Atomic Power Division. The Bettis plant, located in West Mifflin, was involved with design and development of the U.S. Navy's nuclear power program, including nuclear-powered warships. The Gauses made their home in Millvale near Pittsburgh. Sadness enveloped the family when Mary Lois died in Pittsburgh on Feb. 16, 1991, at the age of 60. After two decades of work at Westinghouse, William retired on Feb. 1, 1994. He was interested in his family roots and furnished valuable information to the founder of this website in 2002. He passed away at the age of 78 on June 7, 2010. A mass of Christian burial was held at St. Sebastian Church in Ross Township. An obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that his survivors included four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

  • Granddaughter Marylou Gaus (1956- ? ) was born in 1956 ni Pittsburgh. She married David Mrvos.
  • Grandson William Gerard Gaus (1958- ? ) was born in 1958 in Pittsburgh. He wedded Debra.
  • Grandson Timothy Leslie Gaus (1961- ? ) was born in 1961 in Pittsburgh. He was joined in wedlock with Judy.
  • Grandson Kathleen Ann Gaus (1965- ? ) was born in 1965 in Pittsburgh.

Son Robert John Gaus Sr. (1942- ? ) was born on Jan. 11, 1942 in Pittsburgh. When he was 27 years of age, on May 3, 1969, he was married to Carol Ann Silhanek (Nov. 11, 1946- ? ). Their three offspring were Robert John Gaus Jr., Steven Andrew Gaus and Elaine Carolyn Gaus..

  • Grandson Robert John Gaus Jr. (1970- ? ) was born in 1970 in Pittsburgh.
  • Grandson Steven Andrew Gaus (1977- ? ) was born in 1977 in Pittsburgh.
  • Granddaughter Elaine Carolyn Gaus (1978- ? ) was born in 1978 in Pittsburgh.


~ Son Robley D. "Bob" Evans ~

Son Robley Evans (1908-1993) was born on May 28, 1908 in Pittsburgh.

In about 1926, he obtained employment with Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation in its seamless tube department in Aliquippa, Beaver County, PA. He remained with the company for 44 years.

Unmarried at the age of 21 in 1930, he lived with his widowed mother and earned a living as an electrician's helper in a steel mill.

Robley was joined in marriage in about 1944, he was wedded to Elizabeth "Betty" Kapp ( ? - ? ). The couple was together over the span of 49 years until the separation of death.

They produced one daughter, Eileen Bartholomew.

During World War II, Robley served with the U.S. Navy.

The couple made their home in Monaca, Beaver County. Their address in 1993 was 498 Obney Avenue. They were members of the St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Monaca and belonged to the church's Holy Name Society. He also was a member of the American Legion Post in Monaca, the Aliquippa Local 1211 of the United Steel Workers of America and the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR).

Robley passed away at the age of 84, on May 11, 1993, as a patient in Providence Health Care Center in Beaver Falls. A mass of Christian burial was held in the family church, followed by interment at Sylvania Hills Mausoleum. An obituary was published in the Beaver County Times.

Daughter Eileen Evans married Roger Bartholomew. They dwelled in Monaca and had four children -- Ricky Bartholomew, Debbie Bartholomew, Renee Engleman and Lisa Brtholomew.

  • Grandson Ricky Bartholomew made his home in San Diego in 1993.
  • Granddaughter Debbie Bartholomew lived in Hopewell Township, Beaver County.
  • Granddaughter Renee Bartholomew married (?) Engleman. In 1993, she resided in Darlington, Beaver County.
  • Granddaughter Lisa Brtholomew dwelled in Pittsburgh in the early 1990s.


~ Daughter Margaret E. (Evans) Wagner ~

Daughter Margaret E. Evans (1911-1994) was born on Sept. 2, 1911 in Pittsburgh.

To help support the family, Margaret at age 15 worked as a waitress in a Pittsburgh restaurant.

Margaret is thought to have been married twice. Her first spouse was Gustave W. "Gus" Reinsfelder (Oct. 27, 1898-1964), son of Gustave and Isabella (McMasters) Reinsfelder. Their only son was Robert D. Reinsfelder.

The Reinsfelder marriage was rocky. They separated and Margaret filed for divorce, claiming she had been subjected to "cruel and barbarous treatment" which had "endangered" her life. The Allegheny Court of Common Pleas handed down the divorce ruling on Oct. 16, 1941. Margaret made her home at that time at 206 Cedarville Street in Pittsburgh.

Gus married again to Marie Faust, with their home in Penn Hills. He suffered a heart attack and died on May 5, 1964, with a requiem high mass held at St. Walburga's Church..

Just a few weeks after receiving her divorce, on Nov. 5, 1941, when she was age 30, Margaret was joined in wedlock with Daniel F. Wagner (Aug. 14, 1908- ? ). Daniel was the son of Frederick and Elizabeth (Gunther) Wagner and worked as a machinist at the time of marriage. Justice of the peace Thomas Simpson presided at the marriage, held in Valencia, PA.

They were the parents of Regina M. "Jeanne" Young, Daniel R. Wagner and Thomas J. Wagner.

The Wagners made their home in Pittsburgh in 1993.

Margaret died on Dec. 30, 1994, at the age of 82. A funeral mass was held at St. Joseph Church. In a death notice the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that she was survived by 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Son Robert D. Reinsfelder (1935-1998) was born in about 1935. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. He wedded Margaret Rogers ( ? - ? ). They lived on Montrose Hill in O'Hara Township near Pittsburgh. Their children were Robert J. Reinsfelder, Thomas R. Reinsfelder, Neil A. Reinsfelder, James R. Reinsfelder and Richard D. Reinsfelder. Robert was a longtime truck driver for Pennsylvania Macaroni in Pittsburgh's Strip District and later drove for Pittsburgh Fruit and Produce. He retired in January 1997. He died in St. Francis Medical Center in Lawrenceville at the age of 63 on June 1, 1998. His funeral mass was held in St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Blawnox, with burial in Mount Royal Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the North Hills News Record.


~ Daughter Alice Mae (Evans) Geltz ~

Daughter Alice Mae Evans (1914-2000) was born on July 9, 1914 in Pittsburgh.

She was united in matrimony with Thomas Geltz ( ? - ? ).

They made their home in the Bloomfield section of Pittsburgh.

Thomas passed away on Jan. 23, 1988. A death notice was printed in the Pittsburgh Press.

While a patient in West Penn Hospital, Alice died at the age of 86 on Dec. 19, 2000. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said in a death notice that her survivors included "nieces & nephews." A mass of Christian burial was sung at St. Joseph Church.


~ Daughter Regina Grace (Evans) Nermyr ~

Daughter Regina Grace Evans (1919-1956) was born on Dec. 1, 1919 in Pittsburgh.

She married Lloyd E. Nermyr (June 22, 1928-1974).

The couple produced one known son, David L. Nermyr.

Lloyd served as a master sergeant in the U.S. Army in the 1950s. They were stationed at Fort Belvoir, VA.

Sadness rocked the family when Regina died at Fort Belvoir on Oct. 18, 1956, at the age of 36, leaving behind her husband and two-year-old son. Her remains were brought back to Pittsburgh for a requiem high mass at St. Joseph's Church, followed by burial was in Pittsburgh's Calvary Cemetery. A death notice was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Lloyd outlived his wife by 18 years. He succumbed on July 28, 1974, at the age of 46. A standard issue military marker stands at his grave.

Son David L. Nermyr served with Northrump Grumman Space & Mission Systems Corporation in 2005 with the title "senior configuration management analyst."


~ Son John Patrick "Jack" Evans ~

Son John Patrick "Jack" Evans (1921-1995) was born on Feb. 6, 1921 in Pittsburgh. He was a boy of just three years of age when his father was killed.

John resided in Pittsburgh throughout his life. He is not believed to have married.

He died three days before Christmas in 1995. In a death notice, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that he was survived by his sister Alice and "many nieces and nephews." Mass of Christian burial was held in St. Joseph's Church, with interment in Calvary Cemetery.


Copyright © 2003, 2010, 2012, 2018 Mark A. Miner

William J. Gaus and Mary Ann Haegele have provided valuable information and images for this biography.