Prof. Haydn Evans

From the book
Portrait and Biographical Record
of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
Chapman Publishing Co., New York, 1897

Prof. Hadyn Evans has won for himself not only a local, but a national reputation in musical circles, and stands second to none in the city of Scranton in his chosen profession. As is well known he is the director of the Scranton Choral Union, comprising over two hundred and fifty members who took part in the great competitive contest at the World's Fair in Chicago, in September, 1893. Under the leadership of Professor Evans, the club won the highest honors, carrying off in triumph the first prize, a gold medal and $5,000.0

William Evans, the father of our subject, was born in Glamorganshire, Wales, and in his early manhood was employed in the iron works there. In 1869 he came to the United States with his family, taking up abode in Scranton. For many years he has been with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western at the Continental mines. Like his son of whom we write, he has always taken a great interest in musical affairs, and has no small ability himself in that direction. For thirteen years he was the leader of the Welsh Baptist Church choir and in many trials of skill has led them on to victory. In his native land he married Margaret Davis of the same country. Her father, James Davis, settled in America some years ago and attained a good old age, dying in July, 1896.

Professor Evans was born in the pretty town of Aberman, Glamorganshire, and is one of the four living children of William and Margaret Evans. When he was but a year old the family removed to the New World and his boyhood was passed in this city. He manifested unusual fondness for music at a very early age and his parents did all in their power to foster his evident talent. When eleven years old he went to reside in the home of D. J. J. Mason of Wilkes-barre, Pa., there to better pursue his musical studies. At the end of two years of unremitting effort, during which time his progress was marked, he returned to the parental roof and attended the public schools. In 1884 and the year following it was the ambitious youth's great privilege to study under the instruction of several leading musicians of London. Soon afterward he established himself as a permanent resident of Scranton, and has since conducted classes and given individual lessons in his art.

For about a year the Professor served as organist of St. Luke's Church, after which he held a similar position in the Presbyterian Church. The officials of St Patrick's Church then invited him to become organist for them, and he eventually consenting, has held this place during a period of four years. He has pupils in both piano and organ here and in the neighboring city of Carbondale, where he goes one day every week. His office in Scranton is at No. 134 Wyoming Avenue. In the spring of 1896 the Choral Union gave "The Messiah," and at another time St. Patrick's Church choir rendered "Saint Cecelia's Mass," winning the highest praise from the critics and press. The Professor has been very successful in giving the music-loving public numerous fine concerts, and in 1894 he started with a company to Europe. They traveled in Wales four months, and gave entertainments almost every night. At one time he received a gratifying and wholly unexpected testimonial from Governor Pattison. Though he has not yet published any of his works, he has composed several songs of true merit. He is now occupying the position of organist and director of the Penn Avenue Baptist Church; however, he still retains the position of director at St. Patrick's Church.

The marriage of Professor Evans and Miss Minnie Marshall, daughter of Lucius Marshall, and old and favorably known businessman of Carbondale, occurred in the city October 16, 1889. Mrs. Evans is a lady of artistic tastes and is proficient in both music and painting. The union of the young couple has been blessed by one child, Leslie Evans. On the subject of politics our subject is ever to be found on the Republican side of questions. In his fraternal relationships he is a member of Green Ridge Lodge No. 597, F. & A. M.

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