Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Brother Evans Laid to Rest

The Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise
A.B. Thatcher, Editor

Thursday, December 27, 1934

R
ev. Wolcott* H. Evans, pastor of the Newhall Community Presbyterian church for sixteen years, and well known in all Southern California church circles as "The Shepherd of The Hills," died last Thursday morning, December 20, after a long illness following a stroke of paralysis.
    The funeral took place at the Newhall Community church, Saturday by Carl T. Palin of the Palin Mortuary, of Escondido. The services were held at 2:30, a large audience of old friends of the former pastor being present to pay their last respects to one they had known and loved in life. A number of Mr. Evans' favorite hymns made up the musical prelude on the pipe organ, with Mrs. Ruth Carson at the consol, and was followed by a duet, by Mrs. H. Larkin and Mrs. T.E. Beebe, who were members of the choir during Mr. Evans' pastorate. A sermon, with the 23rd Psalm as the theme was then delivered by Rev. John Erwin Berry, after which the eulogy was pronounced by Rev. H. Wadsworth, secretary of the Los Angeles Presbytery.
    Mr. Berry envisaged the writing of the Psalm by David, and applied it most fittingly to the work of the departed, and to the comfort the song gave him in his arduous work in the early days of the work in our valley. Mr. Wadsworth spoke feelingly of the long years of acquaintance, when Mr. Evans was placed in charge of the mountain work, after his pastorage at Wilmington, and of his unselfishness in caring for those needing help.
    Wolcott H. Evans was a native of Minnesota, afterward living in Illinois, at one time in the town chosen for the location of the famous "Nebbs" cartoons, and later making the acquaintance of the cartoonist, who caricatured many of the local residents. He was a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and for a time was a home missionary, under direction of his church. Later he came to California and located in Wilmington, where he was in charge of the construction of the church there some twenty years ago. This church was destroyed by fire, and some seven years ago was replaced by a fine structure, which Mr. Evans was very proud to assist in dedicating.
    Mr. Evans came to Newhall in June 1914, and took up the work, with three preaching points to look after. Since then, the Acton church was added to the Palmdale district, and Saugus consolidated with Newhall. The church was very small, only about seven or eight members forming the society. He increased the number to more than eighty.
    The great St. Francis Dam disaster came, and Mr. Evans was one of the first to get into the relief work. Night and day, almost, he was found where suffering was worst, ever ready with comfort and cheer both for body and soul. Many services for the dead were in his charge, and he went to every call, regardless of strength or bodily comfort. Having arrived at the retirement age, in 1930, Mr. Evans resigned his pastorate and moved to a small ranch in Vista, in San Diego County, where he remained until his death. He often sent large quantities of flowers to his Newhall friends.
    Mr. Evans' outstanding work here, aside from his work in the great disaster was the construction of the Community Church, which was begun in 1923, and dedicated in 1925. He canvassed for funds, solicited the funds for the fine windows, and practically took almost the entire burden of the work, though he had loyal assistants in carrying it through. After the final effort to clear the church of local debts, he seemed to consider his work finished, and decided to rest.
    No words can describe the respect and affection in which Mr. Evans was held in this community, and the words of the scripture fit aptly which say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant; enter into the Joy of thy Lord."
    Almost every one of the old settlers of Acton were present at the Evans funeral, Saturday, among them being Mr. Roth, of Palmdale, Mrs. Blum and daughters, Emma and Bertha, Mr. Hubbard, Miss Clingan and many others.
    Mrs. Evans was unable to come to Newhall with the body of her husband, on account of ill health.
    A wealth of floral offerings from friends everywhere covered the casket. The church was beautifully decorated for the occasion, under direction of Mrs. Jack Taylor.
    Mr. Evans is survived by his widow and two adopted sons, Edmund and Arthur.


NOTE: Thatcher spelled the name "Walcott" throughout this story.

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