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The town of Evant is on the Hamilton and Coryell County line, with only thirty-six percent of the north side of Evant in Hamilton County. It is about sixteen miles south of Hamilton. The first settler in the area which would become Hamilton County is believed to be Robert Carter, who was killed in an Indian Battle in October, 1861, and was buried in Langford Cemetery. Robert Carter settled at Fairview in 1854. He was followed in 1855 by James R. Carter and Henry Jones Carter.

Evant was originally known as Langford Cove which was located a half mile south of the current town in a cove of mountains. Langford Cove was named for Asa Langford who arrived in the area in early 1855. Asa Langford purchased a half section of land for $112 on 15 August, 1855. Frederick Bookerman had arrived a few months before the Langfords. Langford built a saw mill, a grist mill, and a flour mill and opened a small store and a blacksmith shop. Frequent Indian raids slowed the development of this settlement. Another early area resident was William Beauchamp.

In January, 1860, residents of Langford Cove unsuccessfully attempted to have the Texas Legislature attach their town to Hamilton County because Hamilton was much nearer than Gatesville.

Evan and Charlotte Brooks with their three children arrived in Hamilton County, TX, from Alabama in 1876. After 1878 Mr. Brooks built his home 140 yards inside Hamilton County. On 12 February, 1881, Mr. Brooks offered lots for sale in his new town, which would be named Evant on 23 May, 1884. Evan Brooks hoped that Evant might become the county seat of future Mills County (which was established in 1887) and hence laid out the town with a square. The first store in Evant was the Hunter and Lampkin General Store owned by Andrew J. "Andy" Hunter and a Mr. Lampkin.

Other families who came early to the Cove were William Clift Winters, Tommy Winters, Sr., Billie Winters, Dr. Sawyer, D. W. White, W. N. White, Sam Enochs, J. L. Singleton, Alex Williams, Joseph Hardy Dixon, Dr. H. McNeill, Isaac W. Seale, R. M. Hill, John Carter, Frank Gholson, A. Wurts, Dr. Griggs, and W. D. Blackburn.

Joseph Hardy Dixon, a teacher,  was born in 1845 in Stewart Co., GA, and died in Hamilton County, TX. He was a son of Thomas Dixon and Martha Hardie.

William Clift Winters and his first wife, Nancy M. (Adams) Winters were in Langford Cove in time to become charter members of Evant Methodist Church when it was established in 1875. After Nancy M. (Adams) Winters died  2 September, 1876, William Clift remembered his widowed neighbor, Harrett A. Garner Jones, back in Baldwyn, Prentiss, County, MS.  Harrett’s husband, William Toliver Jones had not returned home after the Civil War. As Mr. Winters’ loneliness increased, his remembrances of Harrett grew fonder. Mr. Winters rode his donkey (or mule) all the way to Baldwyn to marry Harrett about 1878. When Mr. Winters arrived in Baldwyn, he found that Harrett was no longer in Mississippi. She had gone to Texas with  her two youngest children--Martha Ann Jones and James Henry Jones. William Clift was a determined man, so he rode his mule to Fannin County, TX, where he found Harriett (Garner) Jones and married her on June 27, 1878. [Harriett's first husband, William Toliver Jones had been a Confederate soldier in the 2nd Regiment, Mississippi Partisans.  William T. Jones never returned home after the Civil War.] Mr. Winters brought his new bride to Langford Cove, and that is probably the reason her children who came to Texas also came to Hamilton County. Margaret Amanda Jones Grisham and her husband, James Lemuel Grisham, Sr. followed Harriett to Fannin County, arriving there about 1 September, 1878.  James Lemuel & Margaret Amanda left Fannin County after June 1, 1880 and were at Blue Ridge in Hamilton County before July, 1880, when Blue Ridge Baptist Church was established. James H. Jones married Pernina Jane "Nina" Coker on 22 December, 1880, in Hamilton County, TX. Martha Ann Jones married Joseph Evans "Joe" Snider.

On Sunday evening, 30 May, 1882, James Henry "Jim" Jones was shot as he was going to the mountain to turn his horses into the pasture while his wife was on the front porch churning and holding their eight-month-old-son, William Charles Jones. Perry Langford and Ves Howard ambushed Jim and shot him from behind.  They were tried for the  Jones' murder in Coryell County.  Howard was not convicted, but Perry Langford was convicted, sent to prison, and released only shortly before his (Perry's) death.  

Until Perry and Ves were arrested, they  with the Langford mob, continued to harass the family. All of the family--Pernina Jane "Nina" Coker Jones and her baby son, William Clift Winters, Harrett Garner (Jones) Winters, James Lemuel Grisham, Sr. and Margaret Amanda Jones Grisham, Martha Ann Jones Snider and Joseph Evans "Joe" Snider fortified the the Winter's house in which they stayed. At night they  slept on the floor  and stayed out of the moonlight lest the mob kill them also. 

 Members of the mob would shoot through the windows aiming at their beds.  The mob also would beat on the walls with  whips. According to Grisham legend, Perry Langford had  an intense desire to kill any of Jim Jones’ relatives.  

Until after 1900 Hamilton County was ruled by mobs--the Gentry mob, the Langston mob, and others.  Sheriffs were powerless to enforce the law.

Pernina Jane "Nina" Coker Jones and her little son lived with William Clift and Harrett Garner (Jones) Winters approximately four years before she married Dr. W. Hiram McNeill.

In 1896 John A. Gardner, a minister, moved to Evant and established a printing press. Evant’s first newspaper was The Evant Banner.

The telephone arrived in Evant in the late 1890's when J. Y. Price of Evant strung telephone lines from Evant to Pearl, Bee House, Izoro, Lucille, Grundyville, and Lampasas. Its only switchboard was in Lampasas. One store in each small town had one telephone to serve the entire community. The telephone in Evant was in the Wirtz store. In 1902 Mr. Price installed a switchboard in Evant. In 1904 Mr. Price ran lines from Evant to Star, from Star to Shive, and from Shive to McGirk. The switchboard in Evant was closed at nights and on Sundays until World War I when it was necessary for the switchboard to be open every day. A microphone was installed (hung from the ceiling over the pulpit) in the Baptist and the Methodist churches so that the telephone operator on duty could listen to the church service she was missing.

In 1909 J. Y. Price owned the first car in Evant, a Maxwell.

The Maxey family published The Four County Press during the 1950's covering news from Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, and Mills Counties.

The town of Evant incorporated in 1976 and James L. Inabnet was elected the first mayor on 2 April, 1977. The first aldermen were Cad Williams, Joan Box, Terry Horton, Cutis Koerth, and Edward Perkins.

"EVANT, TX." The Handbook of Texas Online














People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress