John Harwood Evans (1899-1976) was born in McLean County and grew up in Bloomington.  Born of Welsh immigrants, John W. Evans came to Bloomington in 1855 and began a woodworking business that eventually became one of the largest construction firms in Illinois.  Harwood’s mother, Katherine Harwood Evans, was the daughter of an affluent early hardware store owner in Bloomington.

Additional family history is documented in the 2010 book, The John Watkin Evans Family of Bloomington, Illinois available in the Museum Library Stacks.

This collection includes items Harwood and his daughter Susan collected and preserved such as family letters from 1860-1948; biographies of some of the family members; newspaper clippings about Harwood’s life; wills and vital records from his ancestors, bills from the Evans family construction business, etc.