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Evan Stephens

28 June 1854–27 October 1930

Born 28 June 1854 at Pencader, Carmarthenshire, Wales.[1] Son of David Phillips Stephens and Jane Evans.[2] Baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Thomas Stephens, 19 Dec. 1863.[3] Emigrated to the U.S. aboard the ship Arkwright, arriving in New York City 6 July 1866.[4] Migrated to the Salt Lake Valley with the Joseph S. Rawlins pioneer company, arriving 1 Oct. 1866.[5] Settled with his family in Willard, Box Elder Co., Utah Territory; organized and conducted the Willard Ward Choir.[6] Director of the University of Utah Music Department, 1883–1900.[7] Studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, 1886.[8] EBW sought his opinion about music she had written.[9] Conductor of the Tabernacle Choir, 1890–1916.[10] Performed with Gilmore’s Band, 1891.[11] Received a gold medal as the conductor of the Tabernacle Choir at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893.[12] Collaborated with EBW in writing the hymn “Our Mountain Home, So Dear.”[13] Wrote many musical pieces, including hymns, anthems, cantatas, operas, and other vocal pieces.[14] Wrote the Utah State song, “Utah, We Love Thee.”[15] Wrote the words and/or music for more than twenty-five hymns.[16] Died 27 Oct. 1930 in Salt Lake City.[17]

 

[1] Record of Members Collection, 1836–1970, Willard Ward, Part 1, 1907–1941, Early–1915, p. 73, line 1, Evan Stephens, CR 375 8, reel 7649, image 256/626 (restricted access), CHL. “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. H, 1872–1878, p. 337, line 7442, Evan Stephens, 19 June 1876, microfilm 183407 (restricted access), FHL. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 3 Oct. 2019), Evan Stephens (KWVQ-9VM).  

[2] Record of Members Collection, 1836–1970, Willard Ward, Part 1, 1907–1941, Early–1915, p. 73, line 1, Evan Stephens, CR 375 8, reel 7649, image 256/626 (restricted access), CHL. “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. H, 1872–1878, p. 337, line 7442, Evan Stephens, 19 June 1876, microfilm 183407 (restricted access), FHL.   

[3] Record of Members Collection, 1836–1970, Willard Ward, Part 1, 1907–1941, Early–1915, p. 73, line 1, Evan Stephens, CR 375 8, reel 7649, image 256/626 (restricted access), CHL. 

[4] “Evan Stephens,” Castle Garden: Immigration before Ellis Island (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939V-529C-N5?i=377&cc=1849782, accessed 4 Oct. 2019). “Evan Stephens,” Saints by Sea (https://saintsbysea.lib.byu.edu/mii/voyage/49, accessed 4 Oct. 2019). 

[5] “Evan Stephens,” Pioneer Database (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/, accessed 3 Oct. 2019). “List of Passengers by Cap. Joseph Rawlin’s Train,” Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 3 Oct. 1866, 350. 

[6] 1870 U.S. Census, Willard City, Box Elder Co., Utah Territory, p. 13, Evan Stephens. Norma North, comp., Early History of Willard, Nov. 1991, p. 5, MS 29819, CHL. “Choir Leader Dies,” Salt Lake Telegram, 28 Oct. 1930, 1, 15.

[7] “Evan Stephens,” Utah Department of Heritage & Arts (https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62232d5, accessed 7 Oct. 2019). Annual of the University of Deseret, 1888–89 (Salt Lake City: University of Deseret, 1888), 26. Annual of the University of Utah, Including the Utah State Normal School, Salt Lake City. Announcements for 1897–8. With Catalogue of Students for 1896–97 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1897), 7.

[8] EBW, Diary, 13 Jan. 1886. “Choir Leader Dies,” Salt Lake Telegram, 28 Oct. 1930, 1, 15.

[9] EBW, Diary, 12 Aug. 1888; 13 June 1892.

[10] George D. Pyper, Stories of Latter-day Saint Hymns (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1940), 202. “Tabernacle Choir,” Deseret Evening News (Salt Lake City), 20 Nov. 1890, 3.

[11] EBW, Diary, 5 Nov. 1891.

[12] George D. Pyper, Stories of Latter-day Saint Hymns (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1940), 63. “Choir Leader Dies,” Salt Lake Telegram, 28 Oct. 1930, 1, 15.

[13] George D. Pyper, Stories of Latter-day Saint Hymns (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1940), 64.   

[14] “Choir Leader Dies,” Salt Lake Telegram, 28 Oct. 1930, 1, 15.

[15] “Choir Leader Dies,” Salt Lake Telegram, 28 Oct. 1930, 1, 15. “Evan Stephens,” Utah Department of Heritage & Arts (https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62232d5, accessed 7 Oct. 2019).

[16] J. Spencer Cornwall, Stories of Our Mormon Hymns (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1975), 156, 302. “Choir Leader Dies,” Salt Lake Telegram, 28 Oct. 1930, 1, 15.

[17] “Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1849–1949,” image 453/565 (1930), Evan Stephens; Salt Lake Co. Management and Archives, Salt Lake City. “Choir Leader Dies,” Salt Lake Telegram, 28 Oct. 1930, 1, 15.