Clara Mae Drury Evans

Honored by:Julianne Ward
Brick location:G:27  map

6-26-1894 to 3-17-1989

Clara Mae Drury Evans was born June 26, 1884 in Sac County, Iowa, on the Drury farm six miles south of Early. She was the fourth of twelve children of Will Drury. Clara's mother, Sarah Wilson Drury, died when she was one year old. Clara was raised by Mae Dell Drury, the second of Will's wives, who also gave her six more siblings. The third wife was Laura Gathman Drury, and two more children were added. The entire group was a close-knit family where older children cared for younger brothers and sisters and had a deep concern for each other all of their lives. Will Drury was a community leader and served in the Iowa legislature for a number of years. The names of the brothers and sisters in the three families in chronological order form a jingle rhyme.

Maude, Millard, Blanche, Clara
Merrill, Grover, Billy, Sarah
Howard, Homer, Joyce and Dean
Just one more would make thirteen.

Clara was educated in the rural schools and the Early Public School. When she was 17 and had completed three years of high school, she became a teacher in a one-room school house in Sac County. She later completed two years of teacher training at the college in Cedar Falls and received her high school diploma. She continued to teach and inspire others in many ways throughout her life. When she and her husband, Elmer, built a summer cottage in Canada where they went for many years, Clara took carloads of books to begin a library in the village of Wabegon. She sent magazine subscriptions during the winter so that there would be a continued link to the larger world. She helped send many children to school and provided resources for other needed items to people in the community. These persons became life-long friends and would visit and send word of their families long after she was unable to go there.

For 21 years Clara also supported black students at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, because they had a need. She received an honorary doctorate degree from Rust in her later life. In her home community of Early, too, she provided the way for countless numbers of persons to better themselves through education with never a thought for repayment except by what they achieved and with the expectation that they would help others as they were able and saw others with a need. And so the legacy continues of people helping people according to the gifts they have been given and the needs of those around them.

Clara based her life on a steadfast Christian faith that emphasized glorifying God in all that you do. She taught the Bible to children so that they would have the knowledge to use throughout their lives and she taught adults by her example. She lived her live with joy and gratitude and touched more people in her lifetime than most people will ever know.

The children of Clara and Elmer were Robert, Shirley Evans Ward and William. Grandchildren include Julianne Ward Lehner, Jack Evans, JoEllyn Ward Buckmaster, Craig Evans, Laura Evans, Lentzkow Barton Evans and Jon Evans.