What's Historic About Brookville, Pennsylvania?

Jared B. Evans; Brookville's Pioneer Merchant
By Bobby Polito

Jared B. Evans, Brookville's pioneer storekeeper, was born in Bridgeport, PA on October 15, 1808. He was the son of Eli and Rebecca Evans.

Of Welsh ancestry, Evans was proud to have been able to trace his family line back to 1380. His forefathers were Quakers and emigrated to America with William Penn.

An early pioneer in Jefferson County, he married Jane McCreight and together they had six children; Jared, William, Charles, Elisha and Sophia. The family remained in the Society of friends.

Mr. Evans was a prominent citizen in the Brookville area for many years. His day book was used by historian Dr. William J. McKnight when he compiled his History of Jefferson County.

He had a long and varied business career. In 1829, he took over Port Barnett Mercantile and moved it to Brookville in 1830. The store was the first of its kinds in Brookville.

It once stood where the Henderson-Guthrie building was erected later. Evans later built a large brick building on Lot No. 65, Main St. in the borough.

This building he later sold to John and Timothy Pickering. The building was destroyed by fire. He entered the hotel trade when he bought a business from William Clark.

Evans was also active in politics. He was named as Treasurer of Jefferson County and served as the Postmaster in Port Barnett, Brookville and Rockdale, after moving there later in his life.

Evans was also appointed as Associate Judge and served for about seven years despite having no legal training.

Later in his life, Evans moved to Delaware and started a new business. Shortly before his death, he returned to Rockdale where he died in 1891.

His keen business sense and personal ethics played a key role in the development of Brookville's business community.

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