Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 143 years

Memorable Manitobans: John Robert Charles Evans (1891-1959)

Click to enlarge

John Robert Charles Evans
Click to enlarge


Born at Nanaimo, British Columbia on 15 March 1891, son of Daniel Evans and Margaret Woods, brother of Annie Evans Wright, he was raised as a Baptist by British immigrants to Canada. He came to Brandon to attend high school and, in 1913, he graduated with a BA degree from the then Brandon Baptist College. He taught at the Academy for several years and, in 1920, he went to the University of Chicago in Illinois, where he earned a PhD in Geology in 1924. Evans was offered a fellowship at the University of Chicago, but he turned it down to return to Brandon College in order to lecture on Geology.

He became President of the College in 1928, and during his thirty years in the position he took on the task of keeping the College afloat. Evans worked continuously to raise the funds to both support and expand Brandon College. He would travel miles to pitch the College to potential supporters along with Albert Edward McKenzie.

He died on 23 July 1959 while on holiday in British Columbia, before the date for the sod turning on the new lecture theatre at Brandon College had been set. The theatre was the first building to be built on his expansion plans. The Evans Theatre at Brandon University is named in his honour.


Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Dr. J. R. C Evans Kept College Alive,” Brandon Sun, 29 March 1975.

T. Mitchell and W. R. Morrison, “Only Brandon Men Can and Will Save It”: Boosterism, Brandon College, and the Crisis of the Great Depression, Manitoba History, Number 24, Autumn 1992.

This page was prepared by Angela Graham and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 June 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to this page
to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Help us keep
history alive!

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2022 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.