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This Day in Georgia History

October 27, 1862

Lawton B. Evans Born

Educator and author Lawton B. Evans was born in Lumpkin, Georgia. After experiencing the wandering life of his father, a Methodist minister, Evans settled in Augusta, Georgia for the remainder of his life after graduating from college. He graduated from Emory College in 1880, completing his studies in only three years. He was valedictorian of his class, despite also being the youngest at age seventeen. After completing a master’s degree at the University of Georgia in only one year, Evans began teaching eighth grade in Augusta. In November 1882, he was elected Richmond County school superintendent, a position he held until his death on April 6, 1934. During his tenure all Richmond County schools were consolidated into a single system, and by 1920 all public schools in the county had kindergartens, plus nine centers for training kindergarten teachers. Evans’ abilities as an educational leader were recognized statewide, and he was appointed to a commission charged with developing a normal school curriculum for teachers. The result of this commission was the opening of the State Normal School in Athens in 1892. Evans was offered its presidency, but he declined in order to stay in Augusta. Besides being an active educator, Evans was a prolific author who wrote, among many other works, a series of books for young people and textbooks on Georgia history which were used by both grade schools and high schools until 1938.