February 23, 1919–July 18, 2002
BY MARY JANE WEST-EBERHARD
HOWARD ENSIGN EVANS, one of the twentieth century’s leading entomologists and insect natural historians, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Archie James Evans and Adella Marian Ensign. He was also, in his spare time, a talented writer of popular books and articles on natural history and conservation.
Howard Evans’s love of nature began on the Evans family farm near East Hartford, Connecticut, a 60-acre tobacco farm that was purchased, with the help of financing from his maternal grandfather, Howard Ensign, when his parents were married. Howard’s mother was his father’s second wife. She had been teaching school after having studied education at a normal (state teachers’) school, and Howard was her only child, though he had a stepbrother and three stepsisters by his father’s first marriage.
In his childhood Howard Evans was strictly an applied entomologist. Here is what he wrote about that stage in his life.
I suspect that when most people dig into the recesses of their minds for their earliest childhood memories they come up with scenes of kittens, puppies, or hamsters. My earliest memories are of tobacco hornworms, and how delightfully they pop and ooze between bare toes. Picture a tobacco farm in the Connecticut Valley, with kids walking up and down the rows