It is time for another Great American Family post. My other Great American Family posts have primarily focused on families from the eastern seaboard. However, in this post I will be venturing out of New England and heading west to talk about the Evans of Colorado.
It all begins with Governor John Evans. Evans was a successful man before he moved to Colorado. He was a doctor turned public servant that had made his fortune in the railroad and real estate industries. He helped found Northwestern University (and later Denver University) and Evanston, IL was named in his honor. Due to the political connections that he gained through his successful business career, Evans was appointed governor of the Colorado Territory in 1862 by President Lincoln. Evans went west to Colorado, enjoyed the gold rush era of the west, but stayed afterwards using his knowledge of railroads to help Denver become a prosperous city.
The “other” John Evans have kept their family’s legacy alive. Evans’ grandson, John Evans II was educated at MIT. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army and was the Provost Marshall of Colorado. He went on to become the president of the Evans International Company and the president of the Colorado National Bank. Evans’ great-grandson, John Evans III graduated from Princeton, served on the board of trustees at the University of Denver, and was president of the Evans Investment Company as well as an active realtor. The Evans family and their “Johns” through their business and civic contributions have helped to shape the city of Denver and the state of Colorado.
There have been other notable Evans not named John. Anne Evans was the daughter of Governor John Evans. She dedicated her life to art, philanthropy, and her family. She was vice president and director of the Evans Investment Company. One of her most famous philanthropic efforts was co-founding Central City’s summer art’s festival and restoring the Central City Opera House. The new generation of Evans such as John Alice Evans Moore, her husband Hudson Moore Jr., and brother-in-law Frank Freyer continue in the family tradition of civic and business engagement in Denver.