City of Evans, Colorado

 

The history of Evans, Colorado, is long and colorful. The oldest town still remaining in the region, it was founded in 1867. It was named for the second Territorial Governor, John Evans, founder of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the University of Denver. When Evans found out that Denver would be bypassed by the Transcontinental Railroad in favor of Cheyenne, Wyo., he began to build the Denver Pacific Railroad along the route of present day U.S. Highway 85 between Cheyenne and Denver. Evans was Colorado’s main transportation hub at that point. Once the railroad crossed the South Platte River and made its way south to Denver Evans emptied out.

In 1871 the St. Louis-Western Colony brought 400 people to settle the area. Evans became a supply town and highway stop, known for its rowdy life style in comparison to the temperance colony of Greeley. It was known as the “Queen City of the Platte.” It was briefly the county seat of Weld County until a party of raiders from Greeley stole the county records and burned the courthouse.

In spite of its reputation, education was an important part of Evans’ history also. The first brick schoolhouse in Weld County was built in Evans in 1874 and a Normal College was established in 1877. It had its own school district with a high school until it merged with Greeley’s District 6 in the mid 20th century.

Today Evans is a home rule city with a city manager and city council. It has commercial areas along Highway 85 on the east side of town and “The Avenues of Evans” to the west. Due to the recent energy boom in Weld County Evans has become home to several oil and gas exploration corporations and oilfield service companies. The residential areas range from the historic “Old Town” on the east to the newest homes on the west side. Expansion is taking place for the first time south of the Platte River. The population is just shy of 20,000.

 

 

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City of Evans, Colorado