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Margaret Hayden-Clark donated the materials to the Denver Public Library in 2003.


The collection is open for research.


Literary and copyrights - as appropriate - have been assigned to the Denver Public Library


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[Identification of item], Evans Family Papers, WH1746, Western History Collection, The Denver Public Library.


Number of Boxes: 2 (.75 lf)




Ann Brown

October 2007


Ellen Zazzarino


Dr. John Evans (1814-1897) married Hannah Canby (1813-1850) in 1838. Only one of their children, Josephine, survived. After Hannah's death, Evans married Margaret Patton Gray (1830-1906) in 1853.

Accompanied by his daughter, Josephine, Evans moved his family to Chicago, Illinois. He helped found Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois with his brother-in-law, Orrington Lunt (1815-1897), father of Cornelia Gray Lunt. Evans became active in politics. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln appointed him second Territorial Governor of Colorado and Evans moved his family to Denver, Colorado. Howard Evans (1857-1924), the son of John's brother, Seth Evans, followed his uncle, also moving to Denver, Colorado.

Evans's daughter, Josephine, married Samuel H. Elbert who became Territorial Governor of Colorado from 1873 to 1874, and later was a Colorado Supreme Court Justice. With the exception of daughter Margaret, who died in 1862, the children from Evans's marriage to Margaret - William, Anne and Evan, were raised in Denver, Colorado.

Although he originally intended to be a cattle rancher or to play sports, William Evans (1855-1924) became a businessman. He worked with cousins and friends in Chicago as well as in Denver in real estate, the railroad and tramway business and other ventures including a cement business and mining in Leadville and Fairplay, Colorado. Evans also promoted the Moffat Tunnel and served on the board for trustees of the University of Denver.

William Evans married his cousin, Cornelia Lunt Gray (1863-1955). They had four children, John Evans II (1884-1978), Margaret (1889-1981), Josephine (1887-1969) and Katharine (1894-1977). Josephine and Katharine did not marry, but Margaret Evans married Roblin Henry Davis and had four children.

The Byers-Evans House was built at 1310 Bannock Street, Denver, Colorado in 1883 for Rocky Mountain News publisher William Byers. He sold it to William Evans in 1889. In 1897, after the death of his father, William Evans expanded the house so that his sister, Anne Evans, and his mother, Margaret Evans, could also live there.

In 1945, after the death of her husband, Margaret Evans Davis moved into the house with her sisters, Josephine and Katharine Evans. After the death of Margaret Evans Davis, the house became the property of the Colorado Historical Society. Today, the house is operated as a museum.

Evan Elbert Evans (1863-1921) was a successful businessman in California before he returned to Denver to take charge of the Evans Investment Company. He married Kathryn Farrell of West Virginia. His stepdaughter was Madelyn Evans.

Anne Evans (1871-1941) never married, instead devoting her energy to the arts in Denver. She attended school in France and Germany while in her early teens and then attended the Art Students League in New York City. Active in the formation of the Denver Public Library, she served on the Friends Commission. As a primary force behind the formation of the Denver Art Museum, Evans collected and donated Southwestern art to this museum. She also helped save the Central City Opera House. Anne Evans and her mother, Margaret Gray Evans, were members of the Denver Fortnightly Club. Margaret Evans served as the first president of the club and presented papers. Anne Evans died of a heart attack in 1941 and is buried in Fairmount Cemetery.

The Evans family owned the "Kuhlborne Ranch" in Clear Creek County, Colorado near Mount Evans. Many members of the family built mountain homes on this property which expanded from the initial 320 acres purchased by William Evans in 1868 to over 3000 acres by the 1970s, including seven houses.

Educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, John Evans II (1884-1974) was an electrical engineer. In 1908, he married Gladys Cheesman (1887-1974) who was the only child of Walter Cheesman. They had three children Alice, John and Anne. In 1916, Evans became president of the International Trust Company. In 1917, John Evans II was a captain of the infantry of the U.S. Army, Provost Marshall of Colorado, serving in Washington, D.C. Eventually, he became a banker, serving as President of Colorado National Bank and remaining in that position for 33 years (1928-1931).

His son, John Evans III (1915-1993), was a full-time realtor. He attended East High School in Denver, Colorado and Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. During World War II, Evans was a member of the 101st Airborne Division. He married Alice Lucille Humphreys in 1938 and had three children, Gladys, John and Anne. This marriage ended in divorce in 1947. He later married Mary Shaw Daly (1918-1969), and, even later, Martha Brown Bower McLendon after the death of his second wife. John Evans III is buried in Fairmount Cemetery.


The papers in this collection reflect the complicated, diverse Evans family. William Evans's papers consist of business correspondence relating to the Denver Tramway, real estate, mining, railroads and a cement company. His sister, Anne's, papers include references to her philanthropic activities as well as relationships with other family members. Diaries and correspondence describe the visits of cousins and friends to Anne Evans's Kuhlborne Ranch house. William and Anne's papers comprise the bulk of the collection. Other family members' papers are few but reflect their business interests and provide insight into their personal and professional lives. For example, a notebook belonging to Howard Evans contains diagrams and notes related to mining.


Anne Evans : [collection] : 1958-1968 - 1 archival box: Colorado Historical Society Library

Related Material :

Governor John Evans Papers WH1724

Related Material :

John Evans, Jr., Papers WH863


This series consists of business correspondence received by William Evans. Examples include Chicago and Denver real estate deals, friends and business associates borrowing money, managers of mining lodes reporting on the progress of mines and entrepreneurial ideas, such as building a glass manufacturing factory near Denver, Colorado.

SERIES 2 ANNE EVANS 1873-1991 BOX 1-2 :

Anne Evans wrote reports and stories about her travels and interests. She was known for helping to develop the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Public Library and the Central City Opera. Her articles frequently discussed her philanthropic activities. Two diaries of a young guest at her ranch house, Mary Delafield Walker, describe casual life in the Anne Evans household in 1927 and 1930.


Correspondence received by Seth and Howard Evans as well as a notebook belonging to Howard Evans comprises part of the series. Also, correspondence received by Orrington Lunt, his daughter Cornelia Gray Lunt and Evan Elbert Evans comprises a portion of the series. The wedding announcement from the 1908 marriage of John Evans II and Gladys Cheesman is included in this series. The series also contains a notebook of index entries from Denver newspapers relating to the Evans family in 1884 and 1900-1902.



  • Evans family --Archives
  • Evans, William,1855-1924 --Archives.
  • Evans, Anne, 1871-1941 --Archives.