RICHARD W. EVANS, a prominent young lawyer at Dodge City, represents a family that has some interesting associations with pioneer days both in Colorado and Kansas.
His father, Richard W. Evans, Sr., was one of the notable characters of the Southwest. He was born in Wales, son of Edmond and Mary Evans, and when he was ten years of age his parents came to America and settled in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. There he spent the rest of his early youth and as a young man began working for a railroad construction company. This work eventually took him west into Colorado, and following the drift of the times he engaged in placer mining in this country. He was there when the war came on and enlisted in the Second Colorado Regiment of Cavalry and saw active service throughout the struggle between the North and the South. He was in the New Mexico campaign at Fort Union. Much of his service was on the Missouri and Kansas border. Under Lieutenant Colonel Dodd he and his comrades had numerous engagements with marauding bands in Jackson and Cass counties, Missouri, In October, 1864, the regiment was ordered to resist Price in Missouri and participated in the battles of Big Blue, Little Blue, Independence and numerous skirmishes. The Second Colorado Cavalry was known as the "White Horse Regiment," since all the men rode white horses. In an engagement at Fort Smith, Arkansas, Mr. Evans was wounded but soon afterward rejoined the regiment and continued to give faithful and meritorious service until discharged at Fort Riley, Kansas, September 23, 1865. At the battle of Independence he was a member of a party of twenty-six men fighting a band of a hundred guerrillas, and his captain, Seymour Wagner, and seven others were killed.
After being mustered out at Fort Riley, Kansas, Richard W. Evans, Sr., went to Fort Hays and started a sutler's store, exchanging supplies for buffalo meat and shipping this meat and buffalo hides to eastern points. He became an intimate friend of many of the western characters and was himself a plainsman by type and experience. He lived on intimate terms of friendship with the late Buffalo Bill (William Cody). Mr. Evans was commissioned by President Grant postmaster at Fort Hays and President Harrison made him postmaster of Dodge City. R. W. Evans, Sr., was one of the original Townsite Company who organized Dodge City. He was cashier of one of the first banks and was also a merchant. As a republican he became very active and influential in the politics of his city, county, state and nation and had personal friends among the leading party men of the time. Richard W. Evans, Sr., died in Dodge City May 25, 1912, when about seventy-six years of age. He was the last survivor of his parents' children. At the time of his last visit to Dodge City Colonel William Cody called on young lawyer Evans and expressed regret for his father's death and related numerous incidents of their mutual associations and experiences.
Richard W. Evans, Sr., married November 14, 1870, Sarah A. Olds, who was born in September, 1849, and is still living in the old home at Dodge City. It should also be noted that during his residence in this part of Kansas R. W. Evans, Sr., served as county treasurer of Ford County five years and was also mayor of Dodge City. Of his children the oldest son was named Harvey in honor of Governor Harvey of Kansas, and he is now living at Marvin, Missouri, a farmer, he and his wife, Sarah, having one daughter, Sarah. Paul H., the second child, is connected with a department store at Los Angeles, California, and his wife is named Bertha. Lloyd, next child, who died in 1910, married Millie Gout and had a daughter, Pauline. Richard W. Evans, Jr., is next in age. Walter, living at Kansas City, is a traveling salesman and by his marriage to Dessie Corver has a daughter, Elizabeth. Mamie, who was just older than Richard W., is the deceased wife of John Miller, of Dodge City.
Richard W. Evans, Jr., was born in Dodge City June 12, 1882. He grew up and received his early education in the grade and high schools of the city. He clerked and drove delivery wagon for his father, who was then proprietor of a grocery store. In 1900, at the age of eighteen, he entered the Kansas University, taking the law course and graduating in June, 1904. Before entering university he had taken up the study of law under Judge E. H. Madison, then judge of the thirty-second now the thirty-first judicial district, including Ford County. Judge Madison was afterwards congressman from the Big Seventh District for two terms, and has been a big figure in Kansas national life. It will be remembered that he made the minority report on the Ballinger investigation during Taft's administration.
Mr. Evans' class was the first to take the examinations before the State Board. He passed successfully, and after a year of employment with the City Light Company of Dodge City entered regular practice. His first case was in behalf of a minor who had bought a fractious pony from a man, and this pony broke up a buggy and the parents of the boy to avoid damages brought suit to rescind the contract. Mr. Evans won his case, and when a young lawyer of twenty-three gains his first victory in the courts he properly feels it is an augury of a substantial future, and that has certainly proved true in Mr. Evans' case. He has enjoyed a good practice and has had some work before the Supreme Court of Kansas.
December 21, 1904, Mr. Evans married Clara L. Sturgeon. She was born in March, 1882, a daughter of Francis and Sarah M. Sturgeon, of Dodge City, formerly of Missouri and Iowa. Mrs. Evans graduated from the Dodge City High School in 1902 and attended Bethany College of Music at Linsborg, Kansas. They are the parents of two daughters, Margery and Virginia, both now students in the local schools. The family reside in their own home at 1106 First Avenue in a seven-room modern house.
Mr. Evans followed the example of his father and has become a vigorous exponent of republican party principles. In 1911 he was elected county attorney and served two terms and had previously been police judge of Dodge City. He has also held the office of justice of the peace. He was secretary of the Republican County Central Committee in 1908. Fraternally he is affiliated with Masonry, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Knights and Ladies of Security. In Masonry he is connected with the Lodge, Chapter and Commandery of the York Rite, has held all the chairs in these organizations, has been a member of the Kansas Grand Lodge and is affiliated with the Mystic Shrine. Mr. Evans is prominent in the Christian Church of Dodge City, being an elder and superintendent of its Sunday school. On June 10, 1917, the Christian Church of Dodge was credited with having the second largest Bible school in the world, with 1,475 persons in attendance.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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