Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Celebrating the Spirit of Tarleton!

Homecoming 2010 is upon us! This year's theme is Celebrating the Spirit of Tarleton! Nothing would be more fitting than to honor J. Louis Evans, former Tarleton alum, former Mayor of Stephenville, former 60 year member of the Stephenville Lions Club, former Director of the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce.....and......former Distinguished Alumnus of Tarleton, former recipient of the Tarleton Distinguished Service Award, founder of the Tarleton Development Foundation, former Director of the Tarleton Alumni Association, and former Director of Information at Tarleton!

As mayor J. appointed a committee to write a Home Rule Charter, which made Stephenville an incorporated city. Subsequently the city built a new police station and airport, the south loop was completed, a long-range water plan was implemented, the city park was expanded, including the building of the first baseball field!

As for baseball, J. was one of the founders and president of Little League baseball in Stephenville, founder of the Tarleton Athletics Hall of Fame, the Stephenville High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the Texan Club. He served on the Tarleton Athletic Council and was the PA system announcer for Stephenville High School and Tarleton for 20 years, without missing a home game!

For his daughter Emily Jane's graduation from Tarleton in December 1984, J. wrote and delivered the commencement address - what has become a Tarleton icon - The Spirit of Tarleton!.....which included these excerpts: "Yes, I am the spirit of Tarleton. I was born in 1899 from the soul of an itinerant farmer......I suffered the pangs of early childhood with James Cox, Pearl Chamberlin, Charles Froh, George Ollie Ferguson, and Charlie Hale.......I won 86 consecutive basketball games with Coach Wisdon.........I won an Oscar with George Kennedy........I won the national rodeo championships.....I walked the Halls of Congress with Sam Russell and Charlie Stenholm......I presided over the Senate with Ben Barnes.....I blocked and ran to a football record when the Texans posted the first 10-0 season in Tarleton's history.....YES, I have the spirit of Tarleton, and by the grace of God I'll always have!"

J. contributed several times to our library display case as he is shown above standing beside his replica of Tarleton's first building and dog house! You may also remember our wonderful "Christmas Stephenville Village" displaying J's replicas of Stephenville historic buildings that we used several times!

J. Louis Evans passed away July 24, 2010. Long live the Spirit of Tarleton!

Stephenville Empire Tribune, July 26, 2010.

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