Editor's Note: This is the 17th in a series of weekly articles on individuals, who made positive contributions to Stephenville, the Cross Timbers area and/or the State Of Texas.
By STUART CHILTON
Two words depict this person's active life - dedication and involvement.
His biography reads like a Who's Who for four or five individuals. When a civic job was to be undertaken, he was the person often called on to get the job completed. Energy was part of his name, and he has been able to do all these things in his first 86 years.
He was born in Stephenville on Feb. 1, 1921. He graduated from Stephenville High School and later attended John Tarleton Agricultural College (now Tarleton State University).
He is a Distinguished Alumnus of the University. He is the author of “The Spirit of Tarleton,” which was first delivered at a TSU commencement in December, 1984. He was the founder of the Tarleton Development Foundation in 1978, serving as its first executive secretary.
He was the Executive Director of the Tarleton Alumni Association for 10 years. He managed the College Book Store in the 1950s.
He has many other honors at Tarleton. He retired as Director of Information at Tarleton in 1984 with 23 years of service at the University.
His awards and honors do not stop with Tarleton. What about his service in the city? He was elected Stephenville Mayor in 1956 at the age of 35, and served eight years. He had previously served as Chairman of the City Planning and Zoning Commission. He was later a member of the Executive Committee of the Texas Municipal League. He's a former president of the Stephenville Lions Club. His membership covered more than 60 years. Because of this service he was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellow by the Lions Club International Foundation. He was drive chairman of the United Way, March of Dimes, Red Cross, American Heart Association and the American Cancer Fund. He was a director in the Chamber of Commerce.
Five major accomplishments occurred during his tenure as the city's Mayor. These are as follows: 1. Persuaded the local voters to set up a Home Rule Charter, making the city an incorporated community; 2. Built a new police station and a new airport; 3. Completed the South Loop; 4. Put in motion a long-range water plan for the city; and 5. Purchased property between the Bosque River and the South Loop for future park expansion and made numerous improvements in the City Park.
Yes, there's more - He's an Army veteran of World War II. This person commanded the Stephenville National Guard unit (Company D) for 12 years, following WWII. He was instrumental in procuring a new National Guard Armory for Stephenville. He has served as commander of the Turnbow-Higgs American Legion Post.
He was one of the founders and president of Little League Baseball in the city. He was a founder of the Tarleton Athletic Hall of Fame, the Stephenville High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the Texan Club. He was the public address announcer for Stephenville High School and Tarleton football games for 20 years. He never missed a home game.
And, there's still more - He served as editor of The Stephenville Empire-Tribune, The Hamilton Herald-News and The San Marcos Daily Record. He has been awarded many honors from various press associations.
He is a member of the St. Luke's Episcopal Church, where he has served as a Senior Warden. He is married to the former Martha Jane Oxford. The couple has a daughter and two grandchildren.
A Name to Remember - Mr. J. Louis Evans
Dr. Chilton, a retired educator/journalist, lives in Stephenville. He occasionally writes for this newspaper.