Dr. C.D. Evans graduated from medical school in Baltimore in 1882 with his Doctor of Medicine degree. He came to Columbus on his way to Pueblo, Colorado to visit his brother. Columbus was having a smallpox epidemic and was in dire need of doctors.
On May 28, 1886, C.D. Evans married his wife, Lorena “Rosie” North. He was 30 and she was 21. They married at the JE North Residence and hosted an 8 p.m. reception. There were no electric lights, so the Burlington train turned its engine light to shine light on the home and reception. Approximately 300 people attended the gala.
Construction on the Evans House began in 1909. The pillars in front were made in Georgia and brought up to the front of the house by special rail track built in front of the house. The home was finished in 1912, and the family moved into the house in June.
Dr. Evans practiced medicine 54 years in Columbus. During that time, he moved his practice to a couple different locations before building the Evans Hospital in 1930. The Evans Hospital has had many name changes since including Lutheran Hospital, Behlen Hospital, and the Columbus Community Hospital. Dr. Evans built the first operating table in Columbus at the St. Mary’s hospital.
C.D. Evans was in the Masonic order, district surgeon for the Union Pacific railroad, and Surgeon General for the National Guard.
Rosie’s uncles- the famous North brothers: Major Frank North and Captain Luther North were early explorers and scouts in the Columbus area. They were all well acquainted with Buffalo Bill Cody. During the depression, Rosie made donuts and sold them out the back door of the house to make money.
Dr. C.D. Evans and his wife Rosie had two daughters and two sons, both of whom served in the military. Many lively discussions were held at the Evans house as CD was an avid Republican and Rosie a devout Democrat. The Evans loved martinis and riding in their Packard to go visit friends. Many parties were had at the house, one when a son returned home from World War 1. Phi Delta Theta and Delta Gamma parties, card playing, bridge, cribbage and canasta were all popular.
C.D. died at age 82. Over 1,000 people attended the funeral and downtown businesses were closed for the day. He was cremated.
Rosie died at 87, at Oxford. She was also cremated, and her ashes were spread over the Platte River.
The house has been on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1991, making it a Historic Landmark. Scott and Pat Mueller purchased the house in 2009.
Progression of Ownership:
The Evans family owned the home from 1912 until 1938. The house cost $85,000.00 to build, equal to $3 million today.
The Elks Club owned the home from 1938 to 1964. In 1950 the Elks built an addition connecting the main house and carriage house, which became their dining room in 1951.
In 1964 McLar Corporation purchased the building. They rented out space on the main floor and developed the Bunny Club area in the lower level addition.
In 1970 the mural depicting the founding of Platte County was painted by Bill Steele. The Landmark Restaurant was located here on the main floor in the addition. The Bunny Club opened in 1964. But in 1971 the Bunny Club was raided and it closed in 1972.
In 1988 David Hughes purchased the building. Many businesses came and went, including Barb’s School of Dance in the Bunny Club area.
Finally, in 2009 Samson Inc. owned by Scott and Pat Mueller, purchased the Evans House. Renovations continue to the home and carriage house.
Today, the historic Evans House is the Midwest’s only 39 room, Neoclassical, event venue mansion that was the site of the original “Bunny Club”. The house is 16,000 square feet, 4 floors, and includes a carriage house and grounds. Other unique details are secret rooms, a Santa chimney, and fascinating historical details discovered during the restoration of the house and grounds.
See all the warmth, charm, and history for yourself! Contact us to book a tour event at the Historic Evans House!