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Juneau-Douglas City Museum


Gruber, Evans Lowell

by Eleanor Gruber Smith
UID=1055


Evans was born in Lincoln, Missouri, in 1895. He was raised and attended school in Lincoln. He left in early adulthood to see what some of the other states had to offer. He came to Seattle, Washington, where he met and married Clara Ethel Bussinger. At that time Clara’s brother Clarence Bussinger was employed at the Kennicott Copper Mine in Kennicott, Alaska. There was no work to be found because of the Great Depression covering the whole United States, and much of the world. Clarence wrote to the newlyweds and said he would loan the money for them to travel to Alaska if they wanted to come and he knew that Evans could find employment. Packing their meager belongings, Evans and his wife made the long trip by boat and train from Seattle to Kennicott. When he arrived, there was no housing so he and Clara took a large tent with a wood floor for their home. Clarence came to board with them. They fed and provided board to repay him for the loan. Evans then enrolled in a correspondence school and studied electrical engineering. He graduated from this course and spent his life in that profession. Two children were born in Kennicott to Evans and Clara: Eleanor Eveline and Vivian Ethel and later a third girl was born in Juneau, named Verna.

When Eleanor was about five, the family left Kennicott and settled in Hyder for a short spell and later moved to Juneau where Evans worked at the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine as an electrical engineer. He also worked throughout the City of Juneau for private businesses and local citizens. Evans built a beautiful home on Twelfth Street in Juneau for his family and they spent many years there. In the meantime, they moved to Thane a small town south of Juneau.

Evans became ill when he was only 45 with crippling arthritis. He became progressively worse and after a few years had to quit working and he and Clara moved to Seattle to live. He took treatments but it did not do any good and he died in 1948, in Seattle where he is buried at Washelli Cemetery in the Masonic Section.