Construction of the Denver Pacific Railroad, linking Denver and Cheyenne, stopped here for the winter of 1869, and a town was begun. It was named Evans in honor of the second territorial governor, John Evans, builder of the Denver Pacific. According to tradition, the first church services were held in railroad passenger coaches. The townsite was part of a 900,000 acre land grant the railroad received from the federal government to help finance construction by selling land to settlers. The St. Louis Colony, a cooperative agricultural community, brought enough settlers to Evans to create a "boom town", which was the Weld County seat until it lost the honor in the seventies. A stage line ran between Evans and Denver until the completion of the railroad in 1870.