GALLIPOLIS - One year after the death of Gallia County farmer and entrepreneur Robert L. “Bob” Evans, action to name the Gallipolis Post Office in his honor is working its way through Congress.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson of Ohio, whose Sixth District includes Gallia, introduced legislation Friday to honor Evans, who created one of the most recognized names in the food industry, by naming the post office after him in Gallipolis. where he began his career as a sausage and food products manufacturer when he operated a small diner on Eastern Avenue.
The post office at 440 Second Ave. would be known as the “Bob Evans Post Office Building.”
Evans was born on May 20, 1918, in Sugar Ridge, Ohio, and grew up in Gallia County. In 1948, he started his own sausage business operating out of his family farm. The company soon expanded to the Bob Evans Farms Inc. and by 1957 Bob Evans sausage was being delivered to nearly 1,800 locations.
Evans' success continued when the company expanded again in 1964 to include the famous Bob Evans Restaurant. Since the 1970s, the Bob Evans restaurant chain has expanded to over 600 locations around the country.
In 1986, Evans retired after 33 years as director and president of the Bob Evans Farms Inc. Through his life he continued to remain active in land and wildlife conservation, as well as promoting progressive farming practices. In addition, he was instrumental in preserving the Spanish Barb mustang, a breed of wild horse that was threatened by extinction. He has received countless awards for his dedication to wildlife preservation, including the Ohio Governor's Award.
The legislation is cosponsored by the following members of the Ohio congressional delegation: Jean Schmidt, Mike Turner, Bob Latta, David Hobson, Marcy Kaptur, Dennis Kucinich, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Betty Sutton, Steve LaTourette, Deborah Pryce, Ralph Regula, Tim Ryan and Zack Space.
“On June 21, 2007, we lost an entrepreneurial hero who embodied the American dream,” Wilson said. “On the first anniversary of his death, I'm proud to honor Mr. Evans this way.”