David and Evelyn Allen named to Chamber Hall of Fame
As young adults preparing to explore the world beyond Jackson County, David and Evelyn Allen found themselves looking ahead to careers in education.
They would eventually return to Jackson County and become known, respectively, for their careers in banking and the law.
“We’re certainly Jackson County products,” Evelyn says.
But over time, the Allens have also become known for their commitment to community service through various organizations, and for their service and their inspiration, they have been selected to join the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame this February.
It’s an honor they’re humbled but pleased to receive, given the number of people they’ve worked with in the past — including son David Ross and daughter-in-law Ange — who have themselves been named to the Hall of Fame.
“We’re pleased to be in such good company,” David said. “We’ve been inspired by those who have preceded us, and we hope to be an inspiration to those who follow us.”
David Allen and Evelyn Beightel both grew up in the Holton area, graduating from Holton High School — he in 1959, she in 1961 — but didn’t come together until one fateful Christmas break some 55 years ago when Evelyn, after her graduation from The University of Kansas and acceptance of a teaching job in California, came home to Jackson County for a visit.
The following Easter, Evelyn came back home for a few days and she and David went out on a few dates before she went back to California.
“I went out to Los Angeles and picked her up, then we came back and got married that August,” he said.
The Allens then taught for a couple years in the Topeka area, then returned to the San Diego, Calif. area, where David furthered his education at San Diego State University and Evelyn taught at an area school. A year later, they returned to Kansas, and David taught and coached at Tonganoxie while Evelyn was having second thoughts about her educational career.
“I wasn’t really comfortable with it,” she said, noting that she went back to KU to seek a master’s degree in counseling. “I liked the one-on-one contact more than teaching a whole room of people.”
They returned to the Circleville area, and Evelyn continued her studies while her father presented David with an opportunity of his own to change his career.
“Her dad was on the board at The Farmers State Bank in Circleville, and we had come up for a Sunday lunch,” David said. “He asked if I’d be interested in coming to work for the bank… I said yes, I’d be very much interested in that.”
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