Elizabeth A. "Betty" Strong: 1925-2004
A skillful and tireless community leader, Betty Strong championed the 1989 initiative that brought riverboat gaming to Woodbury County. That accomplishment led to construction of the Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in 2002.
From 1989 until her death, she served as President of Missouri River Historical Development, Inc. (MRHD), the non-profit organization that holds the gaming license for Woodbury County. Under Betty's leadership, MRHD built the Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, funded the Garden of Discovery, and distributed millions of dollars to other Woodbury County non-profit and public organizations.
The mother of four, grandmother of eight and greatgrandmother of eight was active in numerous Sioux City school, church and civic organizations. She worked for the 1969 vote that built North, West and East High Schools. She was a leading voice for much-needed change in Woodbury County juvenile detention services in the 1970s.
In 1975, Betty became the first woman elected Woodbury County Democratic Central Committee chairperson. She served again in 1983 and continued to take a leading role in political activism until her death. She was a delegate at the 1984 Democratic National Convention and provided state leadership in presidential campaigns of 1988 and 2000. Her mastery of grass roots politics was instrumental in elections of many local and state candidates.
Betty's community activism began in the late 1960s with the labor movement, a field she remained dedicated to for the rest of her life. In 2000, she was inducted into the Northwest Iowa Labor Council Hall of Fame.
Betty's passion for improving the lives of all people, particularly children, energized her long and distinguished leadership career. Her legacy inspires us to hear all voices and to build strong communities filled with substance, character and caring hearts.
Stanley Wilson Evans: 1918-2006
Stanley Wilson Evans was a charter member of Missouri River Historical Development, Inc. (MRHD), serving as advisor to the non-profit organization that built and sustains the Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and the Betty Strong Encounter Center.
He was advisor to "A Way of Life: A Story of the Sioux City Stockyards I," published in 2006 by the Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Association. He continued his advisory role for volume II of the Stockyards story until his death.
Stanley was retired President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Live Stock National Bank at the Yards. Except for his service in the Armed Forces, he spent his entire career with the bank, which later became Northwestern National Bank and then Norwest and now Wells Fargo.
Stanley was a member of the Masonic Lodge. He was active in the Abu Bekr Shrine and served as potentate in 1975. He was a member of the Jesters and the White Horse Mounted Patrol and served on Briar Cliff University's Board of Trustees in the 1960s. He was active in River-Cade and was chairman of the Sergeant Floyd Riverboat Committee. After retirement, he continued to be active in many Sioux City civic affairs. He was elected to the City Council in 1986 and served as Mayor Pro Tem for Mayor Loren Callendar.
Stanley attended Sioux City Public Schools and graduated from Central High School in 1937. He attended the School of Banking at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was the father of two daughters; grandfather of four; and great-grandfather of one.