POWERS, EVELYN GASS

Marian George and H. Allen Anderson

POWERS, EVELYN GASS (1896–1972). Evelyn Gass Powers, physician, was born on October 9, 1896, in Tulia, Texas, the daughter of Charles and Beulah (Yeary) Gass. Since her mother was the "physician" of the family, Evelyn claimed that she grew up believing that females were doctors and thus decided to pursue a career in medicine. After earning her bachelor of science degree in modern languages and science from Baylor University, she did postgraduate work at the University of Chicago and taught chemistry and physics at Teague High School and at Mary Hardin Baylor College (now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor) in Belton. In 1925 she received her M.D. degree from Baylor College of Medicine. She was the only woman in her graduating class and the highest scorer among the more than 200 candidates who took the state certification examination. Evelyn Gass married George Powers, a classmate, during her sophomore year at Baylor Medical. After doing their internships at Baylor Hospital, the couple established a joint practice at Chillicothe, where they sometimes operated under adverse conditions; once they delivered a baby in a covered wagon, and on another occasion they performed a tracheotomy by the light of a kerosene lamp, using a trunk for an operating table.

In 1928 the Powerses moved to Amarillo and opened offices in the Fisk Building, where they continued their practice until their retirement in 1965. During that period Dr. Evelyn, as she was called by friends and patients, delivered babies of the second, and sometimes even third, generation of families she served. She was a founding fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology and a lifetime member of the Texas Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In addition, she was a member of the Potter-Randall County Medical Society, the American Medical Women's Association, and a staff member of both Northwest Texas and St. Anthony's hospitals. Through her encouragement other women were inspired to enter the medical profession. Dr. Powers was active in the Altrusa Club, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. As an active Democrat she served on both the Texas Advisory Council of the National Democratic Committee and the national advisory committee. At the time of her death on January 11, 1972, Evelyn Powers was vice president of the Texas Democratic Women's state committee. She is buried in Llano Cemetery, Amarillo.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Amarillo Daily News, January 12, 1972. Swisher County Historical Commission, Windmilling: 101 Years of Swisher County History (Dallas: Taylor, 1978).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Marian George and H. Allen Anderson, "POWERS, EVELYN GASS," accessed September 15, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpo54.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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