The character derived his stories as somewhat synonymous of the American attempt to control the West and the wilderness of their large country (though he is also conversely a popular character in the mostly urbanized North Eastern states). He became a character associated with great feats in the wilderness such as pulling a crooked road to straightness. His faithful companion is Babe the Blue Ox.
As a fold character he was popular by description and by word of mouth before he was ever described on paper. He was thus a popular enough character in the very early days of comics before superheroes when characters were borrowed from literature and myth and the majority of his appearances have been as renditions of his tales.
The character serves as an allegory of the westward expansion of the United States and thus doesn't really evolve per se. Rather regional versions of the character exist, all the way from the Northeast to the Northwest.
Major Story Arcs
Again as with other myths that are put to paper, there is often no real developments for the character, rather anecdotal events from the character's life. He appeared in the JLA story arc Queen of Fables.
Powers and Abilities
Usually depicted as a giant, the character has a great strength (in the JLA story arc this was shown to be on par with Superman and Wonder Woman.)