Evansville, Indiana, Through the Centuries

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The following article is presented by the abuse attorneys from Evansville. Our legal team hopes you enjoy learning about the history of the city of Evansville as much as we have.

Summary of Evansville

Evansville is the largest city in the southern portion of Indiana, the third-most populous city in the state, and the 232nd-most populous city in the U.S. It is the central city of the metropolitan area of Evansville. Also the county seat of Vanderburg County, it is often referred to as "River City" or the "Crescent Valley" because of its location on an oxbow in the Ohio River.

The area that is now Evansville has been inhabited since 8,000 B.C. by Paleo-Indians. One of the most complex ancient sites in the area that have been identified by archaeologists is Angel Mound. Dating from 900 A.D. to 1600 A.D., the site was abandoned around 1400 and 1450. Afterward, Native American people like the Shawnee, Miami, Wyandot, Piankeshaw and Delaware settled in the area. In 1805, the Delaware people ceded the land encompassing Evansville to the then governor of the Indiana Territory, General Willian Henry Harrison.

In 1812, Evansville was founded was Hugh McGary Jr. purchase 441 acres of land in the area and named it "McGary's Landing." However, in order to attract more people, he renamed the village "Evansville" after Colonel Robert Morgan Evans. In 1817, Evansville was incorporated. A year later, it became the county seat of Vanderburg County.

In the second half of the 1800s, the city experienced its greatest growth as it became a major stop for steamboats on the Ohio River. Manufacturing, coal mining and hardwood lumber was its major source of economic activity. By 1900, the city had 41 factories and around 2,000 workers, making it one of the largest hardwood furniture production centers in the world.

During World War II, it was a major center of industrial production. The Evansville Shipyard – a 45-acre shipyard – was created on the riverfront to the east of St. Joseph Avenue to produce oceangoing Landing Ship-Tanks (LSTs). It was the largest inland producer of LSTs in the U.S. The Plymouth factory in the city was converted into a plant that produced bullets. In 1942, another factory was acquired by the city to manufacture P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft (P-47Ds).

After the war, Evansville thrived as demand for farm equipment, automobiles and household appliances raised. However, the recession between 1955 and 1963 hit the city, causing most of its business to shut down. Evansville's economy was only saved because businesses like General Electric, Whirlpool, Alcoa, and 25 others moved to the area. The city became the center of medical, commercial and service industries for the tri-state region. Today, it has a total area of 44.622 square miles. As of the 2010 census, the city has a population of 117,439 people.

Also check out the City of South Bend, Indiana.

University of Southern Indiana

Located just to the west of the city of Evansville is the University of Southern Indiana. The public university was opened on September 15, 1965, as a regional campus of Indian State University. On April 16, 1985, it became an independent four-year institution, and its charter was signed by Governor Robert D. Orr. The university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, 13 master's programs, two doctoral programs, and over 100 areas of studies. Its four colleges are the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Romain College of Business, and College of Liberal Arts.

Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden

The Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden is one of the oldest and largest zoos in Indiana. Founded by Gilmore M. Haynie in 1928, it is situated in Mesker Park and is operated by the City of Evansville. It features the following exhibits:

  • Amazonia
  • North America
  • Discovery Center
  • Lemur Forest
  • African Rift
  • Kley Building
  • Asia & Australia
  • Children's Enchanted Forest
  • Lake Victoria
  • African Panorama

The Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden has over 700 animals and 200 species on its 45-acre of land. It has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Our Local Office

If you or someone you know has been suffering from abuse at the hands of a priest or religious official, contact our Evansville priest abuse lawyers to discuss your potential claim. We can help you determine your next steps in taking legal action against those who are responsible for your trauma. Schedule your free case evaluation today.

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