1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Evansville
EVANSVILLE, a city and the county-seat of Vanderburg county, Indiana, U.S.A., and a port of entry, on the N. bank of the Ohio river, 200 m. below Louisville, Kentucky—measuring by the windings of the river, which double the direct distance. Pop. (1890) 50,756; (1900) 59,0071 (1010 census) 69,647. Of the total population in 1900, 5518 were negroes, 5626 were foreign-born (including 4380 from Germany and 384 from England), and 17,419 were of foreign parentage (both parents foreign-born), and of these 13,910 were of German parentage. Evansville is served by the Evansville & Terre Haute, the Evansville & Indianapolis, the Illinois Central, the Louisville & Nashville, the Louisville, Henderson & St Louis, and the Southern railways, by several interurban electric lines, and by river steamboats. The city is situated on a plateau above the river, and has a number of fine business and public buildings, including the court house and city hall, the Southern Indiana hospital for the insane, the United States marine hospital, and the Willard library and art gallery, containing in 1908 about 30,000 volumes. The city's numerous railway connexions and its situation in a coal-producing region (there are five mines within the city limits) and on the Ohio river, which is navigable nearly all the year, combine to make it the principal commercial and manufacturing centre of Southern Indiana. It is in a tobacco-growing region, is one of the largest hardwood lumber markets in the country, and has an important shipping trade in pork, agricultural products, dried fruits, lime and limestone, flour and tobacco. Among its manufactures in 1905 were flour and grist mill products, (value, $2,638,914), furniture ($1,655,246), lumber and timber products ($1,229,533), railway cars ($1,118,376), packed meats ($998,428), woollen and cotton goods, cigars and cigarettes, malt liquors, carriages and wagons, leather and canned goods. The value of the factory products increased from $12,167,524 in 1900 to $19,201,716 in 1905, or 57.8%, and in the latter year Evansville ranked third among the manufacturing cities in the state. The Waterworks are owned and operated by the city. First settled about 1812, Evansville was laid out-in 1817, and was named in honour of Robert Morgan Evans (1783–1844), one of its founders, who was an officer under General W. H. Harrison in the war of 1812. It soon became a thriving commercial town, with an extensive river trade, was incorporated in 1819, and received a city charter in 1847. The completion of the Wabash & Erie Canal, in 1853, from Evansville to Toledo, Ohio, a distance of 400 m., greatly accelerated the city's growth.