By 1900 Evansville was one of the world's largest hardwood furniture centers, with 41 factories employing approximately 2,000 workers.Railroads eventually became more important, and in 1887 the L&N Railroad constructed a bridge across the Ohio River.along with a major rail yard southwest of Evansville in a town, Howell, which was annexed in 1916 and completed the city's counterclockwise march around the horseshoe bend.Throughout this period Evansville's main ethnic groups consisted of Germans fleeing Europe, Protestant Scotch-Irish from the South, Catholic Irish coming for canal or railroad work, New England businessmen, and newly freed slaves from Western Kentucky.Evansville incorporated in 1817 and became a county seat on January 7, 1818.The county was named for Henry Vanderburgh, a deceased chief judge of the Indiana territorial supreme court.The population was 117,429 at the 2010 census, making it the state's third-largest city after Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, and the largest city in Southern Indiana, it is the commercial, medical, and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area, home to over 911,000 people.
The city is home to public and private enterprise in many areas, as Evansville serves as the region's economic hub.As the new century began, growth in the city continued to move eastward.Manufacturing also took off, particularly in the automobile and refrigeration industries.Archaeologists have identified several archaic and ancient sites in and near Evansville, with the most complex at Angel Mounds from about 900 A. French hunters and trappers were among the first Europeans to come to the area, using Vincennes as a base of operations. purchased about 441 acres and named it "Mc Gary's Landing".In 1814, to attract more people, Mc Gary renamed his village "Evansville" in honor of Colonel Robert Morgan Evans.
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A tourist destination, Evansville is home to Tropicana Evansville, the state's first casino, Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden, one of the state's oldest and largest zoos, and sports tourism industry. The University of Evansville is a small private school on the city's east side, while the University of Southern Indiana is a larger public institution just outside the city's westside limits.