Evansville, Indiana

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Evansville, Indiana
City of Evansville, Indiana
Downtown Evansville at nightfall


Nickname(s): Eville, The Ville, River City, Pocket City, Crescent City
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 37°58′38″N 87°33′2″W / 37.97722°N 87.55056°W / 37.97722; -87.55056Coordinates: 37°58′38″N 87°33′2″W / 37.97722°N 87.55056°W / 37.97722; -87.55056
CountryUnited States
Regionstri-state area, SW Indiana
TownshipsCenter, German, Knight, Perry, Pigeon
City Charter1847
 • MayorLloyd Winnecke (R)
 • City44.62 sq mi (115.57 km2)
 • Land44.15 sq mi (114.35 km2)
 • Water0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)
 • Metro2,367 sq mi (6,130 km2)
Elevation387 ft (118 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City117,429
 • Estimate (2012 [3])120,235
 • Rank1st in Vanderburgh County
1st in Southern Indiana
3rd in Indiana
220th in the United States
 • Density2,659.8/sq mi (1,027.0/km2)
 • Metro358,676
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)812, 930
Twin cities
 • OsnabrückGermany
 • Tochigi-ShiJapan
 • TizimínMexico
FIPS code18-22000[4]
GNIS feature ID0434258[5]
DemonymsEvansvillian, Vanderburger
InterstatesI-64.svg I-69.svg
U.S. RoutesUS 41.svg
Major State RoutesIndiana 57.svg Indiana 62.svg Indiana 65.svg Indiana 66.svg
WaterwaysOhio River, Pigeon Creek
AirportsEvansville Regional Airport
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Evansville, Indiana
City of Evansville, Indiana
Downtown Evansville at nightfall


Nickname(s): Eville, The Ville, River City, Pocket City, Crescent City
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 37°58′38″N 87°33′2″W / 37.97722°N 87.55056°W / 37.97722; -87.55056Coordinates: 37°58′38″N 87°33′2″W / 37.97722°N 87.55056°W / 37.97722; -87.55056
CountryUnited States
Regionstri-state area, SW Indiana
TownshipsCenter, German, Knight, Perry, Pigeon
City Charter1847
 • MayorLloyd Winnecke (R)
 • City44.62 sq mi (115.57 km2)
 • Land44.15 sq mi (114.35 km2)
 • Water0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)
 • Metro2,367 sq mi (6,130 km2)
Elevation387 ft (118 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City117,429
 • Estimate (2012 [3])120,235
 • Rank1st in Vanderburgh County
1st in Southern Indiana
3rd in Indiana
220th in the United States
 • Density2,659.8/sq mi (1,027.0/km2)
 • Metro358,676
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)812, 930
Twin cities
 • OsnabrückGermany
 • Tochigi-ShiJapan
 • TizimínMexico
FIPS code18-22000[4]
GNIS feature ID0434258[5]
DemonymsEvansvillian, Vanderburger
InterstatesI-64.svg I-69.svg
U.S. RoutesUS 41.svg
Major State RoutesIndiana 57.svg Indiana 62.svg Indiana 65.svg Indiana 66.svg
WaterwaysOhio River, Pigeon Creek
AirportsEvansville Regional Airport

Evansville is the commercial, medical and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. It is the third-largest city in the U.S. state of Indiana and the largest city in Southern Indiana. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 117,429 and a metropolitan population of 358,676. It is the county seat of Vanderburgh County.[6]

The city is situated on a bend in the Ohio River and often referred to as "River City". The area was first settled by mound builders, an indigenous North American people from at least 8,000 BCE, with complex sites still intact at nearby Angel Mounds.[7] It was later settled by Yankee-Americans in 1812 and incorporated in 1819. The broad economic base of the region has helped to build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. Five NYSE companies are headquartered in Evansville, along with two other companies traded on the NASDAQ.

The city has several well known educational institutions. The University of Evansville is a small private school that is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top ten regional universities in the Midwest. The University of Southern Indiana is a larger public school just outside of city limits to the west. Located in the city's downtown district, Signature School is a charter school consistently ranked as one of the top high schools in the United States. The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library has also received acclaim as one of the best in the nation for its population category.

One of the most popular attractions in the region is the Tropicana Evansville, the first riverboat casino in Indiana. In 2008, Evansville was voted the best city in the country in which "to live, work, and play" by the readers of Kiplinger, and in 2009 the 11th best.[8][9]


Also see: History of Evansville, Indiana.
Robert Morgan Evans

Settled by immigrants some 200 years ago, the city of Evansville is situated on a gentle horseshoe bend on the Ohio River. As testament to the Ohio's grandeur, the early French explorers named it La Belle Riviere ("The Beautiful River"). On March 27, 1812, Hugh McGary, Junior, bought land for the settlement which he called McGary's Landing. In 1814, to attract more people, McGary renamed his village "Evansville" in honor of Colonel Bob Evans (1783–1844), an officer under then General William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812. McGary, Evans, and James W. Jones revised the 1814 town plan of lots and streets in 1817. Vanderburgh County was created in 1818, and Evansville was made the county seat.[10][11]

Evansville soon became a thriving commercial town, with an extensive river trade. It was incorporated in 1819 and received a city charter in 1847. The building of the Wabash and Erie Canal, which connected the Great Lakes to the Ohio River, greatly accelerated the city's growth. The canal was finally completed in 1853, the same year that Evansville's first railroad, Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad, was opened to Terre Haute.[11] The founder of the E&CR built the Hotel del Coronado on the peninsula guarding the harbor to San Diego, California. He would take hosts of friends on his private rail cars and celebrate Twelfth Night and then return to Evansville; the new hotel would remain unoccupied for the remainder of the year until the next Twelfth Night. By the U.S. census of 1890 Evansville ranked as the 56th largest urban area in the United States, a rank it gradually fell from in the early 1900s.[12]

The first highway bridge to cross the Ohio River and connect Evansville with Henderson, Kentucky was built in 1932. After the devastating Ohio River flood of 1937, the city established the Evansville-Vanderburgh Levee Authority District. It built a system of earth levees, concrete walls, and pumping stations designed to protect the city.

During World War II, Evansville was the largest inland producer of LSTs (Tank Landing Ships). Evansville also produced a specific version of the P-47 Thunderbolt known as the P-47Ds, which were assembled in a factory constructed for this purpose during the war. The factory was later used to manufacture Whirlpool appliances, primarily refrigerators. These planes were also produced in Farmingdale on Long Island, New York. The Evansville craft were given the suffix "-Ra" while the Farmingdale planes were given the suffix "-Re". Evansville produced a total 6,242 P-47s,almost half of the P47s made during the war, and 167 LSTs during the war.[13]

In the early 1950s, industrial production in the city expanded at a rapid pace. Culturally, Evansville evolved in the 1950s with the construction of subdivisions on the outer reaches of the community. This shift in population led to other developments as shopping started to shift from the downtown area into suburban shopping centers. In 1963, Washington Square Mall became the first enclosed mall in the state of Indiana.

During the final third of the 20th century, Evansville became the commercial, medical, and service hub for the tri-state region. A 1990s economic spurt was fueled by the growth of the University of Southern Indiana. The arrival of giant Toyota and AK Steel plants, as well as the Tropicana Evansville riverboat (once known as Casino Aztar), Indiana's first gaming boat, also contributed to the growth of jobs.

Geography and climate[edit]


The Evansville and Owensboro Metropolitan Areas. The Evansville Metropolitan Area includes Vanderburgh, Warrick, Henderson, Posey, Gibson, and Webster counties.

Evansville is located at 37°58'38" north, 87°33'2" west (37.977166, −87.550566).[14] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.62 square miles (115.57 km2), of which 44.15 square miles (114.35 km2) is land and 0.47 square miles (1.22 km2) is water.[1]

The city faces the Ohio River along its southern boundary. Most of the city lies in a shallow valley surrounded by low rolling hills. The west side of the city is built on these rolling hills and is home to Burdette Park, Mesker Amphitheatre, and Mesker Park Zoo. The eastern portion of the city developed in the valley and is protected by a series of levees that closely follow the path of Interstate 164. Notable landmarks on the east side are the 240-acre (1.0 km2) Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve and the Angel Mounds State Historic Site, located just southeast of Evansville, between Evansville and Newburgh. Angel Mounds is a burial site, believed to be abandoned a few hundred years ago.

The Evansville Metropolitan Area, the 142nd largest in the United States, includes four Indiana counties (Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick) and two Kentucky counties (Henderson, and Webster). The metropolitan area does not include Owensboro, Kentucky, which is an adjacent metropolitan area about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Evansville. This area is sometimes referred to as "Kentuckiana", although "tri-state area" and "tri-state" are more commonly used by the local media.


Evansville lies in the northern reaches of a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), and straddles the border between USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6B and 7A.[15] Summers are hot and humid, winters are cool to cold. Average temperatures range from 32.5 °F (0.3 °C) in January to 78.0 °F (25.6 °C) in July. Annual rainfall averages 45.3 inches (1,150 mm) and annual snowfall averages 12.1 inches (31 cm).[16] Evansville winters can range from almost no snowfall, up to 19.3 inches within 24 hours.[17] Extreme temperatures range from −23 °F (−31 °C) on February 2, 1951 up to 111 °F (44 °C) on July 28, 1930.

Climate data for Evansville, Indiana (Evansville Regional Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Record high °F (°C)76
Average high °F (°C)41.0
Average low °F (°C)24.0
Record low °F (°C)−21
Precipitation inches (mm)3.10
Snowfall inches (cm)3.4
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)9.88.910.611.712.
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)
Mean monthly sunshine hours142.6149.7201.5234.0282.1318.0322.4303.8249.0223.2144.0127.12,697.4
Source: NOAA (extremes 1897−present)[18] HKO (sun, 1961−1990)[19]


Historical population
Est. 2012120,2352.4%

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 117,429 people, 50,588 households, and 28,085 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,659.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,027.0 /km2). There were 57,799 housing units at an average density of 1,309.2 per square mile (505.5 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.0% White, 12.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% of the population.

There were 50,588 households of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.8% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.5% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 36.5 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26% were from 25 to 44; 25.8% were from 45 to 64; and 14.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.


Evansville is the regional center for a large trade area in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. The broad economic base of the region has helped to build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. The largest industry sectors by size in Evansville are health care, finance, education, and manufacturing. Other major industries by employment are energy, warehousing and distribution, and retail.

The downtown riverfront area features tiered stadium seating for special events and fireworks along the Ohio River.

Corporate headquarters include Accuride, Atlas Van Lines, Berry Plastics, Mead Johnson, Old National Bank, Shoe Carnival, Springleaf Financial, and Vectren. Major manufacturing operations near the city include AK Steel in Rockport, Alcoa in Newburgh, SABIC in Mount Vernon, and Toyota in Princeton. The city's economy was expanded by Tropicana Evansville's entertainment facility in 1995.

Evansville has emerged as the tri-state's major center for the health care and medical sciences industries. Deaconess Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center, along with the Deaconess Gateway and Women's Hospital located just outside of city limits, provide the anchors for a vast health care system that is among the region's largest employers.[20] Mead Johnson's global operations center is also a significant contributor to the local economy.

Evansville's strategic location on the Ohio River, strong rail and highway infrastructure, and its designation as a U.S. Customs Port of Entry, make it an ideal location for the transfer of cargo, including internationally. Chemicals make up 64% of international exports from the Evansville metro area, followed by transportation equipment (18%) and food manufacturing (5%).[21] In 2007 the metropolitan area was ranked 88th in the nation in terms of growth and economic impact.

For much of the 20th century Evansville was known as "The Refrigerator Capital of the World" due to large operations by refrigerator makers Seeger, Servel, and International Harvester, all of which later merged into Whirlpool Corporation's large Evansville facility.[22] Throughout the 1960s, '70s and early '80s Whirlpool Corporation was the area's largest employer, but by 2009 the company announced they were moving operations from Evansville to Mexico and retaining just 300 salaried positions for a production design center.[23] Evansville is now often cited as the "The Plastics Capital of the Country" due to numerous large plastics operations, including those of Berry Plastics and SABIC.[24]

Evansville is also known as a regional energy hub due to the headquarters of Vectren and regional energy-related facilities such as Babcock & Wilcox's Nuclear Operations Group, numerous coal mines, Global Blade Technology, several large ethanol and biofuel facilities, and a robust network of gas and oil pipelines.[25] Evansville is a partner in Project Green, a regional economic development plan focused on the energy industry.

The city of Evansville offers a pro-business tax structure for companies locating inside the Evansville Urban Enterprise Zone. Established in 1984 as one of only five enterprise zones in the State of Indiana, the 2.1-square-mile (5.4 km2) Evansville Urban Enterprise Zone offers inventory tax credits and other tax credits to eligible businesses.[26]



The Four Freedoms Monument along the Ohio River.

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve is a National Natural Landmark with nearly 200 acres (0.8 km2) of virgin bottomland hardwood forest. It is the largest tract of virgin forest located inside any city limits within the United States.[27] The Nature Center features exhibits, events, wildlife observation areas, meeting rooms, library, and gift shop. Adjacent to the Nature Preserve, Wesselman Park features a Par 3 golf course, basketball courts, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, softball fields, and a playground.

Evansville has an extensive municipal park system with 65 parks and 21 special facilities encompassing more than 2,300 acres (9 km2) of land in the city of Evansville and Vanderburgh County. A growing bicycle and pedestrian trail extends into adjacent counties and ties into the American Discovery Trail. This trail system includes the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage, a 42 mile trail that encircles the city. Access to the completed portions of the trail is found at Garvin Park (N. Main Street and Heidelbach Ave.) and at the downtown Riverfront. The city also operates three popular 18-hole public golf courses and one 9-hole golf course.

Anchored by the Four Freedoms Monument and the Tropicana Evansville, Dress Plaza along the riverfront offers a brick paved walkway above and tiered seating below provide a view of the Ohio River. Convenient driving access with parking is available along the lower plaza that is the scene for numerous summer concerts and festivals.

Located on nearly 200 acres (0.8 km2) of rolling hills in western Vanderburgh County well outside of the city limits, Burdette Park features an aquatic center with water slides, three pools, and a snack bar. It also offers a BMX racing track, batting cages, softball diamonds, miniature golf, tennis courts, and locations for fishing.

Neighborhood districts[edit]

Evansville has thirteen neighborhoods that have qualified for the National Register of Historic Places.

Western Terrace

Cultural features[edit]

Entertainment venues[edit]

The Ford Center is a multi-use indoor arena downtown with a maximum seating capacity of 11,000.[28] It officially opened in 2011 as the city's premier entertainment venue and is mainly used for basketball, ice hockey, and music concerts.

The Victory Theatre is a vintage 1,950-seat venue that is home to the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra.[29] Each year, the orchestra presents a seven-concert classics series, four double pops performances, and special event concerts, as well as numerous educational and outreach performances.[30] The theater also hosts local ballet and modern dance companies, theater companies, and touring productions.

A wide variety of concerts, plays, and other special events are held at the 2,500-seat auditorium at The Centre downtown.[31] Outdoor concerts and special events are held at the 8,500-seat Mesker Amphitheatre on the city's west side.[32]

The Evansville Civic Theatre is Southern Indiana's longest running community theater, dating from the 1920s when the community theater movement swept across the country. From its humble beginnings at the old Central High School auditorium, Evansville Civic Theatre has had many homes – Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Coliseum, Bosse High School, the Rose Room of the McCurdy Hotel, the Elks Ballroom, and the Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences. In 1974, Evansville Civic Theatre acquired the historic Columbia Movie Theater as its permanent home.[33]

The University of Evansville maintains a prestigious theater program – one of the top rated programs in the nation, which features four mainstage and two studio productions a year. The University of Evansville has been honored more times at The Kennedy Center than any other theatre institution. The University is the only institution, along with Yale, which has been asked to perform at the Kennedy Center without first going through competition. It also leads the nation in the top awards for its students as awarded by The Broadway Theatre Wing and other governing bodies of serious theatre.[34]

Annual festivals[edit]

The West Side Nut Club Fall Festival is a street fair held in the area west of downtown Evansville. It is held on the first full week of October and draws nearly 150,000 people. The main attraction of the festival is the food, with offerings of standards like elephant ears and corn dogs to the more unusual, such as chocolate-covered crickets, brain sandwiches, and alligator stew. Paul Harvey once remarked that only Mardi Gras in New Orleans is larger than the Fall Festival.[35]

Each July the city plays host to the Evansville Freedom Festival. Frequently the United States Navy's Blue Angels have been an attraction at this event, along with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.[36] Previously, from 1979 to 2009, Evansville hosted Thunder on the Ohio as part of the Freedom Festival, which was a hydroplane boat race in the H1 Unlimited season.

The Germania Männerchor Volksfest is a three-day German heritage festival which takes place every August in the historic Germania Mannerchor building on the city's west side. The festival includes food, drink, dance and music. Many of the city's residents with German ancestry also wear historic German attire. On the last weekend of August, the popular 4,000 street rods converge on the Vanderburgh County 4-H fairgrounds north of the city for "Frog Follies."[37]


The historic Reitz Home Museum.

The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science is home to one of southern Indiana's most established and significant cultural centers. It holds the Koch Planetarium, the oldest in Indiana.[38] Also on the campus is the Evansville Museum Transportation Center, which features transportation in southern Indiana from the latter part of the Nineteenth Century through the mid-Twentieth Century.

Angel Mounds State Historic Site is nationally recognized as one of the best preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the United States.[39] From 1100 to 1450 A. D., a town near this site was home to people of the Middle Mississippian culture. Several thousand people lived in this town protected by a stockade made of wattle and daub. Because Angel Mounds was a chiefdom (the home of the chief), it was the regional center of a large community.

The Reitz Home Museum is Evansville's only Victorian House Museum. It is noted as one of the country's finest examples of Second French Empire architecture. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

In October 2005 the USS LST 325 moored in Evansville and was turned into a museum (USS LST Ship Memorial) in recognition of the city's war effort. During World War II, Evansville produced 167 LSTs (and 35 other craft), making it the largest inland producer of LSTs in the nation. The USS LST 325 is the last navigable tank landing ship in operation.[40]

The new Children's Museum of Evansville opened its doors to the public in September 2006.[41] The museum is the result of two years of planning and was constructed in the historic Central Library downtown. The Art Deco building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum offers visitors three floors of interactive exhibits and galleries.

Mesker Park Zoo[edit]

Mesker Park Zoo

Evansville's Mesker Park Zoo opened in 1928 and is one of the oldest and largest zoos in the state. Set in a 50-acre (200,000 m2) park, the zoo features 200 species and more than 700 animals roaming freely in natural habitats surrounded by exotic plants, wildflowers, and trees. An estimated 3 million people visit the zoo between April and August every year. This zoo has achieved a little fame for being mentioned in Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita.


Evansville has a long and rich history supporting athletic teams and events, with a number of notable professional athletes coming from the city. High school athletics are a frequent source of local patronage, and the University of Evansville (UE) and University of Southern Indiana (USI) regularly draw thousands of spectators to NCAA Division I and Division II sporting events, respectively. The UE Purple Aces basketball team plays at the Ford Center. USI plays on campus at the USI Physical Activities Center.

Evansville is home to several professional teams as well. The Evansville Otters are a minor league professional baseball team in the Frontier League and have played at historic Bosse Field since 1995. The Evansville IceMen are a professional ice hockey team in the ECHL and play at the Ford Center. The ECHL is a farm league for the American Hockey league and also the NHL. The Icemen averaged over 5,500 fans last season and won the Evansville Readers Choice Award for " Best Local Sporting Event" in 2012. The Icemen are current affiliates of the Springfield falcons of the AHL. The Icemen Are currently competing in the 13/14 ECHK season The Evansville Crush is a semi-professional soccer team in the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL), the development league for the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro). The Evansvile Enforcers are a semi-professional American football team in the Great Midwest Football League.

Evansville OttersBaseball1995Frontier LeagueBosse Field
Evansville IceMenIce hockey2008ECHLFord Center
Evansville CrushSoccer2010Premier Arena Soccer LeagueMetro Sports Center
Evansville EnforcersAmerican football2011Great Midwest Football LeagueReitz Bowl

Evansville is home to two Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) leagues: the Demolition City Roller Derby, and Rollergirls of Southern Indiana. From 1957 to 1975, and then again in 2002 and 2014, Evansville hosted the NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship (Elite Eight). From 1999 to 2007 Roberts Stadium hosted the Great Lakes Valley Conference basketball tournaments, and in 2013 the same event was held at the Ford Center. A number of Division I NCAA events have been hosted by the city as well. In 1983 Roberts Stadium hosted the first round of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, and in 1980 and 1983 it hosted the Midwestern City Conference (now Horizon League) men's basketball conference tournament.

Evansville used to play host to the top tier boat racing circuit of H1 Unlimited when it hosted Thunder on the Ohio along the Ohio River in downtown Evansville, which was hosted continuously from 1979 to 2009. Evansville had also previously hosted Thunder on the Ohio from 1938 to 1940.

Evansville offers modern sports facilities for both soccer and ice skating events. The Goebel Soccer Complex is on 70 acres (280,000 m2) of land and features nine Olympic-size irrigated Bermuda grass fields and one Olympic-size AstroPlay turf field. Additionally, EVSC Fields provide twin soccer fields and stadium seating for high school regular season and postseason matches. Swonder Ice Arena is a double-rink facility that opened in the fall of 2002 and features a fitness center, a skate park, and party rooms. The schools of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation use Lloyd Pool for all of their swimming and diving meets in the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference.

Local media[edit]

WNIN's headquarters at the Willard Carpenter House

The only daily newspaper is the Evansville Courier & Press, which is owned by the E.W. Scripps Company. The newspaper also publishes the monthly Evansville Business Journal and eWoman Magazine and owns the paper in neighboring Henderson, Kentucky. Evansville Living and Evansville Business are bi-monthly city magazines published locally by Tucker Publishing Group that showcase the people, businesses, and community. Other publications include Maturity Journal, a free monthly newspaper aimed at senior citizens, and News4U, a free monthly entertainment magazine

The city has 32 radio stations that include adult contemporary, big band, classical, inspirational, jazz, rock, country, oldies, pop, and easy listening formats. The University of Evansville's WUEV FM is a non-commercial station that plays a variety of alternative, classical, and jazz music. WUEV has been chosen repeatedly as one of the premier university and jazz stations in the nation over the past two decades. Other notable radio stations include alternative/hard rock station 103 GBF (also known as "the River City Rocker") and pop music station 106.1 Kiss FM.

Evansville is, as of the 2010-11 rankings, the 103rd-largest television market in the United States according to Nielsen Media Research.[42] The designated market area consists of 30 counties in Southeastern Illinois, Southwestern Indiana, and Northwestern Kentucky. The 2010 population estimate of this 30-county region is nearly one million people.

The major local broadcast television stations are WEHT ABC (Channel 25), WEVV CBS, WEHT and WTVW Local 7 Eyewitness News at http://www.tristatehomepage.com/home, WFIE NBC (Channel 14), and WNIN PBS (Channel 9). The Public-access television cable TV channels are WOW and Insight.

Law and government[edit]

Evansville Police Department
Agency overview
Legal personalityGovernmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction*City of Evansville in the state of Indiana, United States
Legal jurisdictionAs per operations jurisdiction.
General nature
Operational structure
Agency executives
  • Mayor, Lloyd Winecke
  • Billy Bolin, Chief
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Mayor of Evansville, Lloyd Winnecke, serves as the chief executive officer. A nine-member elected City Council is the legislative branch of city government. The city of Evansville is the county seat for Vanderburgh County.

Vanderburgh County's delegation to the Indiana State House of Representatives comprises three representatives: Wendy McNamara (District 76), Gail Riecken (District 77), and Suzanne Crouch (District 78). Evansville and Vanderburgh County are represented by two state senators. In general, the southern third of the county and Armstrong Township are part of District 49, currently held by Jim Tomes. The county's west side is also in District 49. Most of the county is in District 50, which extends to the east, a seat held by Vaneta Becker.

The region is located in the 8th District of Indiana (map) and served by U.S. Representative Larry Bucshon.

In recent years various bi-partisan groups have advocated merging the Evansville city and Vanderburgh County governments, as was done in other surrounding cities such as Indianapolis, Louisville, and Nashville.[43] Evansville and Vanderburgh County already have a number of notable merged government functions. The school system is consolidated county wide in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation and the library system is consolidated countywide in the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. Additional countywide authorities are in place for the Evansville Regional Airport and for flood control via the countywide levee authority.


Higher education[edit]

UE's front oval
USI's Rice Library

Evansville is home to several institutions of higher learning. The University of Evansville (UE) is a small, private university with approximately 3,050 students. Founded in 1854 as Moores Hill College, the University features liberal arts and science degrees. The school is nationally renowned for its Theatre department, with alumni frequently starring in television and film roles. Nearly half of UE's students study abroad as part of their experience, including at a satellite campus, Harlaxton College, in Grantham, England. UE athletic teams participate in Division I of the NCAA and are known as the Purple Aces. Evansville is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, and the school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) is a public university located just outside of Evansville. Founded in 1965, the school has an enrollment of over 10,800 students and is among the fastest growing comprehensive state universities in Indiana.[44] USI athletic teams participate in Division II of the NCAA and are known as the Screaming Eagles. USI is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

USI also houses the Indiana University School of Medicine's Evansville Center for Medical Education.[45] This shared medical program was originally a part of The University of Evansville's Health Department and co-op with Indiana University and the state government. Other campuses in the city include Ivy Tech Community College, ITT Technical Institute, Harrison College, and Oakland City University's School of Adult and Extended Learning.

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Also see: Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Evansville .

Evansville has one unified school system with the county, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC). It consists of five public high schools, 11 middle schools, and 20 elementary schools. In addition there are two parochial, two charter, and one private school. One charter school - Signature School - attracts top tier students and is consistently ranked by a number of publications as one of the top high schools in the United States.

SchoolTypeEnrollmentMascot (I/A)Colors (I/A)Class (I/A)Athletic Conference
Bosse High School
Public873Bulldogs            AAA(A)SIAC
Central High SchoolPublic1,754Bears            AAAA(A)SIAC
New Tech InstitutePublic95None            NoneNone
North High SchoolPublic1,661Huskies            AAAA(A)SIAC
Francis Joseph
Reitz High School
Public1,495Panthers            AAAA(A)SIAC
William Henry
Harrison High School
Public1,414Warriors            AAAA(A)SIAC
Southern Indiana Career
& Technical Center
Signature SchoolCharter326Penguins            AIndependent
Reitz Memorial
High School
Catholic791Tigers            AAA(A)SIAC
Mater Dei High SchoolCatholic613Wildcats            AA(A)SIAC
Evansville Day School **Private69Eagles            AIndependent

* The Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center draws students from nine school districts.[46]

** Evansville Day School offers grades JPK-12. The school's enrollment including all grades is 325. [47]


EVPL's Central Library

Evansville is home to an award-winning library system, the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (EVPL). As a unified system serving both Evansville and the surrounding county, EVPL is one of the largest public library systems in Indiana.[48] It was rated a five star library by the Library Journal, which places it in the top 1% of public libraries in the U.S.[49] EVPL also obtained a Top Ten library ranking in the 2010 edition of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings, achieving a number eight ranking within its population category.[50]

An independent private institution, Willard Library, is also located within Evansville. Willard was formed in 1881 to serve the public, regardless of race, a very progressive mission in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The library houses a renowned trove of local archives and genealogical materials, in addition to its collection of standard publications. The building is constructed in the Gothic Revival style and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.



Immediate access to all major forms of transportation makes Evansville an important factor in Indiana's global economy. The city boasts an excellent road, rail, water, and air transportation system. The Evansville Regional Airport, housed in a 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) terminal, offers nearly 30 flights a day to destinations around the country.

Evansville has a growing interstate system. I-64 is eight miles north of the city and straddles the Gibson - Vanderburgh County line. This interstate routes west to St. Louis and runs east to Louisville. I-69 provides a convenient link from I-64 to the city's thriving eastside retail district and a direct route to the downtown business district via the Veterans Memorial Parkway. It was also recently extended north to Indianapolis, creating a new international trade corridor from Canada to Mexico.

Highway 41 connects the city with Henderson to the south and, to the north, the cities of Princeton, Vincennes, and Terre Haute. Other major local state roads include State Road 57, State Road 62 (Morgan Avenue / Lloyd Expressway), and State Road 66 (Lloyd Expressway / Diamond Avenue).

Public transit includes the Metropolitan Evansville Transit System (METS) which provides bus transportation to all sections of the city. Evansville has several multi-use trails for bikes and pedestrians, and in many areas there are on-road bike paths that help cyclists get around the city by bicycle. Like most cities, Evansville was served by electric streetcars into the 20th century.

Barges, like the one seen in the photo, can often be seen traveling up and down the Ohio River.

Evansville has historically been a major center for railway traffic. The Evansville and Crawfordsville Railroad was first completed in 1853. Today, the city is served by four major freight railroads, CSX (with a major yard in the Howell area), Evansville Western Railway, the Indiana Southwestern Railway, and the Norfolk Southern Railway. The Howell Yard in Evansville sorts and makes up trains, and has intermodal facilities to handle 3,000 cargo containers and piggyback trailers per month

Three public and several private port facilities receive year-round service from five major barge lines operating on the Ohio River. The river connects Evansville with all river markets in the central United States and on the Great Lakes and with international markets through the port of New Orleans. Evansville has been a U.S. Customs Port of Entry for more than 125 years. Because of this, it is possible to have international cargo shipped to Evansville in bond. The international cargo can then clear Customs in Evansville rather than a coastal port.


Electricity and natural gas are both provided to Evansville by Vectren. Water and sewer services are provided by the Evansville Water & Sewer Company, which provides water to more than 75,000 customers in Evansville and the surrounding area. The Ohio River provides for most of the city's source of drinking water. Water is drawn from the river and filtered at a 60 million gallon per day treatment plant.[51] There are approximately 1,000 miles of water mains in the system and includes approximately 6,000 fire hydrants.

References in popular culture[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Game scenes in the 1992 film A League of Their Own were filmed at Bosse Field. It is the third oldest baseball stadium still in use in the United States (behind Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago). The ballpark served as the homefield for the Racine Belles.

All exterior shots on the 1988-1997 sitcom Roseanne are still photographs taken in and around Evansville. The Connors' house is located at 619 South Runnymeade Avenue, and the Lobo Lounge is a pizzeria located at the corner of Edgar and Louisiana Streets. Matt Williams, one of the show's producers, is a native of Evansville and a graduate of The University of Evansville theatre program. He is a co-founder of Wind Dancer Productions and has been involved with numerous sitcoms such as 'Home Improvement', movies and dramatic plays for Broadway.

The Daily Show has featured Evansville in two episodes. The first featured a story about comedian Carrot Top's reopening the historic Victory Theatre. The second poked fun at former mayor Russel Lloyd Jr. for skipping out on a city meeting to attend Cher's Farewell Tour concert being performed on the same night at Roberts Stadium.

Evansville was also featured in Alton Brown's series Feasting on Asphalt. Alton and his crew visited the historic Greyhound Bus station for its vending machines, the YWCA tea room for lunch, and the Hilltop Inn for a brain sandwich and burgoo. Other shows have included Ghost Hunters which investigated Willard Library's "Gray Lady" ghost and Storm Stories on The Weather Channel documenting the devastating tornado that struck the city in 2005. The city was briefly featured in the 2007 Prison Break episode "Chicago" in which Sara Tancredi meets up with Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows in Evansville. In 2012, Evansville was featured on the British television program Supersize vs Superskinny as the US city with the highest proportion of obese residents.[52]

Literary media[edit]

Evansville is featured in a section of Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel Lolita, as well as Walker Percy's 1962 novel The Moviegoer, and Robert Silverberg's 1969 science fiction novel To Live Again.

Evansville is the primary location in the historical fiction novel, Invitation to Valhalla by Mike Whicker, published in 2004. The novel is based on the records of German spy Erika Lehmann's attempt to infiltrate the LST shipyards during WWII.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Evansville has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):[53]


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  3. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
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  9. ^ "The top 25 cities according to Kiplinger.com visitors". Kiplinger. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  10. ^ Patry, R. (1996). City of the four freedoms. Robert Patry and friends of Willard Library. pp. 11–15. 
  11. ^ a b Morlock, J. (1956). The Evansville Story. James Morlock. 
  12. ^ "Population of the 100 Largest Urban Places: 1890". U.S. Bureau of the Census. Archived from the original on 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2006-05-02. 
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  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
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  17. ^ National Weather Service Paducah
  18. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  19. ^ "Climatological Information for Springfield, Illinois, United States". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  20. ^ "Major Employers in Southwest Indiana". Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  21. ^ "Economic Strength Rankings 2007" (PDF). POLICOM Corporation. Archived from the original on 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
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  23. ^ "Whirlpool will close Evansville plant, move line to Mexico". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  24. ^ "UE Mourns Trustee John H. Schroeder". Retrieved 19 February 2012. 
  25. ^ "Project Green". Project GREEN. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
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  27. ^ "Wesselman Woods". Letterboxing North America. Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
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  32. ^ "Mesker Amphitheatre". SMG Evansville. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  33. ^ "Evansville Civic Theatre Website". Retrieved 2006-12-09. 
  34. ^ "University of Evansville Department of Theatre Website". Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  35. ^ Davis, Rich (2006-10-01). "Fall Festival brings years of traditions, changes to streets of Evansville's West Side". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  36. ^ "Evansville Freedom Festival Website". Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  37. ^ "Frog Follies Website". Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  38. ^ "The Koch Planetarium". The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science. Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  39. ^ "Angel Mounds State Historic Site". Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  40. ^ "LST 325". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  41. ^ "Koch Family Children's Museum of Evansville Website". Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  42. ^ "Nielsen Media 2010-2011 Local Market Estimates". Nielsen Media 2010-2011 Local Market Estimates. TVJobs.com. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  43. ^ "Evansville and Vanderburgh County Unification Study". Retrieved 2005-12-02. 
  44. ^ "University of Southern Indiana". Indiana College Network. Retrieved 2006-12-18. 
  45. ^ "Evansville Center for Medical Education". Indiana University School of Medicine. Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  46. ^ "SICTC at-A-Glance". Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  47. ^ "Evansville Day School - Info". 
  48. ^ EVPL Statistics
  49. ^ "Evansville library system earns rare five-star rating". Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  50. ^ "Hennen's American Public Library Ratings". Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  51. ^ "City of Evansville Water Department". 
  52. ^ "Fattest city designation lands Evansville on British TV program". Evansville Courier & Press. 2012-01-11. 
  53. ^ "Sister Cities International". Retrieved 2006-11-20. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]