As testament to the Ohio's grandeur, early French explorers named it La Belle Riviere ("The Beautiful River").
The area has been inhabited by various cultures for millennia, dating back at least 10,000 years.
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.
Evansville's west side was for many years cut off from the city's main part by Pigeon Creek and the factories that made the creek an industrial corridor.