|| The Evansville area was settled in 1839 and the village platted in 1855 on the hopes that the railroad would come through. It was named for Evansville's first physician, Dr. John M. Evans. When the railroad arrived in 1863, Evansville's prosperity was assured. There were many opportunities for growth in agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce. The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad offered passenger and freight service to major markets in Chicago and the West. Local farmers found national and international markets for their prizewinning livestock and produce. The Evansville Seminary and a strong public school system provided educational opportunities. Literary societies, churches, and veterans groups provided social activities. Talented 19th- and 20th-century architects and craftsmen were responsible for the fine collection of architectural styles in Evansville.