April 29 (Sunday) 1:00 am - July 15 (Sunday) 1:00 am
Evansville Museum 411 S.E. Riverside Drive Evansville
2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Vanderburgh County. As part of a community-wide celebration of this milestone, an April 29 - July 15 exhibition will chronicle the beginnings
2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Vanderburgh County. As part of a community-wide celebration of this milestone, an April 29 – July 15 exhibition will chronicle the beginnings and evolution of Vanderburgh County. Created through a political deal that carved Vanderburgh County from the western sector of Warrick County and eastern section of Posey County, the new entity was named for former territorial judge Henry Vanderburgh.
In addition to recalling the early years of Vanderburgh County, the exhibition will include information about the townships that make-up the county, important events in the history of the county, and a focus on the buildings that have served as the county’s courthouse through the years.
The creation of Vanderburgh County on January 7, 1818, followed political maneuvering by several influential men in southwestern Indiana, including Hugh McGary, Robert Evans, Ratliff Boon, Daniel Grass, and Joseph Lane. The creation of the new county was of special interest to McGary and Evans who were, respectively, the founder and namesake of Evansville. As a young town, Evansville struggled after losing the county seat of Warrick County four years earlier. The two men successfully lobbied to have Evansville named the seat of government for Vanderburgh County.
The county’s namesake is Judge Henry Vanderburgh. Born in 1760 in Troy, New York, he was made a lieutenant in the Continental Army in 1776 at the age of 16 during the Revolutionary War. He later was promoted to captain and served through the duration of the conflict. Following the war, he moved to the Northwest Territory (an area that included the future state of Indiana) and served as president of the Territorial Council. With the creation of Indiana Territory, he was appointed a territorial judge and served in this role until his death in 1812—six years before the creation of Vanderburgh County. He is buried in Vincennes.
This exhibition is made possible through a generous gift from Steve & Susan Worthington and James A. Sanders.