Evansville, Wisconsin (Images of America Series)

Evansville, Wisconsin (Images of America Series)

by Ruth Ann Montgomery
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Images of Evansville: Montgomery puts history of Rock County city on display

Author: Gina Duwe

Publisher: Gazette Xtra

Date: 9/2/09

The history of Evansville unfolds throughout the pages of a new book by local historian Ruth Ann Montgomery.

The photos and captions tell stories of everything from Dr. John M. Evans--after whom the city was named--to the Rock County Fair, which was held in Evansville from 1899 to 1927.

"I really hope that it will start conversations about those stories that people remember about these places and people, that they will pass those stories on to others in the community that may not be as familiar with Evansville history," Montgomery said.

"There's a lot of stories that can't be told in a book of that size."

Montgomery, a native of Richland Center, has long been a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Evansville's history. Her latest project is available for purchase Monday: the "Evansville" edition in the "Images of America" series.

The 128-page book from Arcadia Publishing features more than 200 photographs captioned by Montgomery. Many of the photos came from Montgomery's own collection of about five albums of photos and postcards that she's collected over the years at auctions, on eBay and from people who gave them to her.

Completing the book are contributions from the Eager Free Public Library, John and Barbara Willoughby, Donovan Every and other personal collections, she said.

"It was really a community effort," she said.

Montgomery's day job is director of Arrowhead Library Systems in Janesville, but she loves doing research in her spare time.

"Researching and writing about Evansville history has become a passion," she said.

The publisher recruited her to do the book, likely because of her Web site, which features the history and photographs of Evansville, she said. Montgomery has authored history books on her church, St. Paul's Catholic Church in Evansville, for its 100th celebration in 2006, and one in 1989 on the history of Evansville from settlement up to 1920.

Photos of agriculture and businesses operated by women are among Montgomery's favorites in the new book.

One photo features a milliner, or hatmaker, standing among her summer stock of hats, laces, artificial flowers, feathers and other ornaments for hats.

The woman is typical of women at the turn of the century who were independent and operated their own businesses, Montgomery said.

"I think that's a little-known part of any community's history--the women who were operating businesses," she said. "We hear too often about the men. There were women out there (working)."

Other photos show the importance of the railroad depot, which had a livestock area. Farmers had such good crops and cattle that they put the city on the map, she said. Animals would be sent by railroad to packing houses in Chicago, and farmers would travel west to buy animals to sell to the markets, she said.

"If it weren't for the strong agricultural businesses surrounding Evansville--the good farm land and the good farmers who were operating those farms--Evansville would not have been as successful as it was," she said.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738560090
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
09/07/2009
Series:
Images of America Series
Pages:
127
Sales rank:
1,413,565
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author


Photographs in Evansville come from the collections of the author, the Eager Free Public Library, the Rock County Historical Society, and longtime residents of Evansville. Ruth Ann Montgomery is a historian with an avid interest in preserving Evansville's past. She has given talks, written articles, and digitized historic photographs and materials from the community.

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