Place:Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana, United States

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NameJeffersonville
TypeCity
Coordinates38.296°N 85.731°W
Located inClark, Indiana, United States
Contained Places
Cemetery
Walnut Ridge Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Jeffersonville is a city in Clark County, Indiana, along the Ohio River. Locally, the city is often referred to by the abbreviated name Jeff. It is directly across the Ohio River to the north of Louisville, Kentucky, along I-65. The population was 44,953 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Clark County.

Jeffersonville started life as a settlement around Fort Finney some time after 1786, and was named for Thomas Jefferson in 1801, the year he took office.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Antebellum

In 1786 Fort Finney was situated where the Kennedy Bridge is today to protect the area from Native Americans, and a settlement grew around the fort. The fort was renamed in 1791 to Fort Steuben in honor of Baron von Steuben. In 1793 the fort was abandoned. Precisely when the settlement became known as Jeffersonville is unclear, but it was probably around 1801, the year in which President Thomas Jefferson took office. In 1802 local residents used a grid pattern designed by Thomas Jefferson for the formation of a city. On September 13, 1803, a post office was established in the city. In 1808 Indiana's second federal land sale office was established in Jeffersonville, which initiated a growth in settling in Indiana that was further spurred by the end of the War of 1812.

Shortly after formation, Jeffersonville was named to be the county seat of Clark County in 1802, replacing Springville. In 1812 Charlestown was named the county seat, but the county seat returned to Jeffersonville in 1878, where it remains.[1]

In 1813 and 1814 Jeffersonville was briefly the de facto capital of the Indiana Territory, as then-governor Thomas Posey disliked then-capital Corydon, and wanting to be closer to his personal physician in Louisville, decided to live in Jeffersonville. However, it is debated by some that Dennis Pennington had some involvement to his location to Jeffersonville. The territorial legislature remained in Corydon and communicated with Posey by messenger.


Civil War

The Civil War increased the importance of Jeffersonville, as the city was one of the principal gateways to the South during the war, due to its location directly opposite Louisville. It was served by three railroads from the north and had the waterway of the Ohio River. This factor influenced its selection as one of the principal bases for supplies and troops for the Union Army. Operating in the South, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad furnished the connecting link between Louisville and the rest of the South. Camp Joe Holt was instrumental in keeping Kentucky within the Union. The third largest Civil War hospital, Jefferson General Hospital was located in nearby Port Fulton (now within Jeffersonville) from 1864 to 1866,[2] as it was close to the river and Louisville. The original land was seized by the federal government from the Honorable Jesse D. Bright, United States Senator, a sympathizer of the Confederate cause.[2] During the war it housed 16,120 patients in its 5,200 beds and was under the command of Dr. Middleton Goldsmith. A cemetery was built for fallen soldiers down the hill, but the wooden grave markers had decayed by 1927, causing the Jeffersonville city council to build a ball field over the cemetery, and not bothering to move the graves, located on Crestview Avenue. The Jeffersonville Quartermaster Intermediate Depot had its first beginning in the early days of the Civil War, near its present location.

By 1870, 17% of Jeffersonville residents were foreign-born, mostly from Germany.

Twentieth century

During the 1920s, Jeffersonville was a popular gathering place for the Ku Klux Klan, as Louisville and New Albany had strong anti-Klan laws and Jeffersonville did not.


Gambling in the 1930s and 1940s was instrumental in Jeffersonville's recovery from the Great Depression and the Flood of 1937. Casinos, betting parlors, night clubs, and even a dog track were present, giving the town the nickname "Little Las Vegas". After Clarence Amster, a New Albany businessman was gunned down on July 2, 1937, public sentiment turned against gambling. On January 2, 1948, Indiana State Police raided every casino in the city before the operators could warn each other, and the judge who had devoted the past nine years to eliminating gambling from Jeffersonville, James L. Bottorff, ensured that the equipment was confiscated and the money at the casinos given to charity. This may have played a factor in keeping Jeffersonville residents from voting to approve riverboat gambling in the 1990s. In 2006, riverboat gambling was approved, but for the return of gambling to occur the Indiana State legislature would either have to approve an additional riverboat, or one of the existing riverboats in Indiana would have to relocate to Jeffersonville; presumably, it would be one of the three currently serving the Cincinnati market.

During World War II, the Quartermaster Depot, in conjunction with Fort Knox, Kentucky housed German prisoners of war until 1945. Now the Depot is used as a shopping center.

Shipbuilding industry

In 1819 the first shipbuilding took place in Jeffersonville, and steamboats would become key to Jeffersonville's economy.[1] In 1834, James Howard built his first steamboat, named the Hyperion, in Jeffersonville.[1] He established his ship building company in Jeffersonville that year but moved his business to Madison, Indiana in 1836 and remained there until 1844. Howard returned his business to the Jeffersonville area to its final location in Port Fulton in 1849. In 1925 the United States Navy assumed control of the Howard Ship Yards until 1941, after Jeffersonville finally annexed Port Fulton. During World War II, the shipyards built landing vessels such as the LST. It was later established as the Jeffersonville Boat & Machine Company, later simply known as Jeffboat, which still supports the local economy. The history of shipbuilding in Jeffersonville is the focus of the Howard Steamboat Museum. There is an annual festival held in September called Steamboat Days that celebrates Jeffersonville's heritage.

Annexation

On February 5, 2008 the city of Jeffersonville officially annexed four out of six planned annex zones. The proposed annexation of the other two zones was postponed due to lawsuits. One of the two areas remaining to be annexed was Oak Park, Indiana an area of about 5,000 more citizens. The areas annexed added about to the city and about 4,500 citizens, raising the population to an estimated 33,100. The total area planned to be annexed was . The annexed areas received planning and zoning, building permits and drainage issues services immediately, with new in-city sewer rates which are lower. Other services were phased in, such as police and fire, and worked jointly with the pre-existing non-city services until they were available.

The Clark County Courts dismissed the lawsuits against the city on February 25, 2008. This dismissal brought the remaining Oak Park area into the city. The population of the city grew to nearly 50,000 citizens and this was the largest annexation in Jeffersonville's history.

Big Four Pedestrian Bridge

In February 2011, Kentucky governor Steve Beshear and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced that the two states, along with the City of Jeffersonville, would allocate $22 million in funding to complete the Big Four Bridge project – converting an abandoned railroad bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle path linking Louisville's Waterfront Park and downtown Jeffersonville. Indiana spent $8 million and the City of Jeffersonville spent an extra $2 million in matching funds to pay for construction of a ramp to the Big Four Bridge on the Indiana side.

In July 2012, Jeffersonville City officials unveiled plans for an $8 million plaza, named "Big Four Station", to surround the new ramp. The plaza opened in 2014 and includes a covered playground, fountain, stage, pavilion and plenty of green space. The project has pulled thousands of pedestrians a week into downtown Jeffersonville's main shopping district and has spurred further development. A Marriott motel was built adjacent to the park.

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