The people at the Browning Family Foundation, who brought you the Browning Genealogy Database (Evansville area newspaper obituaries) and contributed to the Local History Database, have constructed 3 more historical databases to help local history buffs!
If you're looking for an early business and want to know when it started or who started it, many businesses filed Articles of Association with the courts. The Browning Family Foundation volunteers and employees have indexed these records covering the 1850's up to the 1980's in the Evansville, IN Business Entity Database. The Simple Search allows you to search by the name of the business or by the names of the businessmen signing the Articles of Association, usually principal officers and major investors. The record you see will include the business name, type of business, and the names of associated businessmen. Advanced search can search on any portion or combination of business type (church, oil refinery, livestock), business name, individual's name or address.
If you're interested in early immigrants to this area, check out their 2nd database. The Evansville IN Immigration Database allows you to search the intentions to immigrate and naturalization papers from 1850's to 1920's filed in Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties. In Advanced search, you will be able to search by any combination of name (last or first), birth location or date, or country emigrated from. The records differ, but may give name, petition number & page & vol number, birth date & location, country emigrated from, arrival location or vessel or date, occupation, current address, names of family members, and notes the petitioner thought important to include. These books are old and fragile and are due to soon be sent to the Indiana State Archives. As time permits, photos of the original pages will be attached to the information already abstracted so that these important documents will still be available to genealogists.
The 3rd database, Browning Obituaries, is an ongoing work-in-progress to expand the information available in the Browning Genealogy Database with obituary information from 3 more counties: White County (IL), Gibson County, and Posey County. In some cases, this will include scans of the actual newspaper obituaries with photo. Additional information available includes records, photo, and biographical essays from the Browning Funeral Home.
I was delighted to try these databases out to see how much information is in them and how many different ways they are indexed. Genealogists and those interested in local history will be first in line, but they're rather intriguing just to poke around in. Kudos to the industrious people at Browning Family Foundation for their hard work in making these databases of valuable information available!