Outsourced HR and Payroll Services in Jeffersonville, Indiana
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Facts about Jeffersonville
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.
In 1786 Fort Finney was situated where the Kennedy Bridge is today to protect the area from Indians, 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.
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.
By 1870, 17% of Jeffersonville residents were foreign-born, mostly from Germany. 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.