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Evansville, Minnesota was officially platted in 1879 when the railroad completed its tracks into Douglas County, although the community began around 1858 when Evan Evanson, the first mail carrier serving the area, chose to rest there along his route from St. Cloud to Fort Abercrombie in North Dakota. In 1859, he built a shanty along a spring, and that became a stopping point for a stage line operated by J.C. Burbank and Company of St. Paul, as well as the base around which others put up homes. This station remained open until the Indian outbreak of 1862, when the community was temporarily abandoned. Many of the early settlers went to Sauk Centre and St. Cloud until soldiers arrived to provide protection as the men returned to tend to their crops. The soldiers remained until 1866. A townsite was laid out by Jacob Shanar in 1872, but since he failed to record it, the official townsite was laid out by Lorentz Johnson in 1879, and named for Evan Evanson. Gustav Willius laid out a new village which he named East Evansville, which was later combined with Evansville. The city was incorporated in 1881. Evansville is served by County Roads 1, 5 and 82, while Interstate Highway 94 passes just south of the city. Nearby communities include Brandon, Erdahl, Melby, and Millerville. Wahpteon, North Dakota is about fifty-five miles northwest of Evansville.



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