A few years after Louisville was settled another city was founded about 130 miles west of Louisville. It's name, Owensboro, is in honor of a Kentucky war veteran, Col. Abraham Owen. Owensboro's first settlers came by the Ohio river to what is now Davies s County. Joseph Blackford and William Smeathers were among the first to arrive. The city was originally called yellow banks because of the color of the soil along the banks of the Ohio River. Owensboro was always a prosperous city but for whatever rea son never took off like Louisville. Maybe due to the fact that it was settled after Louisville. Today Owensboro is an industrial community. The industries include electronics, tobacco, food products, cigars, whiskey, microwaves, and electric motors. O wensboro is a center for shipping throughout the region. Some leading companies in Owensboro include the Owensboro National Bank, Green River Electronic Corp., and Modern Welding Inc. It is home to Brescia College and Kentucky Wesleyan College. The lea ding newspapers in the area are the Owensboro Messenger and the Inquirer. Many people depend on Owensboro for the production and shipping of their products. The Owensboro Riverport Authority was established in 1967 by the city of Owensboro for the purpose of developing riverport facilities, and developing land to attract river oriented industries. The Authority opened it's public river terminal in June 1976. It has over 160,000 square feet of general commodity warehousing, 15,000 square yards of paved outside storage capacity, domed bulk storage of 4,200 tons, 15,000 bushel-per-hour grain loading facilities and cranes with one located on a spud barge, and a full array of loaders, forklifts, and speciality equipment. The riverport is located on a main line of CSX rail system, and has a new state access road which leads to the parkway and 11 interstate systems. The riverport is said to be a true example of a multi-modal facility. Adjacent to the facility is a 404 acre industrial park, which includes a gas service. About 100 acres are available for industrial use. Also the riverport is a d esignated U.S. Customs port of entry. On the riverport property is a coal handling facility which allows storage capacity of 50,000 tons of coal with expansion available to 500,000 tons. The current rate of rail unloading is 4,500 tons per hour and the terminal is capable of loading barges at a rate of 3,600 tons per hour. A 1990 census showed the population of Owensboro to be 87,189. Although it is also located on the river and is a leading port, Owensboro never gained the stature of Louisville. Whether it's due to it being settled later or some other reason, there is no definite answer. One possible answer is that when companies began in Louisville it attracted other businesses and it continued to grow. Another solution could be that Louisville just has a better location on the river, more centralized that is. The an swer may never be known for sure, but both cities are successful and it's all due to the Ohio River.
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