The county seat of Hancock County, Hawesville sits between two large bends on the Ohio River, nestled under a large bluff that affords a majestic view of the Ohio River. The bluff towering over Hawesville also affords magnificent views of the scenery and river below.
Hawesville sits about 90 miles downriver from Louisville, KY, and is a fifth class city. The Bob Cummings Lincoln Trail Bridge, linking Hawesville with Cannelton, Ind. provides the county with access to interstate 64 via a 30-minute drive on state Route 37.
As a fifth class city, a city council and mayor govern Hawesville. Hawesville derives revenue from property taxes, business licenses, franchise taxes and charges for water and sewer services.
Several large industries call Hancock County home, and sit along the Ohio River outside of Hawesville. Industries located outside Hawesville include Southwire Rod and Cable, Century Aluminum, Precoat Metals, Columbia Specialty Metals and the Watco river terminal to name a few.
Hawesville and Hancock County came into existence in the early part of the 19th century when early settlers venturing west on the Ohio River created the town of Hawesville. Some of the early settlers fought in the Revolutionary War, and received land grants on the new frontier.
The city of Hawesville received its name from one of the earliest families to settle in the area, the Hawes family. In 1829 the family donated the land for the site of the town, which is how the city came to be called Hawesville.
The Ohio River heavily influenced the economy and history of Hancock County. In the 19th century Hawesville became a major site for steamboat construction. In addition, Hancock County possessed abundant reserves of cannel coal, which transformed Hawesville into a major refueling point for steamboats plying the Ohio River. Today, the economy of Hancock County and Hawesville is a mixture of heavy industry and agriculture.