Mari Sandoz (1896-1966), Nebraska historian and novelist, lived at this site, 1226 J Street, from 1925 to 1937. Here in 1928, she began writing Old Jules, the biography of her father. From the J Street curb, she often wrote and watched construction…

After 1861 an important variant of the overland trails system, the Nebraska City-Fort Kearney Cutoff, passed nearby, over which freight was transported from the Missouri River to western forts and mining camps. The region's first settlements were…

In 1887 the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad extended its tracks from York to Hastings. Henderson was built along the railroad on land sold by Cornelius Regier to the Pioneer Town Site Company in October 1887, for $15,000. The village,…

Between 1855 and 1867 companies like Russell, Majors, and Waddell shipped millions of pounds of freight across the plains to supply military posts and mining camps to the West. After 1861 freighters followed the "Nebraska City-Fort Kearney Cut-off"…

In 1898 E. C. Bishop, a teacher in nearby Bradshaw, organized student clubs. Through these clubs he planned his school lessons so that they related to the students' activities on the farm and in the home. The first projects Bishop assigned dealt with…

Massive freighting of supplies by ox and mule trains was a direct result of the establishment of Fort Kearny and other western military posts. The Mormon War and the discovery of gold in the territories of Colorado and Montana increased this trade,…

Massive freighting of supplies by ox and mule trains was a direct result of the establishment of Fort Kearny and other western military posts. The Mormon War and the discovery of gold in the territories of Colorado and Montana increased this trade,…

Thirty-five families comprised the original Mennonite settlement in York and Hamilton Counties, Nebraska. They were part of a large segment who left homes in South Russia in 1874 and began the trek that took them to the American plains. Originally…

Pibel Lake grew out of an 1897-1898 irrigation claim for water rights by Edwin Pibel, called Clear Creek Ditch. Three years earlier, a diversion dam had been placed across the creek to form a lake, but the irrigation ditch was eventually abandoned…

The village of Cowles, founded in 1878 and incorporated in 1912, in 1913 approved a bond issue of $14,000 to construct a three-story brick schoolhouse on this site. It was completed in 1915. Classes were taught there to the eleventh grade level. The…

District 35 provided education through the eighth grade from 1879 until 1958. The schoolhouse sat upon Felix Alexander Killough's homestead, filed January 2, 1879, which adjoined the homestead of his father, Thomas Donley Killough, filed June 9,…

Three German Lutheran congregations, Zion, Salem, and Emmanuel, built churches in Stillwater Precinct, Webster County, Nebraska. Emmanuel was the last to build and the last to disband. Emmanuel Lutheran Church was formally dedicated on this site,…

Benjamin Wagoner homesteaded this land in 1870. In 1882 his widow, Catharine Fouts Wagoner, gave these 2 1/2 acres in his memory "for the benefit of the community at large and the religious people known as Brethren, or German Baptist, for the purpose…

Built ca. 1876, this is the house in which Willa Cather lived from 1884 to 1890. She describes it in "Old Mrs. Harris," in "The Best Years," and in this quotation from Song of the Lark: "They turned into another street and saw before them lighted…

The St. Falconieri Catholic Church was built in 1883 of brick fired at Red Cloud. It served Red Cloud's Catholic congregation until 1906 when it was sold and converted into a private residence. Here, Annie Pavelka, the Antonia of Cather's well-loved…

Built in 1897, the main section of Red Cloud's Burlington Depot contained sleeping quarters on the second floor, and freight room, agent's office, and waiting room below. The building was moved here from its site near the tracks directly south of its…

Built in 1884 on the corner of Second and Walnut, the Grace Protestant Episcopal Church was moved to its present location in 1891. The brick veneer was added sometime after 1922. Willa Cather joined this church in 1922 and remained a loyal member…

Willa Cather first came to Webster County from Virginia in 1883 at the age of nine. The vast open prairies of Nebraska made a lasting impression on her. "This country was mostly wild pasture and as naked as the back of your hand. I was little and…

On April 10, 1871, Acting Governor William James issued a proclamation calling for the organization of Webster County, with officials to be elected nine days later. The dugout of Silas Garber, later to serve as Nebraska's governor, was the polling…

Red Cloud, named for the Oglala Sioux chief, was founded early in 1871 on homestead land filed upon by Silas Garber and company July 17, 1870, at Beatrice, the nearest land office. It is one of the oldest communities in the Republican Valley. When…

Near here was a large permanent village of the Republican band of the Pawnee tribe which may have been occupied as early as 1777. On September 25, 1806, Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike visited the village with a small party of soldiers. He was greeted by…

Here on the Divide between the Republican and the Little Blue lived some of the most courageous people of the frontier. Their fortunes and their loves live again in the writings of Willa Cather, daughter of the plains and interpreter of man's growth…

The Nebraska Normal College was founded on this site in 1891 as a private institution. It was largely the creation of one man, Professor James M. Pile. The State Legislature in 1909 appropriated funds to purchase the campus, and in 1910 the College…

Wayne, the county seat of Wayne County, was laid out by the St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad in June 1881. City and county were named for "Mad" Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War general. The first settlers arrived in the eastern part of the county…

Washington Square was the location for public education in Fort Calhoun from 1865 to 1972. The first school building was constructed in 1865 for about one thousand dollars. Black locust trees from the nearby Fort Atkinson site (1819-27) were…

About 3 a.m. on December 5, 1932, Fort Calhoun marshal Albert Suverkrubbe was shot while trying to apprehend two men fleeing Kruse's Red and White Grocery at 106 S. Fourteenth Street. Suverkrubbe died from his wounds nine days later, leaving his…

Founded in 1870 by Israel Swihart, the cemetery was named for his wife, Mary Brewster Swihart. Those buried here include three Civil War veterans, and several children who succumbed to the harsh conditions of life on the Great Plains. The cemetery is…

On August 3 Lewis and Clark held a council with the Oto and Missouria Indians at a site they named "Council Bluff," near present Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. It was the first of many councils they would hold on their journey to the Pacific Ocean.…

On July 30 the explorers arrived at the bluff where Fort Atkinson would be built less than two decades later. Clark wrote, "The Situation of this place which we Call Council Bluff which is handsom ellevated a Spot well Calculated... for a fort to…

Traditionally known as the Cuming City Cemetery, this eleven-acre tract of land was set aside in 1976 primarily as a preserve for native vegetation. Never plowed, this prairie looks much like it did to the Indians and to the first white men who…