Religious institutions have played an important role in the history of Nebraska. During the frontier period, churches fulfilled both the spiritual and social needs of the early inhabitants. The Congregational Church was one of Nebraska's pioneer…

During the mid-nineteenth century, steamboats played a major role in the settlement and development of the nation. In March 1865 the fully laden sternwheeler Bertrand left St. Louis under the command of Captain James Yore. The cargo of general…

The town of DeSoto was platted on this site in 1854 and incorporated in 1855. Steamboating on the Missouri was then in its heyday. DeSoto provided a landing for passengers and goods. A number of boats sank nearby, notably the Cora and Bertrand.…

From 1820 to 1827, the nation's largest and most westerly military post occupied this site, the earlier scene of Lewis and Clark's Council Bluff. In late 1819, troops under Colonel Henry Atkinson established Cantonment Missouri along the river near…

Civilization came to the west bank of the Missouri with the establishment of Fort Atkinson in 1820 about a half mile southeast of here. Named after its founder, General Henry Atkinson, this western-most Fort protected the frontier's developing…

Three years after the town of Arcadia was platted in October 1885, the First Congregational Church was organized on November 25, 1888, the second church in town. Articles of incorporation were recorded on December 2, 1889, and the building, costing…

St. Mary's Catholic Church was built in 1900 by Polish immigrants near Elyria. They came to Valley County in the early 1880s and attended services in Boleszyn, a Polish church ten miles away. When this church was destroyed by a tornado a dispute…

In 1873 the first settlers, George McKeller and Porter Brown, arrived near the Valley County site which would later become Arcadia. They were followed in 1874 by Samuel Hawthorne, his brother Boone and their families. Mrs. Hawthorne named the…

The town of Calamus was platted in September of 1874. One of its principal organizers was Lt. Thaddeus Capron, an officer in Company C, 9th Infantry Regiment, then stationed at nearby Fort Hartsuff. Calamus was a typical town designed to meet the…

Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is comprised of a portion of the original 1280-acre Military Reservation. The nine original permanent buildings on the Park grounds are constructed of grout, a mixture of gravel, lime, and cement similar to…

Evelyn Genevieve Sharp was Nebraska's best-known aviatrix during her eight-year career. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John E. Sharp and was born October 1, 1919, in Melstone, Montana. Her family moved to Ord in her youth. She became interested…

The North Loup Valley provided a route for the Sioux raids upon the Pawnee. In 1872 white settlers moved into the valley. Sioux depredations at Sioux Creek in October 1873 and at Pebble Creek in January of 1874 prompted the settlers to request…

On January 12, 1888, a sudden fierce blizzard slashed across the Midwest. The temperature fell to between 30 and 40 degrees below zero. A howling northwest wind swept the plains. The storm raged for 12 to 18 hours and is probably the most severe…

This hospital was built in 1912 under the guidance of Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American woman physician, with the financial support of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions and other donors. It served both Native American and…

This hospital is named in honor of the first Native American woman physician. Dr. Picotte (1865-1915) was the daughter of Mary Gale and Iron Eye, also known as Joseph La Flesche, the last traditionally recognized chief of the Omaha tribe. She was…

This was the homeland of the Omaha Tribe long before white settlers came to the Great Plains. By 1750, the Omaha occupied a large region in northeastern Nebraska and northwestern Iowa. The name "Omaha" means "those going against the wind or current"…

In 1863, the Winnebago Indians were moved from their home in Minnesota to a barren reservation in Dakota Territory. Groups of Winnebago soon moved down the Missouri River to the Omaha Reservation in Nebraska. In March, 1865, the Winnebago used their…

On May 10, 1891, eight-year-old Matilda (Tillie) Haumann and her four-year-old sister, Anna Henrietta (Retta), became lost in the Sandhills while returning home from visiting their sister who was helping a neighbor. Their parents, Carl and Henrietta…

In 1885 surveyors designated a route through the Sand Hills for a Burlington Railroad branch line. The rails reached this point on the Blaine-Thomas county line in 1887, and a town was laid out. It was named Halsey after Halsey E. Yates, the son of…

The Sandhills, Nebraska's most unique physiographic feature, covers about one-fourth of the state. The sandy soil acts like a giant sponge, soaking up rain and forming a vast underground reservoir. Hundreds of permanent lakes are found here. However,…

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was authorized by Congress in 1933 to provide employment and vocational training to young men during the Great Depression. The CCC worked on forestry and soil conservation projects across the nation. Company 752…

The boundaries of the future Thayer County were first defined in 1856, and the county was named Jefferson. In 1867 Jones County to the east was attached. The legislature in 1871 divided the single large county into two, naming the western county…

Bruning Army Air Field, located northeast of here, was one of eleven army airfields in Nebraska during World War II. Construction began in September 1942 on 1,480 acres of farmland, for which the government paid twelve landowners $73,400. The field…

Located three miles north of this corner, near the Little Blue River, the village of Friedensau ("Peaceful Meadows") was established in 1874 by Lutheran missionary pastor John J. Kern. The town was first settled by his former parishioners from…

During the nineteenth century the United States underwent a dramatic westward expansion, but perhaps no single event stimulated this mass migration more than the 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in California. Hundreds of thousands of…

Named for Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton in 1862, Jacob Hoffman and Francis Scott filed the first homestead applications in the county on November 18, 1865. The first farms, however, were those of Charles and Mitchell Sharp, who homesteaded near…

A railroad camp named Summit (elev. 4876 ft.) was located on this site in 1884. When the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad reached here in 1886, an unincorporated townsite named Bowen was platted and designated the county seat of Sioux…

Large pioneer ranches were established in this region of Nebraska in the 1870's and early 1880's. Charles F. Coffee was one of these pioneers, with ranch headquarters on Hat Creek in Nebraska and Rawhide Creek in Wyoming. By June, 1886, the Fremont,…

Near here are ruts left by the famed 1874 Sioux Expedition, a U.S. military force sent to establish Camps Sheridan and Robinson. The 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie had guaranteed food and supplies to the Sioux and other tribes in exchange for lands…

On September 9, 1878, after a year of suffering on an Oklahoma reservation, some 300 Northern Cheyenne Indians began a trek back to their homeland. Dull Knife's band of 149 Indians were captured and taken to Fort Robinson. For months they refused to…