In April 1860 Joseph E. Johnson, a Mormon, established a road ranche at Wood River Centre, today's Shelton, and began publishing The Huntsman's Echo, the first newspaper in Nebraska west of Omaha. He had earlier edited papers in Council Bluffs, Iowa,…

Until about 1910 the mill pond and environs was a popular recreation area operated by Charles Nelson and known as Glenwood Park. Ice harvested from the pond was stored in a huge ice house nearby for summertime use in Kearney. In 1944 the land where…

On the South Loup River southwest of here was the site of the U.S. Army's Post South Loup Fork. This small outpost of Fort Kearney was established in May 1865 by Company "E", Seventh Iowa Cavalry, under the command of Capt. Jams B. David and…

West-bound travelers will leave the prairie regions of eastern Nebraska and enter the Great Plains within the next fifty miles. This semi-arid region stretching from Canada to Mexico and westward toward the Rockies was long known as the Great…

In 1888, H. D. Watson established the historic Watson Ranch, at one time containing 8,000 acres, reaching from the fertile Platte Valley on the south to the rolling hills on the north and from downtown Kearney to a point five miles west. During its…

In 1847 Brigham Young led the first migration over the Morman Trail along the north bank of the Platte River, and in 1866 the Union Pacific Railroad pushed its main line westward to this valley, bringing pioneer settlers. However, it was not until…

In the late 1880's, Kearney business leaders envisioned the city as a major manufacturing center. The Kearney Cotton Mill was among the many enterprises launched as part of this venture, which included paper, woolen, and oatmeal mills; plow and…

In 1903 the legislature appropriated $50,000 to establish a state normal school in central or western Nebraska. After 111 ballots, the State Board of Education chose Kearney as the site. The city donated twenty acres on the west side of town for a…

James E. Boyd settled near here in 1858 and by 1860 operated a trail ranche supplying travelers on the Platte Valley Overland Route (Mormon Trail). The ranche included 200 acres of corn and barley. Nebraska Centre Post Office was here until if was…

Gibbon, near here, was the site of a unique experiment in homestead colonization. The Soldiers' Free Homestead Temperance Colony was responsible for bringing the earliest settlers, mostly Union veterans, to this locality. Traveling via the Union…

Gibbon, on the old Mormon Trail, was the site of a unique experiment in homestead colonization. Originally conceived as a financial venture by Colonel John Thorp of Ohio, the Soldier's Free Homestead Colony was responsible for bringing the first…

Elm Creek siding was established in August 1866 during construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. The nearby creek provided both water and timber for the railroad's locomotives. By 1872 a school-church building, a saloon-restaurant, a store, and a…

In 1881 Sylvester Bearss constructed Blue Mills just east of here on Wood River, so-named for a blue clay outcropping. A 30.5-inch Leffel turbine rated at 30 horsepower ran the mill with water impounded by an earth and brush dam. Fifty barrels of…

The Lincoln Highway Association was founded in 1913 to promote a transcontinental automobile route from New York City to San Francisco. Dedicated on October 31, 1913, the route was marked by the letter "L" within red, white, and blue bands painted on…