Faced with the great influx of white settlers after the Civil War, hostile Sioux and Cheyenne Indians retreated into the Republican River Valley. Here they found a nearly ideal location since the valley remained one of the great buffalo ranges of the American West until the 1870's.
Regular military patrols came to the Republican on the Fort McPherson Trail, which followed the divide between Deer and Medicine creeks and entered the valley one mile west. The largest military force to use this route was General Carr's Republican Valley Expedition of 1869. After his successful campaign, the region was clear of hostile Indians.
In 1870 Isaac "Ben" Burton settled one mile southeast on a bend of the Republican at the One Hundredth Meridian. Burton, the first permanent settler of Furnas County, and his partner, H. Dice, established the Burton's Bend Trading Post. This post supplied necessities to the buffalo-hide hunters, who soon killed off the great herd.
For many years the community continued to be known as Burton's Bend, but after the railroad came, its name was changed to Holbrook.