Tecumseh, the county seat of Johnson County, was incorporated in 1856. It was first called Frances in honor of the wife of Colonel Richard M. Johnson, for whom the county is named. In 1857 the town was renamed for the famous Shawnee Indian chief, Tecumseh, whom Johnson fought during the War of 1812. This historic marker is on the original townsite on the old Brownville Fort Kearney trail. Growth was slow until the mid-1860s when the lucrative freighting traffic along these trails was channeled through the town. Development accelerated after the arrival of the Atchison and Nebraska Railroad in 1872 and was further stimulated ten years later by the extension of the Republican Valley line. Tecumseh's downtown district has been enrolled on the National Register of Historic Places and contains several distinguished examples of nineteenth century architectural styles. These include the old jail, built around 1872, and the City Hall and Courthouse, both constructed in 1889. Another noteworthy building, the 1889 Christian Church, is now the headquarters of the Johnson County Historical Society. Tecumseh's distinctive buildings stand as symbols of the community's past.