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 military protection. The fort, originally designated as "Post on the North Fork of the Loup River," was established on September 5, 1874. On December 9, 1874, the post was renamed in honor of Major General George L. Hartsuff. Fort Hartsuff became the center of the social life of the valley, and through disbursement of supplies, helped to offset the effects of the drought and grasshopper invasions of the early 1870's. The fort's major military engagement came at the Battle of the Blow Out in April of 1876. The action resulted in the death of First Sergeant Dougherty when troops commanded by Lieutenant Heyl routed a band of hostile Sioux. By 1881 the railroad was extended into the valley, an orderly civilian government had been established and the threat of hostilities was ended. Fort Hartsuff was abandoned on May 1, 1881. Today it is a State Historical Park.