Nebraska: Other Historic Sites Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Nebraska’s eastern and northeastern borders are defined by the Missouri River, across which lie Iowa to the east and South Dakota to the north. It is 462 miles across Iowa to its extreme western border at the Wyoming state line. West and south of the state is Colorado. From the northern border at the South Dakota line to the southern border at the Kansas line is 210 miles.

Bryan House

Location: Lincoln, Lancaster County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: From 1902 to 1922, Fairview was the home of William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925), lawyer and politician. Bryan won the Democratic presidential nomination in 1896 at the age of thirty-six and was twice again (1900, 1908) the losing nominee of his party. Later, he served as secretary of state under President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1915).

Cather House

Location: Red Cloud, Webster County

Relevant issues: Literary history

Statement of significance: From 1884 to 1890, this was the home of Willa Cather (1876-1947), an author who wrote primarily of the West and Southwest. Many of Cather’s best-known writings deal with her life in Red Cloud, where she lived in her youth.

Coufal Site

Location: Cotesfield, Howard County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Statement of significance: Coufal (1130-1350 c.e.) is a major village of the Central Plains tradition. Earth lodges of the prehistoric Indians of the Itskari Phase have been excavated here, bridging the gap between late prehistoric villagers and the origins of the Pawnee.

Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home

Location: Boys Town, Douglas County

Relevant issues: Social reform

Statement of significance: In 1921, Father Edward Joseph Flanagan (1886-1948) established his home for homeless boys on a farm outside Omaha. This “City of Little Men” led in the development of new juvenile care methods in twentieth century America, emphasizing social preparation in what has become a recognized prototype for public boys’ homes worldwide.

Fort Atkinson

Location: Fort Calhoun, Washington County

Relevant issues: Western expansion

Statement of significance: Fort Atkinson (1820) is one of the line of forts (“The Permanent Indian Frontier”) established to guard the western U.S. frontier and to protect U.S. fur trade from English competition. Headquarters of the Upper Missouri Indian Agency, it was abandoned in 1829; only archaeological remains survive.

Fort Robinson and Red Cloud Agency

Location: Crawford, Dawes County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Statement of significance: In 1873, the U.S. government moved Chief Red Cloud and his large band of Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Sioux to the White River area; nearby Fort Robinson was established in 1874 to protect government employees and property. The fort served as a base for Army campaigns against several groups of Native Americans, including the 1876 campaign against the Powder River Sioux. After 1919, the fort became a major quartermaster remount depot.

Hazard

Location: Omaha, Douglas County

Relevant issues: Military history, naval history, World War II

Statement of significance: One of two surviving Admirable Class fleet minesweepers, the largest and most successful class of American minesweepers, Hazard (1944) was fitted for both wire and acoustic sweeping and could double as an antisubmarine warfare and antiaircraft ship. The Admirable Class vessels were also used for patrol and escort duties. Hazard first served in this capacity, escorting a convoy from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor and then running with convoys to Eniwetok and Ulithi. In March, 1945, it was sent to Okinawa, where it first performed antisubmarine patrol before sweeping the area off Kerama Retto in keeping with the minesweeper’s slogan No Sweep, No Invasion.

Leary Site

Location: Rulo, Richardson County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Statement of significance: This large prehistoric village and burial area of the Oneota Culture was first noted by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1804.

Norris House

Location: McCook, Red Willow County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: From 1899 until his death, this two-story house was the property of George W. Norris (1861-1944), Progressive Republican. Norris served in the U.S. House (1903-1913) and Senate (1913-1943) and was a key supporter of the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Picotte Memorial Hospital

Location: Walthill, Thurston County

Relevant issues: American Indian history, health and medicine, social reform

Statement of significance: This hospital was built by Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915), the first Native American physician, who pioneered in providing health care for Native Americans. Picotte was born on the Omaha Indian Reservation, the youngest child of Chief Joseph La Flesche (Iron Eye), the last recognized chief of his tribe and a strong advocate of integration. Picotte was educated at the Hampton Institute in Virginia and received her medical degree from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. She returned to the Omaha Reservation in 1890 as physician at the government boarding school, ultimately becoming physician for the entire tribe, serving as well as teacher, social worker, adviser, and interpreter. Picotte was an active advocate for temperance and Omaha Indian rights.

Pike Pawnee Village Site

Location: Guide Rock, Webster County

Relevant issues: American Indian history, western expansion

Statement of significance: This is generally accepted as the Pawnee village where Lieutenant Zebulon Pike, on his mission to secure the new territory in the Plains acquired under the Louisiana Purchase, caused the American flag to be raised and the Spanish flag lowered in late September, 1806. Archaeological evidence corroborates the identification.

Robidoux Pass

Location: Gering, Scotts Bluff County

Relevant issues: Western expansion

Statement of significance: Robidoux Pass was a significant landmark on the Oregon Trail. In 1848, an Indian trader named Robidoux established a trading post near this natural landmark on the old Oregon Trail. This route fell into disuse after the opening of Mitchell Pass in 1851.

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