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During World War II, Nebraska was the site of several prisoner-of-war camps, which housed German and Italian soldiers.
Cherry County, Nebraska, located in the north-central part of the state, has a rich history that dates back to Native American settlements. Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was inhabited by various tribes, such as the Sioux, Pawnee, and Omaha. These native populations relied on the land's resources for sustenance, hunting bison and farming in the fertile river valleys.

In the mid-1800s, as pioneers migrated westward, Cherry County began to see an influx of settlers. The establishment of Fort Niobrara in 1880 played a significant role in attracting settlers. Cattle ranching became the predominant industry, and homesteads were established throughout the county. The railroad's arrival in the late 1880s further fueled development in the area.

Cherry County was officially organized in 1883 and named after Lieutenant Samuel A. Cherry, who had en route to the Yellowstone Expedition. As the county grew, towns like Valentine, the county seat, emerged as thriving communities. The town's economy was bolstered by the railroad, which brought trade and commerce.

Today, Cherry County is recognized as being the largest county in Nebraska and encompasses diverse landscapes, including the Sandhills and the Niobrara River valley. Agriculture, including cattle ranching and farming, remains vital to the county's economy. The area also attracts tourists who come to explore its natural beauty, enjoy outdoor activities like fishing and hunting, and visit attractions such as the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge and the Niobrara National Scenic River.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Cherry County, Nebraska.

  • 1883: Cherry County is established on February 25.
  • 1884: The first county courthouse is built in Valentine.
  • 1887: The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad reaches Valentine.
  • 1890: Valentine becomes the county seat.
  • 1894: The population of Cherry County exceeds 2,000.
  • 1913: Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a part of Cherry County, is established.
  • 1953: The Niobrara National Scenic River is designated.
  • 1981: The Nebraska National Forest is established in the northwest part of Cherry County.
  • 1991: The Nebraska Sandhills region, a large area within Cherry County, is designated as a National Natural Landmark.