The state song of Nebraska is "Beautiful Nebraska," which was written by Jim Fras and Guy G. Miller in 1967.
Dawson County, Nebraska, located in the central part of the state, has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. The area was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Pawnee and Sioux, who relied on the Platte River for hunting and gathering. In the mid-1800s, European settlers began to explore and settle in the area.

The region that is now Dawson County was officially organized in 1860, and it was named after Jacob Dawson, a scout and government interpreter. In the late 1800s, the arrival of the railroad spurred rapid growth and development in the county. The city of Lexington, which is now the county seat, was established as a railroad town in 1876.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Dawson County saw an influx of European immigrants, particularly from Germany, Scandinavia, and Czechoslovakia. These settlers played a crucial role in shaping the county's cultural and agricultural heritage, with farming and livestock becoming the primary industries.

Throughout the years, Dawson County has experienced both highs and lows. It endured economic challenges during the Great Depression, but rebounded with the establishment of the United States Army Reserve's Camp Lexington during World War II. Today, Dawson County continues to thrive as a center for agriculture and small businesses, while also preserving its rich history through museums, historic sites, and community events.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Dawson County, Nebraska.

  • Dawson County is established in 1871
  • Lexington is founded as the county seat in 1873
  • The railroad reaches Lexington in 1878
  • The courthouse is built in Lexington in 1886
  • Kidder Massacre: Sioux Indians kill three settlers in 1873
  • Dawson County experiences a population boom in the 1880s
  • Farming and agriculture become main sources of income in the late 19th century
  • Dawson County experiences economic growth with the development of irrigation systems in the early 20th century
  • The Great Depression causes significant economic hardship in the 1930s
  • Dawson County plays a role in World War II with the establishment of a German [POW] camp in 1944
  • The trona industry becomes prominent in the county in the 1950s
  • Interstate 80 is completed in Dawson County in 1965