Historical Markers in
Richardson County, Nebraska

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The University of Nebraska was founded in 1869, just two years after Nebraska became a state.
Richardson County, located in southeastern Nebraska, has a rich and fascinating history that stretches back several centuries. The area was originally inhabited by various indigenous tribes, including the Ioway, Omaha, and Pawnee peoples. European exploration and settlement began in the early 19th century when Lewis and Clark passed through the region, followed by other explorers and trappers.

In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act opened up the area for settlement, attracting pioneers from the eastern United States. Richardson County was officially established in 1855 and soon became a hub for agriculture and trade. The county was named after William A. Richardson, a prominent American politician and diplomat.

During the mid-19th century, the county experienced rapid growth with the establishment of towns like Falls City, the county seat. The construction of a railroad in the late 1860s further fueled development, connecting Richardson County to larger markets and facilitating the export of agricultural products like corn and wheat.

Throughout its history, Richardson County played a significant role in the fight for abolition and the Underground Railroad. Many residents were staunch opponents of slavery, and several safe houses were established in the county to aid escaping slaves. The county's commitment to freedom and equality is still celebrated today.

Over the years, Richardson County has continued to thrive, with a diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, and services. The county's rich history is honored through numerous museums and historical sites, providing visitors and residents alike with a glimpse into the region's past.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Richardson County, Nebraska.

  • 1854: Richardson County is established by the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
  • 1855: The first permanent settlements are established.
  • 1865: The county seat is officially designated as Falls City.
  • 1868: The first courthouse is built in Falls City.
  • 1871: The Atchison & Nebraska Railroad reaches Falls City.
  • 1873: The first newspaper, "The Falls City Journal," is published.
  • 1886: The first public library in the county is established in Falls City.
  • 1903: The first automobile is registered in the county.
  • 1930: Richardson County suffers from the effects of the Great Depression.
  • 1971: The Richardson County Historical Society is founded.
  • 1993: The Great Flood damages many areas in Richardson County.
  • 2006: The Richardson County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.