Nebraska's state motto is "Equality before the law."
Sarpy County, Nebraska, located in the eastern part of the state, has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Omaha, Otoe, Pawnee, and Ponca nations. These tribes relied on the fertile land and abundant wildlife for sustenance and lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle.

European settlement in the region began in the early 1800s with the arrival of fur traders and explorers. The Lewis and Clark expedition passed through the area in 1804, making note of the river valley's potential for farming. In the 1840s, the United States government began to establish a system of land grants, leading to a significant influx of settlers from the eastern states. This period of settlement saw the founding of numerous small towns and villages in Sarpy County.

The county was officially established in 1857 and named after Colonel Peter Sarpy, a prominent figure in the fur trade. Early industries in the area included farming, milling, and the construction of railroads. The arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad in the 1860s brought increased economic development and population growth to the county. Towns such as Bellevue and Papillion became important centers of commerce and trade.

Throughout its history, Sarpy County has been shaped by both triumphs and challenges. It played a significant role in the development of the western frontier and witnessed the transformation of Nebraska from a sparsely populated territory to a thriving state. Today, Sarpy County continues to grow and prosper, with a diverse economy that includes military installations, technology firms, and a strong agricultural presence. Its rich history is preserved and celebrated through museums, historical sites, and community events, ensuring that the past remains alive and relevant in the present.

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

  • 1857 - Sarpy County is established by the Nebraska Territorial Legislature.
  • 1861 - The county seat is moved from Bellevue to Papillion.
  • 1879 - A courthouse is built in Papillion.
  • 1883 - The Omaha and Southern Interurban Railway is established, linking Sarpy County with Omaha.
  • 1919 - Offutt Field (now Offutt Air Force Base) is established in Sarpy County.
  • 1966 - Construction of the Kennedy Freeway begins, improving transportation in the county.
  • 1990 - The population of Sarpy County surpasses 100,000
  • 2010 - Sarpy County becomes the fastest-growing county in Nebraska.