Nebraska Historical Markers

Nebraska Historical Markers lets communities and organizations recognize the people, places, and events that are significant to Nebraska history. This tour contains select historical markers in Nebraska generated by students in HIST 440: Native American History (Fall 2018). To see a map of all historical markers, visit the Nebraska Historical Markers Project website provided by Nebraska History.

Boone County: Logan Fontenelle

Logan Fontenelle is a noted Nebraska historical figure. He was born to a French fur trader father, Lucien Fontenelle, and an Omaha mother, who was the daughter of Chief Big Elk, in May of 1825. He grew up with the knowledge of his mother's…

Box Butte County: Box Butte Country

Box Butte County, currently home to many papers and surveys relating to the land's rich soil and geological landscape, has had a strong history starting with the various Native groups that used to live on the land. This history includes the…

Buffalo County: The Huntsman’s Echo

The Huntsman’s Echo was a newspaper run out of Shelton in Buffalo County, Nebraska. The publication only ran for about a year, from April 1860 to August 1861, but a town grew around it. Shelton Nebraska became an important stopping point for…

Burt County: Tekamah

From the start, Tekamah was a speck on the map until the potash industry thrived. As for the origins of the town, a pioneer editor named J. R. Sutherland quoted; “Tekamah was founded on October 7th, 1854, by Col. Ben. R. Folsom and eight companions,…

Dawes County: Council Tree

In September 1875, the Allison Commission, a federal group led by Senator Allison (hence the name), came to what is today Dawes County, NE to meet with the Lakota Sioux. They were there to negotiate a transaction between the federal government and…

Dawes County: The Flight of the Cheyennes

During the events of the Northern Cheyenne Exodus, almost a thousand Northern Cheyenne Indians were sent south to the Darlington Reservation in Oklahoma for relocation. For the Northern Cheyenne, this was far from their home lands of Montana and the…

Dawes County: Fort Pierre-Fort Laramie Trail

The Fort Pierre-Fort Laramie Trail is a lesser known trail of the 1800's but was significant in the trade that it facilitated between forts as well as with the local Native tribes as well. The American Fur Company was the first group to…

Dodge County: Pawnee Villages

The Pawnee Tribe, and its bands, were of the first tribes to locate themselves on the Great Plains and specifically in Nebraska. Through years of warring with the Lakota, forced closer by the white Europeans, the Pawnee were still able to retain…

Douglas County: Fort Atkinson

Native Americans inhabited the area around Fort Atkins for thousands of years. This project very briefly examines their history.  It does this by first looking at the archeological evidence describing the natives that lived in the area prior to the…

Sarpy County: Oto Mission

In the course of United States history, there have been hundreds of missions, from the Spanish to the English, which have the common goal: converting and assimilating Native Americans into white culture. This assimilation process was nothing new, but…

Sheridan County: Mari Sandoz

Mari Sandoz is one of Nebraska’s homegrown literary giants. Her work spanned over three decades and made tremendous contributions to the history of the American West, Great Plains studies, and Native American and Indigenous peoples. From a young age…

Knox County : Ponca Tribe

In order to understand the significance of the Ponca, particularly Chief Standing Bear, a brief history lesson is needed. In April 1877, the Ponca were forcibly removed to Indian Territory in what is now present day Oklahoma. Nine people would die on…

Douglas County : Chief Standing Bear (1829-1908)

Documents in the NHS file on this marker contain little information on the reasoning or motivation behind the marker. There is a letter to former Ponca Chairman Fred LeRoy informing him of the marker’s approval and placement, but no response from…

Seward County : Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe

The newest marker in relation to the Ponca, however, is one that shows the most involvement between a community, the Ponca tribe, and the Nebraska state government. “Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe” was dedicated on May 6, 2017 in a large ceremony…

Fort Kearny

What made the West "the West"? With the Louisiana Purchase and the rush out west, whether to acquire gold, land or any other resource, this movement interfered with Native lands and Native tribes. This land had been theirs for centuries,…

The Horse Creek Treaty

Beginning in 1848, white migrants were moving west through the plains on their way to California in hopes of striking rich with the gold rush. The United States government saw this as potentially problematic and sought council with the native leaders…

Yutan Oto Indian Village

The term “Nebraska” originated from an Oto (also known as Otoe) Indian word that meant flat water. This flat water was most likely a reference to the Platte River that the tribe settled by during the early 1700s. Unlike the Pawnee, the Otos migrated…

Fort Robinson

Camp Robinson was established in 1874 as a temporary camp for soldiers on the frontier during the “Indian Wars” of the late 19th century. It was made a permanent settlement in 1878 and changed from a Camp to a Fort. Its significance as a military…