History of Omaha, NE


Omaha, Nebraska emerged from the plains of the Midwestern United States through the perfect combination of pioneering, industry, politics, and the abundance of natural resources. In 1854, the entrepreneur Logan Fontenelle, helped the United States government solidify a treaty with certain Native American tribes. This treaty allowed white settlers and industrialists to claim land along the Missouri River.

A ferry owner named William D. Brown, who transported large numbers of settlers and workers from surrounding states, first proposed plans for the city. With the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the city was formally incorporated in 1857. Omaha Central High School now occupies the historic site where the city founders first laid plans for what would become the largest metropolitan area in Nebraska.

Throughout the 19th century, the city boomed. The Missouri River became the most used water highway in the upper Midwest, and this city was one of the most bustling industrial areas along the route. By the 1870s, the city was home to four of the five largest meat-packing plants in the country, and was a major destination for new immigrants.

At the turn of the 20th century, this city had become a railway center, a steel production capital, a gambling and recreation oasis, and a popular meeting locale for representatives of the agriculture and banking industries, the military, and wealthy speculators. After a period of civil unrest due to changing labor conditions, the city settled into its present role as a light industrial center and corporate hub.

Perhaps, the most significant companies to now call Omaha home are the Kiewit Corporation, Berkshire Hathaway, and ConAgra Foods. Some of the most interesting landmarks found in the city are monuments to an interesting historical role in the country's expansion. First National Business Park, Aksarben Village, the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge, and the city's official Rail and Commerce Historic District are all famous points of interest. Many famous people have also called this city home. Childhood residences and workplaces of people like Johnny Carson and Marlon Brando are popular sites for visitors.

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