Columbus, Nebraska

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Columbus, Nebraska
Columbus Loup River Bridge from NW 1.JPG
Bridge carrying U.S. Highway 30 and U.S. Highway 81 across the Loup River at Columbus
Platte County Nebraska Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Columbus Highlighted.svg
Coordinates: 41°25′58″N97°21′31″W / 41.43278°N 97.35861°W / 41.43278; -97.35861 Coordinates: 41°25′58″N97°21′31″W / 41.43278°N 97.35861°W / 41.43278; -97.35861 [1]
CountryUnited States
State Nebraska
County Platte
Township Columbus
Area
[2]
  Total10.44 sq mi (27.05 km2)
  Land10.21 sq mi (26.44 km2)
  Water0.23 sq mi (0.60 km2)
Elevation
[1]
1,447 ft (441 m)
Population
 (2010) [3]
  Total22,111
  Estimate 
(2018) [4]
23,274
  Density2,265.23/sq mi (874.62/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
68601-68602
Area code 402
FIPS code 31-10110 [1]
GNIS feature ID0828280 [1]
U.S. Routes US 30.svg US 81.svg
Website columbusne.us

Columbus is a city in and the county seat of Platte County, in the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. [1] The population was 22,111 at the 2010 census.

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.

Platte County, Nebraska County in the United States

Platte County is a county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 32,237. Its county seat is Columbus. The county was created in 1855.

Nebraska State of the United States of America

Nebraska is a state that lies in both the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, both across the Missouri River; Kansas to the south; Colorado to the southwest; and Wyoming to the west. It is the only triply landlocked U.S. state.

Contents

History

Pre-settlement

In the 18th century, the area around the confluence of the Platte and the Loup Rivers was used by a variety of Native American tribes, including Pawnee, Otoe, Ponca, and Omaha. [5] The Pawnee are thought to have descended from the Protohistoric Lower Loup Culture; [6] the Otoe had moved from central Iowa into the lower Platte Valley in the early 18th century; [7] and the closely related Omaha and Ponca had moved from the vicinity of the Ohio River mouth, settling along the Missouri by the mid-18th century. [8] In 1720, Pawnee and Otoe allied with the French massacred the Spanish force led by Pedro de Villasur just south of the present site of Columbus. [9] [10]

Pawnee people ethnic group

The Pawnee are a Plains Indian tribe who are headquartered in Pawnee, Oklahoma. Pawnee people are enrolled in the federally recognized Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. Historically, they lived in Nebraska and Kansas. In the Pawnee language, the Pawnee people refer to themselves as Chatiks si chatiks or "Men of Men."

Ponca ethnic group

The Ponca are a Midwestern Native American tribe of the Dhegihan branch of the Siouan language group. There are two federally recognized Ponca tribes: the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. Their traditions and historical accounts suggest they originated as a tribe east of the Mississippi River in the Ohio River valley area and migrated west for game and as a result of Iroquois wars.

The Villasur expedition of 1720 was a Spanish military expedition intended to check the growing New France's influence on the Great Plains of central North America. Led by Lieutenant-General Pedro de Villasur, the expedition was attacked in present-day Nebraska by a Pawnee and Otoe force. Forty-six of the Spaniards and their Indian allies were killed. The survivors retreated to their base in New Mexico.

In the 19th century, the "Great Platte River Road"—the valley of the Platte and North Platte Rivers running from Fort Kearny to Fort Laramie— was the principal route of the westward expansion. [11] For travellers following the north bank of the Platte, the Loup River, with its soft banks and quicksands, represented a major obstacle. In the absence of a ferry or a bridge, most of these followed the Loup for a considerable distance upstream before attempting a crossing: the first major wave of Mormon emigrants, for instance, continued up that river to a point about three miles downstream from present-day Fullerton. [12]

Great Platte River Road

The Great Platte River Road was a major overland travel corridor approximately following the course of the Platte River in present-day Nebraska and Wyoming that was shared by several popular emigrant trails during the 19th century, including the Trapper's Trail, the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, the California Trail, the Pony Express route, and the military road connecting Fort Leavenworth and Fort Laramie. The road, which extended nearly 800 miles (1,300 km) from the Second Fort Kearny to Fort Laramie, was utilized primarily from 1841 to 1866. In modern times it is often regarded as a sort of superhighway of its era, and has been referred to as "the grand corridor of America's westward expansion".

Fort Kearny historic fort in Nebraska, USA

Fort Kearny was a historic outpost of the United States Army founded in 1848 in the western U.S. during the middle and late 19th century. The fort was named after Col. and later General Stephen Watts Kearny. The outpost was located along the Oregon Trail near Kearney, Nebraska. The town of Kearney took its name from the fort. The "e" was added to Kearny by postmen who consistently misspelled the town name. A portion of the original site is preserved as Fort Kearny State Historical Park by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Fullerton, Nebraska City in Nebraska, United States

Fullerton is a city in, and the county seat of, Nance County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 1,307 as of the 2010 Census.

Settlement and early history

Columbus, seen from an airplane, looking south Columbus Nebraska aerial view.jpg
Columbus, seen from an airplane, looking south

The site of Columbus was settled by the Columbus Town Company on May 28, 1856. The group took its name from Columbus, Ohio, where most of the settlers had originally lived. The townsite was selected for its location on the proposed route of the transcontinental railroad. [13] :5

Columbus, Ohio Capital of Ohio

Columbus is the state capital and the largest city of and the most populous city in the U.S. State of Ohio. With a population of 892,533 as of 2018 estimates, it is the 14th-most populous city in the United States and one of the fastest growing large cities in the nation. This makes Columbus the third-most populous state capital in the US and the second-most populous city in the Midwest. It is the core city of the Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses ten counties. With a population of 2,078,725, it is Ohio's second-largest metropolitan area.

First Transcontinental Railroad The first railroad in the United States to reach the Pacific coast from the eastern states

The First Transcontinental Railroad was a 1,912-mile (3,077 km) continuous railroad line constructed between 1863 and 1869 that connected the existing eastern U.S. rail network at Council Bluffs, Iowa with the Pacific coast at the Oakland Long Wharf on San Francisco Bay. The rail line was built by three private companies over public lands provided by extensive US land grants. Construction was financed by both state and US government subsidy bonds as well as by company issued mortgage bonds. The Western Pacific Railroad Company built 132 mi (212 km) of track from the road's western terminus at Alameda/Oakland to Sacramento, California. The Central Pacific Railroad Company of California (CPRR) constructed 690 mi (1,110 km) eastward from Sacramento to Promontory Summit, Utah Territory. The Union Pacific built 1,085 mi (1,746 km) from the road's eastern terminus at Council Bluffs near Omaha, Nebraska westward to Promontory Summit.

Just west of the Columbus site, the Elk Horn and Loup Fork Bridge and Ferry Company, headed by James C. Mitchell, had laid out the townsite of Pawnee. In 1855, Mitchell had obtained from the First Nebraska Territorial Legislature the right to operate a ferry across the Loup River. The two companies consolidated in November 1856. [14] :27–28

The First Nebraska Territorial Legislature first met in Omaha, Nebraska, on January 15, 1855. The Council Bluffs and Nebraska Ferry Company provided the first meeting place, which was a building "constructed for public purposes". Standing out from the estimated twenty shacks in the young town, it was the first brick building in Omaha, which was founded the year before when the Nebraska Territory was created. Responsible for several important decisions that laid an important foundation for the future statehood for Nebraska, the Nebraska Territorial Legislature made controversial decisions and provided leadership for the territory.

At the time of its initial settling, the land Columbus occupied still belonged to the Pawnee. However, in 1857, the Pawnee signed a treaty whereunder they gave up the bulk of their Nebraska lands, save for a reservation on what is now Nance County, Nebraska. [15]

Nance County, Nebraska County in the United States

Nance County is a county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,735. Its county seat is Fullerton.

In 1858, the Platte County Commissioners passed an act of incorporation making Columbus a town; [16] at this time there were 16 citizens. It became the county seat shortly thereafter. [13] :5 In that same year, at the recommendation of the U.S. Army, a ferry across the Loup was installed; [12] contemporary documents suggest that the Mitchell company had failed to act on its right to operate such a ferry. [14] :30–31

Railroads and growth

Growth of the town was slow until 1863. In that year, construction began in Omaha on the transcontinental railroad. The Homestead Act, passed the previous year, attracted a host of settlers to the Plains and gave rise to increased emigrant traffic business. The ferry across the Loup was replaced by a seasonal pontoon bridge, used in the summer and taken up in the winter. [13] :5 The railroad reached Columbus in June 1866, when the city's population was about 75. [16]

Union Pacific depot in Columbus Columbus, Nebraska RR depot from SE.JPG
Union Pacific depot in Columbus

The energetic and eccentric promoter George Francis Train envisioned building "a magnificent highway of cities" from coast to coast along the Union Pacific route; Columbus was to be one of these. [17] In 1865, he bought several hundred lots in the city. In the following year, seeing the nearby townsite of Cleveland as a threat to his plans for Columbus, he bought the only building on the site, a hotel, and moved it to Columbus. He renamed the building the Credit Foncier Hotel, after his land company, Credit Foncier of America; [14] :45 in it, he set aside a room permanently reserved for the President of the United States. [13] :6 Train believed that the capital of the United States should be in the geographic center of the nation, [16] and promoted Columbus as "...the new center of the Union and quite probably the future capital of the U.S.A." [18]

Columbus grew and prospered during the 1870s, as a result of both expanding agriculture in Platte County and traffic on the railroad. During the decade, the population of the county grew threefold, and Columbus became the trade center for an eight-county area. The Black Hills Gold Rush in 1875 led the city's merchants to promote it as a staging and outfitting area for gold seekers, who could ride the railroad to Columbus and then travel overland to the gold fields. [19]

In 1879, Columbus became the focus of a war between railroad companies. The Burlington and Missouri proposed to develop a line from Lincoln through Columbus and into northwestern Nebraska, and urged the citizens of Platte County to vote a bond of $100,000 for construction expenses. Union Pacific financier Jay Gould, displeased at the prospect of competition, informed the voters of the county that if the measure passed, he would do his best to ruin Columbus. After a heated campaign, the measure passed despite Gould's threats. The Burlington and Missouri built a line from Lincoln to Columbus, but stopped there; for their diagonal route across Nebraska, they chose one that crossed the Union Pacific at Grand Island rather than Columbus. [14] :324

Gould sought to make good on his threat. When the Union Pacific developed its subsidiary Omaha, Niobrara and Black Hills Railroad, he directed that it cross the Loup River at Lost Creek, then run south to join the Union Pacific's main line at Jackson (since renamed Duncan), bypassing Columbus. Fortunately for Columbus, an ice jam destroyed the Lost Creek bridge in the spring of 1881. Railroad officials agreed to reroute the line down the north bank of the Loup to Columbus in exchange for a $25,000 contribution from the city. [14] :325

Automobile age

Lincoln Highway Garage, built in downtown Columbus in 1915 Columbus, Nebraska 2304 13th St from SE.JPG
Lincoln Highway Garage, built in downtown Columbus in 1915

In 1911, the Meridian Highway project was launched with the formation of a Meridian Road association in Kansas. Later that same year, John Nicholson, originator of the highway, spoke at a meeting in Columbus, at which the Nebraska Meridian Road Association was organized. The proposed north-south transcontinental highway crossed the Platte and the Loup rivers at the Columbus bridges. In 1922, it was designated a state highway. The completion of the Meridian Bridge in 1924, replacing a seasonal ferry across the Missouri River at the Nebraska-South Dakota border, made the highway a year-round route from Canada to Mexico. In 1928, the route became U.S. Highway 81. [20]

In 1913, the Lincoln Highway was established as an east-west transcontinental highway. It followed the Platte River route across Nebraska; ultimately, about half of its mileage was on the Union Pacific right-of-way. [21] It also crossed the Loup on the bridge at Columbus. [22] In 1926, the route became U.S. Highway 30. [23]

Traffic on the two transcontinental auto routes through and near central Columbus spurred a burst of commercial construction. Hotels were expanded and new ones built; service garages were opened. To make the route through Columbus more attractive to motorists, the city undertook to illuminate and pave the downtown streets. By 1925, all of the city's major commercial thoroughfares were paved, and almost every lot along 13th Street (the Lincoln Highway) between 23rd and 29th Avenues was occupied by a commercial building. [19]

Rural Platte County suffered badly from the Great Depression. Grain and livestock prices had been high during World War I, engendering a bubble in farmland; to acquire additional acres, farmers had secured them with mortgages not only on the newly purchased land, but also on their older holdings. The fall in the prices of agricultural commodities, combined with drought-induced crop failures in 1934 and 1936, forced many such farmers to abandon their lands. [24] :44–5

The civic and commercial leaders of Columbus aggressively sought federal and state funds for local construction projects during this time. In 1931, the Meridian Viaduct was completed, carrying the combined Meridian and Lincoln highways across the Union Pacific tracks and eliminating a grade-level crossing. [14] :328 In 1930–31, the aging and inadequate bridge across the Platte was replaced; in 1932–33, a new bridge was built at the Loup crossing. [22]

Hydro power

The most expensive and ambitious of Columbus's Depression-era public-works efforts was the construction of the Loup Project. This was a 35-mile (56 km) canal running from a diversion weir on the Loup River in Nance County to the Platte River about 1 mile (1.6 km) below the mouth of the Loup. [25] :130–33 The waters of the canal run through two hydroelectric generating stations: one north of Monroe with a capacity of 7,800 kW; and one at Columbus with a capacity of 45,600 kW. [26]

Loup Canal hydroelectric plant and tailrace canal at Columbus Columbus hydroelectric plant (Nebraska) 2.jpg
Loup Canal hydroelectric plant and tailrace canal at Columbus

Initially financed with a loan and grant of $7.3 million from the Public Works Administration, [25] :124 construction of the diversion structure, canal, and powerhouses began in August 1934 [27] :78 and was finished, apart from some final details, in September 1938. [25] :129 At its peak, in October 1936, the project directly employed 1,352 people. [24] :222

To make payments on the Loup Project bonds, the Loup River Public Power District had to find a market for its electricity. Rural electrification was not expanding rapidly, and private power companies in Nebraska were only willing to buy a small fraction of the project's power. Although the provisions of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 gave East Coast holding companies an incentive to sell off their Nebraska subsidiaries, bankers were unwilling to finance their sale to the Loup District because of its debts from the canal project. [25] :139–40

In 1939, Consumers Public Power District was formed in Columbus. The new organization's purpose was to buy power from the Loup Project and from the Tri-County and Sutherland projects on the Platte in central Nebraska, and to market it to consumers and municipal utilities. To this end, it was authorized to issue revenue bonds for the purchase of privately held power companies. By 1942, it had purchased all of the private electrical utilities in Nebraska outside of the immediate vicinity of Omaha; [25] :139–47 by 1949, the last of the private utilities had been bought up, making Nebraska the only state in the nation to be served entirely by public power. [28]

World War II and after

With the arrival of World War II, Columbus's boosters sought a war plant for Columbus. They persuaded the federal government to purchase 90 acres (36 ha) in northeastern Columbus, and to build a railroad line to the site. Before construction of the projected aluminum-extrusion plant could begin, however, it became clear that the war would end soon and that the plant would not be needed. [29] The site was sold as surplus property to the Loup District for a fraction of its original cost; the district turned it into an industrial site. [25] :137–38 In 1946, Behlen Manufacturing built a factory on the site; [14] :389 the rest of the available land was occupied soon thereafter. [25] :138

Geography

Columbus is located at 41°25′58″N97°21′31″W / 41.43278°N 97.35861°W / 41.43278; -97.35861 (41.432785, -97.358530), [1] 85 miles (137 km) west of Omaha and 75 miles (121 km) northwest of Lincoln. It is on the north side of the Loup River near its confluence with the Platte River. U.S. Highways 30 and 81 intersect in the city, and the main line of the Union Pacific railroad passes through it. [29]

The city lies at an elevation of 1,447 feet (441 m). It is built on the flat terrain of the Platte River valley; rolling hills rise to the north of the city. [29]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.08 square miles (26.11 km2), of which 9.85 square miles (25.51 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.60 km2) is water. [30]

Climate

Th data below are from the WRCC. [31]

Climate data for Columbus, NE
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)70
(21)
77
(25)
92
(33)
100
(38)
103
(39)
109
(43)
115
(46)
111
(44)
105
(41)
96
(36)
85
(29)
78
(26)
115
(46)
Average high °F (°C)32.4
(0.2)
37.0
(2.8)
49.1
(9.5)
62.8
(17.1)
73.4
(23.0)
83.3
(28.5)
88.8
(31.6)
86.5
(30.3)
78.3
(25.7)
66.1
(18.9)
49.2
(9.6)
36.2
(2.3)
61.9
(16.6)
Average low °F (°C)11.8
(−11.2)
15.7
(−9.1)
26.4
(−3.1)
38.4
(3.6)
49.6
(9.8)
59.5
(15.3)
64.3
(17.9)
62.4
(16.9)
52.7
(11.5)
40.4
(4.7)
26.7
(−2.9)
16.3
(−8.7)
38.7
(3.7)
Record low °F (°C)−29
(−34)
−29
(−34)
−15
(−26)
4
(−16)
22
(−6)
34
(1)
41
(5)
37
(3)
24
(−4)
6
(−14)
−14
(−26)
−25
(−32)
−29
(−34)
Average precipitation inches (mm)0.56
(14)
0.80
(20)
1.44
(37)
2.58
(66)
4.09
(104)
4.38
(111)
3.29
(84)
3.30
(84)
2.78
(71)
1.83
(46)
1.08
(27)
0.74
(19)
26.87
(683)
Average snowfall inches (cm)5.5
(14)
5.8
(15)
4.8
(12)
1.2
(3.0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.6
(1.5)
2.5
(6.4)
5.3
(13)
25.7
(64.9)
Source: https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ne1825

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1870 526
1880 2,131305.1%
1890 3,13447.1%
1900 3,52212.4%
1910 5,01442.4%
1920 5,4107.9%
1930 6,89827.5%
1940 7,63210.6%
1950 8,88416.4%
1960 12,47640.4%
1970 15,47124.0%
1980 17,32812.0%
1990 19,48012.4%
2000 20,9717.7%
2010 22,1115.4%
Est. 201823,274 [4] 5.3%
U.S. Decennial Census [32]
2012 Estimate [33]

2010 census

As of the census [3] of 2010, there were 22,111 people, 8,874 households, and 5,811 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,244.8 inhabitants per square mile (866.7/km2). There were 9,322 housing units at an average density of 946.4 per square mile (365.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.1% White, 0.5% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 8.2% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.3% of the population.

There were 8,874 households of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.5% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 37.1 years. 26.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.8% were from 25 to 44; 25.4% were from 45 to 64; and 15.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.5% male and 50.5% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 20,971 people, 8,302 households, and 5,562 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,337.3 people per square mile (902.7/km²). There were 8,818 housing units at an average density of 982.8 per square mile (379.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.19% White, 1.45% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.49% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.65% of the population.

There were 8,302 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,874, and the median income for a family was $48,669. Males had a median income of $30,980 versus $22,063 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,345. About 4.5% of families and 6.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Columbus's economy is based on agriculture and manufacturing, with many industrial companies attracted by cheap, plentiful hydroelectric power. Major manufacturing employers include Becton Dickinson, a medical products company that operates two facilities in Columbus; Behlen Manufacturing, which produces steel buildings, grain bins, and agricultural equipment; CAMACO, a manufacturer of automotive seat frames; Cargill, which operates a ground-beef processing plant; Archer Daniels Midland, which runs a corn-milling facility; and Vishay Dale Electronics, a subsidiary of Vishay Intertechnology that produces electronic components. Major non-manufacturing employers include Nebraska Public Power District, which is headquartered in Columbus; Columbus City Schools; and Columbus Community Hospital. [34]

Media

Columbus has one newspaper, the Columbus Telegram . The newspaper is published five days a week. [35]

There are 6 radio stations in Columbus. KTLX at FM 91.3 is a religious station; KKOT at FM 93.5 plays classic hits. KZEN at FM 100.3 broadcasts country music; the station is licensed in Central City, but the studio is in Columbus. KLIR at FM 101.1 plays adult contemporary music; KJSK at AM 900 is a news talk station; and KTTT at AM 1510 is a polka and oldies country station.

Education

A Carnegie library was built in 1913-15; the current Columbus Public Library replaced it in 1977.

Central Community College

A campus of Central Community College is located four miles (6 km) northwest of the city. Its athletic teams are the Raiders. [36]

Primary and secondary schools

Columbus Public Schools operates Columbus High School, a middle school and five elementary schools: Centennial, West Park, North Park, Lost Creek, and Emerson. [37] The district has closed several elementary schools within the past 10 years, most recently the nearby Duncan Elementary School, which had been in the district since 1967. [38] Columbus High, with 1,100 students is the largest area high school. Its athletic teams are the Discoverers. [39]

Scotus Central Catholic High School is a Catholic school named after John Duns Scotus; it serves grades 7 through 12. Its teams are the Shamrocks. [40]

Lakeview Community Schools, including Lakeview High School, serves a rural community north of the city. The school district is located just north of Lake Babcock, and its teams are the Vikings.

Attractions

Glur's Tavern Glur Tavern from E.JPG
Glur's Tavern

The Andrew Jackson Higgins National Memorial in Pawnee Park features a life-sized replica of a Higgins boat with bronze statues of soldiers exiting into the sand. The memorial includes sand samples from 58 beaches of historic significance: D-Day beaches of World War II, and beaches in Korea and Vietnam. The site is also home to the Freedom Memorial, which incorporates steel from the remains of the World Trade Center, destroyed by terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. [41]

Glur's Tavern, built in 1876, is the oldest tavern west of the Missouri River still in operation. The tavern was patronized by "Buffalo Bill" Cody during his frequent visits to Columbus. [42] The tavern is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. [43]

The Platte County Agricultural Society hosts a number of events at Agricultural Park. The Platte County Fair is held there annually. [44] Live thoroughbred horse racing takes place at the park every year from late July through mid-September; races from other tracks are simulcast throughout the year. [45]

U.S. 30 Speedway stages weekly auto races from April to September. [45]

The Columbus Marching Festival is held every September, hosting High School marching bands from in and outside of the state. [45]

The Columbus Days Parade is held a week in August in downtown Columbus, NE. [45]

Pawnee Plunge

Pawnee Plunge is an outdoor water park located in Columbus. It first opened in late May 2006, and features four main waterslides that include a tube slide, a regular slide, a speed slide, and a unique splashbowl slide that visitors often refer to as the "toilet bowl." The park also has a small "lazy river."

During its first week, the park attracted over 13,000 visitors. [46] [47]

The park is funded by the City of Columbus with a 12-cent sales tax. [48]

Notable people

Columbus is the birthplace of Andrew Jackson Higgins, creator/designer of the Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP), or Higgins boat, used during World War II.

Noteworthy current or former residents of Columbus include Chuck Hagel, US Secretary of Defense from 2013 to 2015; actor Brad William Henke; world heavyweight boxing champion Leon Spinks; architect Emiel Christensen; and NFL football players Joe Blahak, Cory Schlesinger, and Chad Mustard.

Lucas Cruikshank, creator of YouTube series FRED and its main character Fred Figglehorn, is a former Columbus resident. [49]

Lon Milo DuQuette, occultist author and musician, is a graduate of Columbus High School.

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Duncan is a village in Platte County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 351 at the 2010 census.

Platte River river in Nebraska, United States

The Platte River is a major river in the state of Nebraska and is about 310 mi (500 km) long. Measured to its farthest source via its tributary the North Platte River, it flows for over 1,050 miles (1,690 km). The Platte River is a tributary of the Missouri River, which itself is a tributary of the Mississippi River which flows to the Gulf of Mexico. The Platte over most of its length is a muddy, broad, shallow, meandering stream with a swampy bottom and many islands—a braided stream. These characteristics made it too difficult for canoe travel, and it was never used as a major navigation route by European-American trappers or explorers.

Loup River river in the United States of America

The Loup River is a tributary of the Platte River, approximately 68 miles (109 km) long, in central Nebraska in the United States. The river drains a sparsely populated rural agricultural area on the eastern edge of the Great Plains southeast of the Sandhills. The name of the river means "wolf" in French, named by early French trappers after the Skidi band of the Pawnee, whose name means "Wolf People," and who lived along its banks. The river and its tributaries, including the North Loup, Middle Loup, and South Loup, are known colloquially as "the Loups", comprising over 1800 mi (2900 km) of streams and draining approximately one-fifth of Nebraska.

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is the largest electric utility in the state of Nebraska, serving all or parts of 91 counties. It was formed on January 1, 1970, when Consumers Public Power District, Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District (PVPPID) and Nebraska Public Power System merged to become Nebraska Public Power District. NPPD's predecessors were created through the efforts of the Nebraska legislature and financial agent Guy L. Myers as part of a system where all the investor-owned utilities operating in the state of Nebraska were condemned and their properties turned over to 'public power districts' being created at the time. NPPD is a public corporation and political subdivision of the state of Nebraska. The utility is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, who are popularly elected from NPPD's chartered territory.

The MoPac Trail is a rail trail in Nebraska. It is a bicycling, equestrian, and walking trail built on an abandoned Missouri Pacific Railroad corridor that runs for 26 miles (42 km) from Lincoln, Nebraska, to Wabash, Nebraska.

Great Platte River Road Archway Monument

The Archway is a museum of and monument to Nebraska's and the Platte River valley's role in westward expansion. The Archway is directly over Interstate 80 three miles (5 km) east of Kearney, Nebraska.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) is the state government agency charged with building and maintaining the state and Federal highways in the U.S. State of Nebraska, as well as the state's airports. The main headquarters of the agency is located in Lincoln, the capital city. There are currently eight NDOT district offices located across the state.

Interstate 80 (I-80) in the U.S. state of Nebraska runs east from the Wyoming state border across the state to Omaha. When it completed construction of the stretch of I-80 spanning the state on October 19, 1974, Nebraska was the first state in the nation to complete its mainline Interstate Highway System.

History of Nebraska history of the US state Nebraska

The history of the U.S. state of Nebraska dates back to its formation as a territory by the Kansas–Nebraska Act, passed by the United States Congress on May 30, 1854. The Nebraska Territory was settled extensively under the Homestead Act of 1862 during the 1860s, and in 1867 was admitted to the Union as the 37th U.S. state. The Plains Indians were descendants of succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples who have occupied the area for thousands of years.

Transportation in Omaha

Transportation in Omaha, Nebraska, includes most major modes, such as pedestrian, bicycle, automobile, bus, train and airplane. While early transportation consisted of ferries, stagecoaches, steamboats, street railroads, and railroads, the city's transportation systems have evolved to include the Interstate Highway System, parklike boulevards and a variety of bicycle and pedestrian trails. The historic head of several important emigrant trails and the First Transcontinental Railroad, its center as a national transportation hub earned Omaha the nickname "Gate City of the West" as early as the 1860s.

U.S. Route 30 in Nebraska section of U.S. Highway in Nebraska, United States

U.S. Highway 30 (US 30) is part of the United States Numbered Highway System that runs for 3,073 miles (4,946 km) from Astoria, Oregon to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Within the state of Nebraska it is a state highway that travels 451.74 miles (727.01 km) west to east across the state from the Wyoming state line west of Bushnell to the Missouri River in Blair on the Iowa state line. For much of its length it travels within the Platte River valley, adjacent or near the river between Brule and Fremont, a distance of just over 300 miles (480 km). This corridor was also highly traveled during Westward Expansion along the California and Oregon Trails, it was also used by the Pony Express and the Transcontinental Railroad. The landscape is dominated by vast agricultural fields within the fertile Platte River valley across the center of the state, while the western portion passes through higher plains and the eastern portion through the rolling hills adjacent to the Missouri River valley.

Pahuk

Pahuk, also written Pahaku, or Pahuk Hill, is a bluff on the Platte River in eastern Nebraska in the United States. In the traditional Pawnee religion, it was one of five dwellings of spirit animals with miraculous powers. The Pawnee occupied three villages near Pahuk in the decade prior to their removal to the Pawnee Reservation on the Loup River in 1859.

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