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Long before early French explorers named it the Platte River, for "flat water," this heartland oasis was a crossroads. Migratory birds, abundant wildlife and native Americans were in residence for centuries when the confluence of the Oregon and Mormon Trails led pioneers to the site that would become Kearney.

Bound for points further west, some hardy, yet visionary souls saw opportunities along the Platte and they stayed laying the foundation for what would become the Mid-western "work ethic." Now, at the very center of the country, as this great, braided river cuts an arc across the plains, Kearney, Nebraska faces a brilliant future.

As America grew during the nineteenth century railroad developers also saw Kearney as a crossroads. Union Pacific, the Burlington & Missouri and other railroads followed the Platte River Valley to connect east to west. Today, Kearney lies at the center of the world's busiest rail corridor.

For more history of Kearney, please read the next document.

The Platte River

Fort Kearny State Historical Park

Fort Kearny State Historical Park

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