Nebraska Historical Marker: The Ox-Bow Trail

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457-505 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy, Ashland, Saunders County, Nebraska

View this marker's location 41.038736, -96.35715

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Marker Text

This marker sits astride the Ox-Bowl Trail, also known as the Old Fort Kearny or Nebraska City Road. Beginning in the 1840's, this route carried thousands of emigrants and millions of pounds of freight destined for the settlements, mining camps, or military posts of the West. Many travelers were Mormons bound for the Great Salt Lake Valley. The trail, looping north to the Platte from such Missouri River towns as Plattsmouth and Nebraska City, resembled an Ox-Bow, after which it was named. Just west of here was an important ford across Salt Creek, where limestone ledges form a natural low-water bridge. Travel over the trail declined in the mid-1860's with the development of more direct routes from the Missouri to the Central Platte Valley. The water supply for the City of Lincoln comes from wells in the Platte Valley near here. In 1932 this pumping station was built, and a 36-inch water main laid to Lincoln. A treatment plant and an additional 48-inch main were added in the 1950's.

Further Information


Lyle E Mantor, “Fort Kearny and the Westward Movement,” Nebraska History 29 (1948): 174-207 

Marker program

See Nebraska Historical Marker Program for more information.