History of Fort Omaha

History of Fort Omaha (HM13GH)

Location: Omaha, NE 68111 Douglas County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 18.52', W 95° 57.473'

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Fort Omaha Walking Tour

As a result of a major confrontation from 1866-1868 between the U.S. Army and the Lakota (Sioux), the U.S. government signed a treaty agreeing that the Army would abandon several posts along the Bozeman Trail. By this time, the Union Pacific had also reached the Rockies, so the Army began planning for a single post to replace those abandoned. The new post would be a place where troops could be wintered and sent out by rail whenever needed.

Recognizing the potential for economic growth, Omaha competed with other towns to win the planned post. The city cited its railroad and river transportation systems, and already established businesses as the support the army would need. To make the new headquarters possible, civic leaders purchased 42 acres from Augustus Kountze, a prominent Omaha banker, and offered to lease it to the government at an undervalued price.

The U.S. Army accepted Omaha's offer. Construction of "Omaha Barracks" began in September 1868 and was completed in three months. The post housed a regiment of more than 650 men. Following custom, the main buildings were built around a large parade ground. The first troops arrived in November - Battery C, 3rd U.S. Artillery from Fort Kearney, Nebraska.

Over the years brick buildings replaced wooden ones. The Infantry and Cavalry were succeeded by the Army Signal Corps (1905-1913) and the Observation Balloon Corps (1916-1919). During the 1920's and 1930's the Fort was continuously occupied. After 1935 the Fort was used as a residence post for officers on duty at Seventh Corps area headquarters. During World War II it served as a support installation for the Seventh Service Command.

In 1947 the Army declared the Fort surplus property and it was taken over by the Navy as a Reserve Training Center. In 1973 the Defense Department again declared Fort Omaha "excess" to their needs.

Created in 1974, Metropolitan Community College received deed to the property in August 1975. Through extensive interior renovation and exterior refurbishing, Fort Omaha became Metro's first permanent campus. In keeping with tradition, several Army Reserve units currently train here.

Terms of the deed stipulate that the Parade Ground must be maintained as an open field and that the exteriors of brick buildings cannot be changed. The College has preserved the historic look of Fort Omaha while creating an environment conducive to a progressive, two-year community college.
HM NumberHM13GH
Marker Number1
Placed ByMetropolitan Community College, Historical Society of Douglas County, and Nebraska Committee for the Humanities
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 10:50pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 252387 N 4577244
Decimal Degrees41.30866667, -95.95788333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 18.52', W 95° 57.473'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 18' 31.20" N, 95° 57' 28.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)402
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 16 Middle Rd, Omaha NE 68111, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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