The Ox-Bow Trail

The Ox-Bow Trail (HM1IX9)

Location: Ashland, NE 68003 Saunders County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 2.314', W 96° 21.43'

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This marker sits astride the Ox-Bow 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.

Saunders County Historical Society
Ashland Chamber of Commerce
Nebraska State Historical Society
Ashland City Water Treatment Plant
Saunders County
Marker 219
HM NumberHM1IX9
Series This marker is part of the Nebraska: Nebraska State Historical Society series
Marker Number219
Placed BySaunders County Historical Society; Ashland Chamber of Commerce; Nebraska State Historical Society; Ashland City Water Treatment Plant
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14T E 722147 N 4546403
Decimal Degrees41.03856667, -96.35716667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 2.314', W 96° 21.43'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 2' 18.84" N, 96° 21' 25.8" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)402
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 457-505 US-6, Ashland NE 68003, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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Comments 1 comments


    The earliest Grahams who came to Nebraska were Robert Barton, (the second) who became the mayor of Lincoln for two terms, and his brother, John Lawrence, (SR.) who became a miller on Rock Creek in northeast Lancaster County. They had been freighters on the old Ox Bow Trail before settling down to raising families.....Submitted by Alice (Gilkeson) Graham" provided by link bellow:
    Also, see "Graham Marshall Skelton" family tree in to attain more information. For free if you register. Wives and family played pivotal roles and said tree honors them.

    New York Puablic Library, Geneology Department
    The History of Lincoln, Nebraska by Hayes Cox 1889."

    Robert Barton-Graham (II) 1880 elected as a member of the house of representatives of the state legislature, 16th session.
    Mayer 1889, treasurer for two terms.
    1870 He and his sole sibling, John Lawerence Graham (Sr.) built a flowering mill in Miller precinct, Lancaster County.

    "OX-BOW TRAIL. Starting from Nebraska City, the Ox-Bow Trail, also called the Fort Kearny and Nebraska City Road, headed northwest and crossed Salt Creek near present-day Ashland, followed Wahoo Creek to a point near present-day Cedar Bluffs in Saunders County, and then continued westward on the south side of the Platte River. Eight miles east of Fort Kearny, the Ox-Bow Trail joined the old Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri. It was 250 miles from Nebraska City to Fort Kearny by this "ox-bow" route.

    Advantages of this route were the rock-bottom ford across Salt Creek at Ashland and the plentiful supply of water and wood. Also, those who followed the Platte felt more secure on a well-traveled route. However, the eastern Platte valley with its sand and its swampy areas was impassable when wet, and this, coupled with the longer roundabout route, caused Alexander Majors of the Russell, Majors, and Waddell Freighting Company to have surveyed from Nebraska City to Fort Kearny, a more direct route, which became known as the Nebraska City-Fort Kearny Cut-off."

    As provided from this link:

    More history and other names for this exact trail...:

    Image of the marker and great history:

    Additional images and map of trail to a degree:

    Who else was part of this wonderful historical marker and US history, of "Manifest Destiny" to the West?

    I hope this helps and provides some value.
    Wes Graham

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