NEBRASKA CITY – The Nebraska City Historical Society unveiled a new state historical marker at the Old Freighters Museum to recognize the role of an Army-built house in the Westward expansion of the United States.
The historical society saved the 160-year-old house from demolition about 30 years ago and turned it into a freighting museum.
Quinn: “The marker tells people that this was the house of Russell, Majors, Waddell and that it was a freighting center. It started Nebraska City. Freighting is what made Nebraska City.”
Quinn said Nebraska City was not only a starting point for Westward freight, but thousands of pioneers. The house was built by the US Army in 1859 and purchased by the freighting company.
Falk: “It was a key element of the development of this of this area and westward. Russell, Majors and Wadell were the very largest of the freighters at that time and for approximately a decade. They purchased an area here, which was the compound and eventually became part of Nebraska City, They were crucial to developing this area, bringing the freight in, thousands of cattle, hundreds of workers.”
Russell, Majors and Waddell had contracted with the US government to move five thousand tons of supplies overland to military outposts in the western reaches of the land. At its peak in 1865, 44 million pounds of freight moved through Nebraska City.