© Bill Oliver
Dundy County was created by legislaive enactment on 27 February 1873. It is
named in honor of Judge Elmer S. Dundy of the U.S. Circuit Court. He was
prominent in Nebraska politics.
Dundy County is located in the extreme southwest corner of Nebraska, with
Benkelman as the county seat.
The north and south forks of the Republican River join near Benkelman. The
ancient Indian Traders Trail coming up the ladders of rivers, creeks, and ponds
from Mexican settlements went on north. Northern clans crossed at the
Republican fork bringing extra items to exchange for obsidian, pipestone, and
The Indian Traders Trail, Highway 61 today, has also been called Custer's
Trail, and Hunter's Trail. In 1867 Custer commanding the 7th Cavalry battled
Pawnee Killer gave it the the name of Custer's Trail. Buffalo hunters hauling
hides to Ft Wallace called it the Hunter's Trail.
The cattle drives of the 1870s from Texas to Ogallala inspired the permanent
name of Texas Trail Canyon. By 1882 the B and M Railroad came through to
Denver. With the railroad came the settlers and barbed wire and cornfields.
From the book, Dundy County, 1880-1987, comes this statement:
"A GIFT TO THE FUTURE -- OUR HERITAGE".
Further, "Through the years there have been many descriptions of Dundy
County. The blizzards in winter . . . the heat curling the corn in summer . . .
the sand . . . the winds . . . the grasshoppers . . . hail storms . . . etc."
And, "On a brighter side we hear meadow larks singing . . . blackbirds
and pheasants crowing . . . cottonwoods rustling . . . we see acres and acres
of grassland filled with grazing cattle . . . beautiful fields of golden wheat
standing ready for harvest . . . hundreds of irrigation systems producing
bumper corn crops . . .
This is Dundy County, Nebraska . . . grateful and proud of
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