Near Big Springs in Deuel County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The history of Big Springs, northeast of here, has been closely associated with the Union Pacific Railroad since 1867, when a station was established at that point. A nearby spring, from which the station derived its name, provided an abundant water supply for the railroad's steam locomotives.
On the night of September 18, 1877, Nebraska's most famous train robbery occurred at Big Springs. After capturing the station agent and destroying the telegraph, Sam Bass and five companions stopped a Union Pacific express train and escaped with a reported sixty-thousand dollars in gold and currency.
No permanent settlement occurred at Big Springs until 1883, and the townsite was platted by the Union Pacific Railroad the following year. One of the first structures in the community was the Phelps Hotel, opened in 1885 by Edwin A. Phelps. Little changed since its construction, the hotel has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Despite droughs and severe winters, settlement of the area continued in the 1880's and 1890's. On May 15, 1917, the Village of Big Springs was incorporated by act of the Deuel County Commissioners.
Erected by Nebraska Department of Roads and Nebraska State Historical Society. (Marker Number 114.)
Marker series. Nebraska State Historical Society marker series.
Location. 41° 2.051′ N, 102° 12.671′ W. Marker is near Big Springs, Nebraska, in Deuel County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 80 at milepost 100, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is located at a scenic vista overlook from the I-80 eastbound lanes near mile marker 100 between Exits 95 (State Route 27) and 101 (US 138). Marker can only be accessed from the eastbound lanes of the freeway. Marker is in this post office area: Big Springs NE 69122, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Great Platte River Road (here, next to this marker); South Platte Station (approx. 3.4 miles away); Colorado (approx. 4.1 miles away in Colorado); Oregon Trail (approx. 4.3 miles away in Colorado); Julesburg, Colorado (approx. 4.3 miles away in Colorado); The Town that Wouldn't Die (approx. 4.4 miles away in Colorado); Fourth Julesburg (approx. 4.4 miles away in Colorado); Nearby Things to See and Do (approx. 4.4 miles away in Colorado). Click for a list of all markers in Big Springs.
Also see . . . Sam Bass Biography - Frontier Times. (Submitted on August 24, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 360 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.