Cozad in Dawson County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The 100th Meridian
The 100th longitudinal line west of Greenwich was the major goal set by Congress in building the first transcontinental railroad. Construction of the Union Pacific track reached the Meridian on October 5, 1866. To celebrate this record-breaking achievement against terrific odds, appropriate ceremonies were enacted on this ground on October 26, 1866. A “Great Excursion from Wall Street to the 100th Meridian brought 250 notables including railroad and territorial officials, congressmen, financiers and newspaper men on the first passenger train to run west of the Missouri River. A large signboard proclaiming the “100 Meridian 247 Miles from Omaha” stood for many years close to the track on the Meridian but finally disappeared, and in 1933 was replaced on the original site with a monument of native stone by the Cozad Chapter of the D.A.R.
In 1879 John Wesley Powell, U. S. Army, in his report for the Geological Survey recognized the 100th Meridian as the natural demarcation line extending northward from the western shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Evaporation from the gulf waters supplies most of the rainfall east of the Meridian. West of the Meridian precipitation comes largely from the Pacific which is generally insufficient for agricultural needs without irrigation. Here on the 100th Meridian, Humid
Erected by Cozad Chamber of Commerce & Historical Land Mark Council. (Marker Number 17.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society, and the Transcontinental Railroad marker series.
Location. 40° 51.412′ N, 99° 59.104′ W. Marker is in Cozad, Nebraska, in Dawson County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 30 and North Meridian Avenue, on the right when traveling east on U.S. 30. Touch for map. Marker is located near the old Cozad Union Pacific Railroad Depot building. Marker is in this post office area: Cozad NE 69130, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Central Platte Valley (approx. 4.7 miles away); Plum Creek Railroad Attack (approx. 10.3 miles away); Dissected Loess Plains (approx. 10½ miles away); Original Pony Express Station (approx. 10½ miles away); The Pony Express (approx. 10½ miles away); The Road to Zion (approx. 10½ miles away).
More about this marker. The marker is adjacent to a restored Union Pacific Caboose on display at the old railroad depot.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The 100° Meridian
Also see . . .
1. Union Pacific's Grand Excursion to the 100th Meridian. Arrowing west from Omaha City in Nebraska Territory, the Union Pacific Railroad was a full year ahead of its construction schedule. Planning to have 247 miles of track in place by the end of 1867, they had reached that point by October 1866. To advertise this incredible progress to their shareholders as well as Eastern bankers and members of Congress, the Directors of the company planned an elaborate and costly celebration to take place in the middle of the wilderness (Submitted on March 7, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Union Pacific Crews Pass 100th Meridian. Union Pacific crews reached an important milestone when they passed the 100th meridian near Cozad, Nebraska. This guaranteed the railroad the irrevocable right to continue westward, as stipulated in the Pacific Railway Act of 1862. (Submitted on March 7, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. The 100th Meridian City. John J. Cozad was traveling west on the Union Pacific Railroad when he saw the “100th Meridian” sign. It impressed him as a favorable site for a town. Returning to Ohio, he organized a company of people which he brought to this location and founded the town named after him. (Submitted on March 7, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
4. The Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway was one of the earliest transcontinental highways for automobiles across the United States of America. Conceived in 1912 by Indiana entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher, and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway ran coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City west to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. (Submitted on March 7, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Agriculture • Exploration • Man-Made Features • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 6, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 191 times since then and 36 times this year. Last updated on September 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos: 1. submitted on March 6, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 7, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.