“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Jackson in Dakota County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

St. John's


St. John's Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2014
1. St. John's Marker
Inscription.  About 1½ miles north of this spot is the abandoned site of "Old St. John's," one of the first towns established in Dakota County.

The townsite was settled on June 2, 1856, by the Father Trecy Colony — sixty people, with eighteen ox-drawn covered wagons. The site was surveyed and platted June 24, 1856, and the town was named St. John's, in honor of St. John the Baptist.

The colony was led by Father Jeremiah Trecy, a young Catholic priest from the Garryowen Parish near Dubuque, Iowa. Consisting mostly of Irish immigrants, it constituted the first Catholic parish in Nebraska. The town of St. John's grew rapidly and by 1858 it had two hundred inhabitants.

In 1860 Father Trecy went to Washington seeking permission to establish a mission among the Ponca Indians. Meanwhile the Civil War began. Father Trecy became an army chaplain, and never returned to his beloved colony.

In the early sixties, the Missouri River began to threaten St. John's. The people began moving their buildings to the new town of Jackson. By 1866 all buildings were gone and the townsite was abandoned.

The site of St. John's still exists
St. John's Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2014
2. St. John's Marker
(St. Patrick's Catholic Church in background)
as a symbol of courage and hope and of the religious faith of a dedicated people.
Erected by Dakota County Historical Society, and Historical Land Mark Council.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionSettlements & SettlersWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society series list.
Location. 42° 26.912′ N, 96° 33.835′ W. Marker is in Jackson, Nebraska, in Dakota County. Marker is at the intersection of East Elk Street and North John Street, on the left when traveling east on East Elk Street. Marker is located near the southeast corner of St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 119 East Elk Street, Jackson NE 68743, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Lewis & Clark Expedition (approx. 8 miles away in Iowa); M.V. Sergeant Floyd (approx. 8 miles away in Iowa); Prospect Hill (approx. 8.2 miles away in Iowa); The Spirit of Siouxland (approx. 8.3 miles away in Iowa); An American Treasure (approx. 8.7 miles away in Iowa); Native Peoples of the Loess
St. Patrick's Catholic Church image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2014
3. St. Patrick's Catholic Church
(marker visible, edge-on, at bottom right)
(approx. 8.8 miles away in Iowa); From Settlement to State Park (approx. 8.8 miles away in Iowa); Geology Wonders (approx. 8.8 miles away in Iowa).
Also see . . .  Dakota County History. In 1855 Father Trecy left Gerryowen, Iowa with 60 pioneers and settled north of Jackson where they established St. John City. Almost half of the settlers died during the following, severe winter. Some of their descendants still live in this area. St. Patrick's Catholic Church was built at St. John in 1856 and destroyed by a tornado in 1860. Because of the unpredictable river it was rebuilt about one mile south. The church is now located in the town of Jackson. St. John city has since disappeared. (Submitted on November 2, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 53 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 2, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Feb. 25, 2021