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

Near Bellevue in Sarpy County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Oto Mission

Oto Mission Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 23, 2014
1. Oto Mission Marker
Inscription.  In November 1833 Moses and Eliza Merrill, missionaries sponsored by the Baptist Missionary Union, arrived at the government Indian agency at Bellevue and opened a mission school for the Oto and Missouri Indians living in eastern Nebraska. The Merrills were the first Christian missionaries sent to Nebraska.

In September 1835 the Merrill family relocated to a log cabin and schoolhouse the government provided on the Platte River about three miles west of here. Part of the Oto and Missouri led by Chief Iatan built a village nearby. As the Mission developed, Merrill prepared a spelling book, a reader, and hymnals in Oto language. More buildings were erected and a blacksmith and farmer joined the staff.

The Oto were plagued by diminishing game supplies and demoralized by liquor. On April 28, 1837, Iatan was killed in an Indian feud, and his successor was unable to maintain the village at the Mission. Merrill died on February 6, 1840, and was buried at St. Mary, across Missouri River from Bellevue. In 2011 only a stone fireplace and chimney remain at the mission site.
Erected 2011 by Sarpy
Oto Mission Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 23, 2014
2. Oto Mission Marker
County Historical Society and Nebraska Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans. In addition, it is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society series list.
Location. 41° 4.524′ N, 95° 55.726′ W. Marker is near Bellevue, Nebraska, in Sarpy County. Marker is on 10th Street north of Laplatte Road, on the left when traveling north. Marker can be seen from US 75 south of Bellevue on the west side of the highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bellevue NE 68123, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fontenelle Bank - County Courthouse (approx. 4.7 miles away); Bellevue Log Cabin (approx. 4.9 miles away); Company A – First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry (approx. 4.9 miles away); Cass County Courthouse (approx. 5 miles away); Budweiser Building 1888 (approx. 5 miles away); Wetenkamp Building (approx. 5 miles away); Vienna Bakery (approx. 5 miles away); Drew/Weckbach (approx. 5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bellevue.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 16, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 483 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 16, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 1, 2021