Kearney in Buffalo County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Watson Ranch
In 1888, H. D. Watson established the historic Watson Ranch, at one time containing 8,000 acres, reaching from the fertile Platte Valley on the south to the rolling hills on the north and from downtown Kearney to a point five miles west.
During its existence, the ranching operations were devoted to grains, poultry, vegetables, and a 250-acre fruit orchard primarily of cherry, plum, and apple trees. Watson planted thousands of other trees of numerous varieties.
Resembling a huge experiment station, the ranch included such crops as wheat, rye, barley, corn, potatoes, sugar beets, squash, and asparagus. In the 1890's, Watson introduced alfalfa into the Platte Valley. In part to demonstrate the value of alfalfa as a feed, Watson constructed a dairy barn in 1900. Standing 650 feet northwest of this sign, it measured 500 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 56 feet high. Attached to an immense silo, it contained stanchions for 400 cows, huge hay lofts, and wagon and machinery storage.
Because it was located 1,733 miles from both Boston and San Francisco, it later became known as the "1733 Ranch," and the huge barn remained a landmark until it was torn down in 1935.
Erected by Buffalo County Historical Society & Nebraska State Historical Society. (Marker Number 178.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society marker series.
Location. 40° 41.962′ N, 99° 9.795′ W. Marker is in Kearney, Nebraska, in Buffalo County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 30 and 1733 Road, on the right when traveling east on U.S. 30. Touch for map. Marker is located on south side of U.S. 30, in a large pullout associated with the current ranch at this location. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6423 24th Road, Kearney NE 68845, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Kearney Cotton Mill (approx. 1.3 miles away); Buffalo County’s Lincoln Highway Seedling Mile (approx. 3.1 miles away); Hostetler Amphitheatre (approx. 3.4 miles away); Kearney State College Memorial Carillon Tower (approx. 3˝ miles away); University of Nebraska at Kearney (approx. 3.6 miles away); Baldwin Engine 481 (approx. 3.8 miles away); Loup River Freighter Hotel (approx. 3.8 miles away); German Baptist Church of the Brethren (approx. 3.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kearney.
Also see . . .
1. The Watson Ranch.
During the boom period in the life of the city, there was established, within the incorporated limits of the city what was known as The Watson Ranch. It embraced several hundred acres of land devoted to farming, along certain lines, on an extensive scale. The ranch was largely a promotion scheme and was featured extensively in advertising sent out from Kearney. It attracted more than state wide notice and was given much space in not only the daily press but in agricultural journals. (Submitted on March 9, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. 1733 Ranch Barn - Largest Barn in the World.
The 1733 Ranch's barn, which measured over a city block in length, at one time was the world's largest barn, according to A. J. Schaaf of McCook, who was ranch foreman. The 3-story building was torn down in the 1930's. (Submitted on March 9, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Haying scene on Watson Ranch.
1909 photo of hay-stacking on the Watson Ranch (Submitted on March 9, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Agriculture • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 12, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 9, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 147 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 9, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.