Dobytown in Kearney County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Following the 1848 establishment of Fort Kearny two miles east of here and the later expansion of overland commerce and emigration, the small commercial center of Kearney City was established here in 1859. The town's more common name, Dobytown, was derived from the resemblance of its twelve to fifteen earthen buildings to adobe structures.
Dobytown itself developed in response to the thousands of soldiers, freighters and travelers whose "needs" could not be met within the fort. Gambling, liquor and disreputable men and women were its principal attractions. One of the town's most famous visitors, General William Tecumseh Sherman described the horrible whiskey he was served here as "tanglefoot." However, in addition to its notorious functions, Dobytown also served as the major outfitting point west of the Missouri River, the center of frontier transportation from 1860 to 1866, a Pony Express station and the first county seat of Kearney County.
The completion of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1869 reduced the flow of travel by the fort until finally in 1871 it was abandoned, souncing the death knell of Dobytown, a pioneer frontier town.
Erected by Kearney County Historical Society and Nebraska State Historical Society. (Marker Number 96.)
Marker series. Nebraska State Historical Society marker series.
Location. 40° 38.466′ N, 99° 2.741′ W. Marker is in Dobytown, Nebraska, in Kearney County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 50A and 27th Road, on the left when traveling east on State Highway 50A. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kearney NE 68847, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Kearny ( approx. 2 miles away); The Great Platte River Road ( approx. 2.2 miles away); Boyd House ( approx. 3.8 miles away); Historic Kearney ( approx. 3.9 miles away); German Baptist Church of the Brethren ( approx. 3.9 miles away); Shelton Union Pacific Depot ( approx. 3.9 miles away); Loup River Freighter Hotel ( approx. 3.9 miles away); Baldwin Engine 481 ( approx. 3.9 miles away).
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 31, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 406 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 31, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.