Sidney in Cheyenne County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The history of Nebraska and Cheyenne County correlate to the push westward of the transcontinental railroad in 1867. During the county’s earlier evolution, Frontier Trails connecting to the Oregon, Mormon, Overland, Emigrant Road, Pole Creek Crossing and Texas Cattle were pounded into its soul by thousands of wagon wheels. It was home to fierce native-American battles, and open prairie cattle industry, the Pony Express and a few trading posts. Named for the proud native-Americans that inhabited the area, Cheyenne County was 70 miles wide and 108 miles long, covering the south had of the Nebraska Panhandle 7,460 square miles and 4,838,400 acres. The north half of the Panhandle was unorganized territory, but was attached to Cheyenne County for judicial and legal transactions. Sidney was deemed the territorial capitol and county seat for the entire 15,120 square mile area. Later as more settlers came west and populations grew, 11 counties were carved out of the old Cheyenne County beginning in 1885.
To protect the Union Pacific builders, a federal order on April 29, 1867 stationed a company of
The first freighting routes here were established in the early 1800’s, but Sidney is most famous for its fascinating and colorful role during the 1874-1883 period when it was the famed 267-mile route of the Sidney-Deadwood Trail, also known as the Sidney-Black Hills Trail when gold was discovered in the Dakota Territory. Sidney won over a battle with Cheyenne, North Platte and Kearney as the most direct trade route, especially after 1876 when Sidney businessman H.T. Clarke built a 2,000 foot toll bridge over the
Known by such monikers dubbed by the eastern press as “Sinful Sidney”, “The Wickedest Burgh of the West”, “Toughest Town on the Tracks”, “The Hardest Hole” and even the “Magic City on the Plains” - booming 24-hour Sidney made national headlines frequently. The national press’ fascination and frequent front page page headlines about Sidney were fueled by lawlessness, “Old West” legends, corruption, frequent hangings (at this site) and its spirited nasty battle with Cheyenne,
These two important acts passed by the United States Congress opened massive acres of the West to settlers in search of land to establish a new life. The Homestead Act of 1862 allowed for claiming 160 acres with five years residency and the Kincaid Act of 1904 sponsored by Nebraska Congressman Moses Kincaid allowed for claim to 640 acres with five years residency. A major territorial land office just one block from here doled out claims to settlers as Sidney reinvented itself as a major farming and ranching trade center from the 1880’s through the 1940’s. Numerous implement dealerships and regional agriculture distributorships opened in Sidney. The community buried its soiled past, wanting to establish itself as a permanent quiet,
Two monumental events would again change the course of Sidney history as America entered World War II. The Sioux Ordnance Depot was commissioned in 1942 by the U.S. Army and Sidney was pinpointed as a strategic location where an entire township (19,771 acres) was condemned and several hundred workers moved to build the massive munitions depot just northwest of here. The manufacturing and storage depot would employee over 2,000 people between 1942-1967. Today it serves as private industrial parks and is home to many industrial companies and jobs. Oil was discovered north of here in 1949 kicking off an oil and gas exploration and production boom of business and jobs that blossomed through three decades and continues to impact today on a smaller scale. Cheyenne County remains one of the largest oil and gas pro ducting counties in the State. The Nebraska Oil and Gas Commission state headquarters is still located here.
Golden Link 1974
Again because of its strange Midwest location, Cheyenne County became home to 38 Minuteman
A modern day renaissance of the Sidney area has occurred over the pas quarter century. Economic indicators tripled as the community utilized its logistics capabilities of having four major highways, three railroads, modern airport, long term infrastructure improvements and three industrial parks. A formal economic development partnership between the private and public sector, subsequent business development
Location. 41° 8.755′ N, 102° 58.611′ W. Marker is in Sidney, Nebraska, in Cheyenne County. Marker is at the intersection of Hickory Street and 10th Street, on the left when traveling east on Hickory Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1000 Hickory Street, Sidney NE 69162, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Sidney (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sioux Army Depot (approx. 7.7 miles away).
Also see . . . History of Sidney - Official Sidney Website. (Submitted on September 4, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 359 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on September 3, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 4, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.