The City of Omaha through the Ages
The city of Omaha, located on the river Missouri, is the administrative center of the Douglas County of the State of Nebraska in the USA. The landmass on which the city stands today was populated as early as seventeenth century. However, a modern city does not emerge as soon as a region is inhabited by people. You may read on to learn how the original settlers paved the way for the emergence of the 42nd largest city of the United States. This article is about the city of Omaha through the ages and also discusses the history of Omaha.
The first ever settlement in the city of Omaha came into existence when the Omaha, the Ponca and other native American tribes migrated to this place from the Ohio river valley. The city is called ‘Omaha’ meaning “Dwellers on the bluff” because of the relocation of the earliest settlers from the east bank of the Missouri river to the west. These tribes continued to flourish through the eighteenth century and grew in complexities. By the early nineteenth century they were plagued with tribal disputes and there was perpetual turmoil in the region.
In 1804, Thomas Jefferson the then US President commissioned an expedition to the newly acquired territory in the western parts of the United States in order to save it from becoming a European dominion. When the expedition led by Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clarke reached the banks of Missouri, the two officers initiated talks with the tribal chieftains. Consequently, several trading outposts came into being which marked the American control over the territory.
William D. Brown established the Council Bluffs and Nebraska Ferry Company in 1850 which he had called the Lone Tree Ferry at that point of time. It was named after a stand-alone tree in the Nebraska bank of the river Missouri. Brown had the earliest vision of the City of Omaha, and his company actually played a pivotal role in the formulation and advancement of the city in the sense that it brought the settlers of the Council Bluffs from the eastern part of the river to the Omaha region.
In 1854, the tribal population was convinced by the US government to surrender their land to the federal government. The land patches were proposed to be sold to the American public in general. In order to boost his ferry service, Brown joined hands with other businessmen around this time and started acquiring land properties. In 1854, he created history by founding the first hotel of Omaha called St. Nicholas Hotel. The Omaha Central High School which served as a picnic spot at the Capital Hill in those days was the location for the unofficial inauguration of the city of Omaha. As Brown pioneered the development of the city, he is popularly considered as its founding father. In fact, one section of his ferry company became the first commercial building of the City of Omaha which housed the first post office as well as the first territorial legislature of the city. His ferry company was functional till the construction of the first bridge in this region, called the Omaha railroad bridge, in the year 1872.
The city has not looked back ever since trade and commerce gathered pace in this part of the world. In the late nineteenth century and later the City of Omaha saw the rise of numerous companies, hotels, cultural institutions, sports centers and administrative buildings. It is the location of the headquarters of big conglomerates such the Berkshire Hathaway. The city is one of the chief tourist attractions in contemporary times. Due to radical growth combined with a sharp increase in population, the City of Omaha is the largest city of the State of Nebraska today.