Dobytown, Nebraska

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dobytown, Nebraska 2.jpg
Commemorative plaque at the Dobytown site
Dobytown, Nebraska is located in Nebraska
Dobytown, Nebraska
Dobytown, Nebraska is located in the US
Dobytown, Nebraska
Location Kearney County, Nebraska
Nearest city Kearney, Nebraska
Coordinates 40°38′30″N 99°2′51″W / 40.64167°N 99.04750°W / 40.64167; -99.04750Coordinates: 40°38′30″N 99°2′51″W / 40.64167°N 99.04750°W / 40.64167; -99.04750
Built 1859
NRHP Reference # 74001125[1]
Added to NRHP December 16, 1974

Dobytown is a ghost town in Kearney County, Nebraska, United States,[2] three miles west of Fort Kearny. Officially named Kearney City, the community was established in 1859. The town was given the common name of Dobytown because it contained mostly adobe buildings.[3] Although the community no longer exists,[2] the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[1] The site is located at an altitude of 2,129 feet (649 m).[2]

As one of the most important stops for travelers between Independence, Missouri and the West Coast,[4] Dobytown evolved to meet the needs of the thousands of soldiers, traders, teamsters and pioneers traveling west. Gambling, liquor and prostitution were among its main attractions.[5] 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 was located in Dobytown and it was the first county seat of Kearney County.

One of Dobytown's most famous visitors, General William Tecumseh Sherman described the horrible whiskey he was served there as tanglefoot.[6]

The completion of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1869 reduced the travel along the trail and by the fort. The U.S. Army issued an order for abandonment of Fort Kearny on 22 May 1871. This caused Dobytown to be abandoned.[7]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dobytown, Nebraska
  3. ^ Morton, Julius Sterling (1899). The Conservative. Morton Print. Company. p. 87. 
  4. ^ Chisholm, Hugh (1911). The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information. Encyclopædia Britannica. p. 707. 
  5. ^ Mattes, Merrill J. (1987). The Great Platte River Road: The Covered Wagon Mainline Via Fort Kearny to Fort Laramie. U of Nebraska Press. p. 220. ISBN 0-8032-8153-6. 
  6. ^ Athearn, Robert G., William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement of the West, University of Oklahoma Press, 1956, ISBN 978-0-80612-769-9. Pg. 60
  7. ^ Capace, Nancy (1999). Encyclopedia of Nebraska. North American Book Dist LLC. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-403-09834-7.