The History of Omaha NE


Omaha is a city situated in the eastern Nebraska region along the west bank of the Missouri River and right opposite to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Omaha Nebraska is the largest city in the state with the highest population. It is also a transportation, trade, and manufacturing hub. Omaha in the early days was most well-known for its thriving livestock business. From the early 1890s till today, Omaha is considered as the leader in the meat processing industry. It has the largest livestock market in the world.

Omaha NE was founded in the year 1854 and quickly became the gateway to the west. Omaha provided a pathway to the valley of Platte. The name of the city originates from an Indian word which means “upstream people”.

Early 20th Century Downtown Omaha NE | ecoScapes Lawn Care

Early History


Omaha came into being after being discovered by Meriwether Lewis and William Clarke in the year 1804 when they were on their exploratory journey. It all started out when illegal land speculators started to take the land of Omaha. In the 1850s, many of the Omaha tribe people were selling their tribal land to the United States. The land almost consisted of four million acres which was sold for no more than 22 cents per acre. The Kansas Nebraskan Act was created after this event which created the borders of Nebraska and Kansas. Both these states remained slave free. The new city of Omaha cheered for their new territory on Capitol Hill which is known as Central High School today.

Old Market District of Omaha Nebraska

First Real Estate Company of USA


Nathan Philips Doge and Grenville Philips Doge were brothers who left their city of Massachusetts in the year 1853 and moved to the Douglas County area with their family. In 1855, they started a land office in Council Bluffs. Grenville went to serve as a general during the Civil War, but Nathan Philips stayed and created a land-sale business. With his determination, he founded NP Dodge, America’s first and longest running real estate firm.


The Union Pacific Railroad


In order to avoid the hustle of building a bridge over the Missouri River, Council Bluffs was chosen as the eastern stopping point. This decision made sure that Omaha would play a major role in being the transportation center for the country. In 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act was passed which is how the Union Pacific Railroad was formed. It was constructed west of Council Bluffs to join the Central Pacific Railroad line. Union Pacific Railroad was headquartered in Omaha Nebraska making the city an important railroad capital of the entire world.


The Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition


The world’s first fair known as the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition was held in Omaha in 1898. The main purpose of this fair was to showcase the western culture and its many developments. It displayed the improvements that happened from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast. The exposition was a big hit as over 2.6 million people showed up and viewed the 4062 exhibits. The city did an excellent job in hosting the exposition by building temporary buildings and structures for the exposition. Some structures were the duplicates of the Roman temples. Kountze Park was the center of the fair and grand court of the massive exposition.


University Of Nebraska Omaha


The University of Omaha was founded in the year 1908 which is now known as the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The university was founded by the faculty of the Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The university was at first a private and religious university but with time, it did become public. Today the university is globally recognized and is well known for providing virtual education through online courses and degrees. The university is best known for its graduate education, community engagement, and friendliness.


Civil Rights in Omaha


The national civil rights movement began in the 1940’s but Omaha actually started securing the rights of Americans in 1876 when Standing Bear v. Crook was in strong favor of the Native Americans.  Crook gave them their civil rights.

TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha NE

Rosenblatt Stadium


Omaha was already a very popular city in the country but with the Union Pacific Railroad and large livestock processing, it became even more famous. The Omaha stockyards became the largest livestock processing center of the world. Omaha also gained huge popularity after the construction of Rosenblatt Stadium. It changed the city’s entire fate. Omaha has hosted millions of fans for the College World Series every year since the construction of Rosenblatt. TD Ameritrade Park was opened in 2011 and has played host to the CWS ever since. Eventually the age of Rosenblatt stadium caught up with it and unfortunately, Rosenblatt was torn down in 2012 and turned into a parking space for the Henry Doorly Zoo.


Contemporary Omaha


Omaha Nebraska as we know it today is thriving and continues to be the largest livestock market in the world. It is also the largest railroad hub in the country. Union Pacific Railroad was formed in Omaha Ne which has seen immense growth in the last few decades. Omaha is located in the center of the therefore it is a common stop for truckers.


Most of the jobs in Omaha are in the service sector. It is home to some of the world’s corporations such as Mutual of Omaha, Kellogs, and ConAgra. The city also takes pride in being the hometown of Warren Buffett, investor, philanthropist and world renown Billionaire. The city remains known for its excellent food processing. It is a major source of employment and many agricultural related activities are adding to the economy. There are many more industries that are thriving in Omaha such as the metal fabricating, pipes manufacturing, steel casting, truck bodies, farm machineries, and motion picture projection equipment.


The city has many tourist attractions and important landmarks. Amongst the city’s notable sites are The Arts and Entertainment District, Henry Doorly Zoo, Historic Old Market, World Famous Boys Town, and Lauritzen Gardens.


Omaha’s top education institutions include Creighton University, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Grace University, and the all-women’s College of St. Mary.


Boys Town is probably the most well-known landmark of the city. It’s significance dates all the way back to 1917 when Edward J. Flanagan made a refuge for the homeless boys. It was a refuge that did not see race or religion. The first year hosted 1000 boys. Soon it gained the title of Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys. It has been a national historic monument since its founding.


Learn more about Omaha: The History of Memorial Park in Omaha NE



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