Red Willow County


Byway 136 coordinator for Red Willow County – Betty Kenner with Accents Etc., 307 Norris Ave, McCook, Ne 69001,             308-345-7480, Email

McCook Area Chamber of Commerce, 203 West 2nd St, PO Box 337 McCook, Ne 69001, 308-345-3200, Tourism Hotline – 800-657-2179, Fax 308-345-3201, Email, Web

Tourism Director for Red Willow County, Carol Schlegel, 402 Norris Avenue, Room 318, PO Box 147, McCook, NE 69001,
(308) 345-1200 ext 318, Fax: (308) 345-2152, Email:

Documented History check with Southwest Nebraska Genealogy Society (Library & Research) 110 West C Suite M2 & D, PO Box 156, McCook  69001 Email,, Sherrie Dack 308-350-0126

Red Willow County Attractions, Historical Markers and Tourism information.


  1. George Norris Home, Nebraska State Historical Society, more information below, 706 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-8484 Hours Wed thru Fri 1:00 to 4:30 and Sat 1:00 to 3:30
  2. The Sutton House by Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 602 Norris Ave, McCook, this is a private residence so you are not able to go inside but you may drive by. A book “The Sutton House” by Donald Morgan & John Altberg has the history of the home and wonderful pictures. It is available at Accents Etc. 307 Norris Ave, McCook NE 69001 308-345-7480.
  3. Museum of the High Plains Historical Society, Carnegie Library, Bench and Plaque for KIA Soldiers, 413 Norris Ave, 308-345-3661
  4. McCook Army Air Base, more information below,7 miles north and 3 miles west of McCook
  5. Pawnee Woman’s Grave, Indianola City Park, Indianola. More information below.
  6. Mallalieu University, Bartley Town Park, Bartley More information below.
  7. Bohemian Pioneers monument site where Bohemian Pioneers camped on land owned by Jennings. A flash flood drowned many of them in the night.
  8. Red Willow County 1935 Flood height markers put out by the National Weather service one in Indianola at Latitude: 40.2327; Longitude: -100.4172 and the other in Bartley Latitude: 40.24972 ; Longitude: -100.30621. One is located in McCook at Barnett Park, S Hwy 83 on the shelter by the army tank.
  9. Marker near Marion on the Massacre of the Nelson Buck Surveying Party
  10. Marker on Hwy 6& 34 by Red Willow School – The First Homestead in Red Willow County Filing made by William W.W. Jones Jan. 10 1872 Beginning of the white settlement and development of the county.- Later William W.W.Jones State Supt.Pub.Inst. 1884 and 1885 – Dedicated 1934 to Geo. C. Hill Pioneer
  11. POW Camp about 1 mile north of Indianola, It is on private land and at this point has o the foundations of the barracks, 10’x 10’ building that was part of the hospital, a cave like shelter, old chimneys and the old water tower. No markers.
  12. Southwest Nebraska Genealogy Society (Library & Research) 110 West C Suite M2 & D, PO Box 156, McCook 69001 Email,, Sherrie Dack 308-350-0126
  13. DAR Stone Building, constructed by National Youth Administration in 1939,  Located on East M St (Next to McCook Community Pool and the Community College).  The contents from the building are located in the Museum of the High Plains Historical Society.
  14. Sculptor of Ben Nelson with his parents located by his boyhood home, 604 Norris Ave, McCook
  15. Norris Park Band Shelter and “Going Home” (Sculpture by Sondra Jonson – In Honor of All Veterans an Eagle Scout project by the Boy Scouts of America). Norris Park, McCook
  16. Perry (west of McCook) Site of ruins of old fort to protect the early settlers from the Indians. Arrows embedded in the walls and earthwork protection still are visible. (This information was taken from a publication of Southwest Nebraska Genealogical Data guide compiled in 1994 as a place of interest.  I don’t know what is still there or if there is a marker)
  17. See List of Cemeteries
  18. See List of Churches
  19. See List of Old Towns

Attractions Non Historical:

  1. Heritage Hills Golf Course, 6000 Club House Dr, McCook 308-345-5032
  2. Skate Board Park, Kelley Park, McCook, 69001
  3. Frisbee Golf Course, Kelley Park, McCook,  69001
  4. Red Willow Dam and Hugh Butler Lake, 11 miles north of McCook West of Hwy 83. Other lakes near McCook but not in Red Willow are Swanson Lake near Trenton and Harry Strunk Lake near Cambridge.
  5. Live Music and Theater: Contact the business for Performance Dates and Times and Ticket Info
    1. McCook Historical Fox Theater, McCook Concert Association, headquarter at Hershberger’s Music Store, McCook, 308-340-2592 or check with the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-657-2179
    2. Sehnert’s Bakery and Bieroc Café, 312 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-6500
    3. Loop Brewing Co, 404 West A, McCook, 308-345-5198
    4. The Coppermill Steakhouse, N Hwy 83 & Coppermill St, McCook, Shows Tue. and Sat.308-345-2296
    5. Lighthouse Marina and Grill, Red Willow Reservoir (11 miles north McCook, west of Hwy 83) 308-345-2292 Live music starting May 20th and going to September 2
  6. McCook Art Guild Gallery, 209 Norris Ave, McCook 308-345-4816 Hours Mon. and Sat 10:00 to 4:00, Wed., Thur., and Fri. 1:00 to 4:00
  7. Antique Shops:
    1. Accents Etc, 307 Norris Ave, McCook 308-345-7480
    2. Huegels Hutch, 401 Norris Ave, McCook 345-7564
    3. Lemon Street Antiques, 501 Lemon St, Bartley 308-962-4669
    4. Take Me Home Treasures, 305 Norris Ave, McCook, 785-734-7769
    5. The Painted Ladies, 319 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-340-2623
  8. Mid-Plains Community College, 1205 East 3rd St, McCook 800-658-4348
  9. Parks in Red Willow County
    1. Barnett Park, McCook
    2. Kelley Park, McCook
    3. Norris Park, McCook
    4. City of Indianola Park Indianola
    5. Bartley Town Park, Bartley



George W. Norris, whose home is on Norris Avenue, McCook, Nebraska, served forty years in the Congress of the United States. Born in Ohio, he worked his way through college, followed the footsteps of the pioneers westward, settling in Nebraska. He began his public career as County Attorney of Furnas County, served as District Judge for seven years, was elected in 1902 to the first of five consecutive terms in the United States House of Representatives.

Elected to the United States Senate in 1912, beginning a service of thirty years, he championed the rights of the common man, and the conservation and development of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Among his great achievements are the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Rural Electrification Administration, the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and the Anti-Injunction Act, as well as the establishment of the Unicameral Legislature in the State of Nebraska. He was elected to the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 1961.

George W. Norris, the “Gentle Knight of Progressive Ideals”, one of the Nation’s great statesmen, served well the State and the Nation.

High Plains Historical Society
Historical Land Mark Council
US 6-34, McCook
Red Willow County
Marker 25


The Republican Valley was the center of one of the major buffalo ranges of the Great Plains. It was a favorite hunting ground of several Indian tribes. Pawnee, Sioux, Oto and Cheyenne spent much time here as late as 1874. These tribal hunts, however, created problems, for they brought together tribes traditionally at war.

The major encounter in this region was the Battle of Massacre Canyon, fought on August 5, 1873. It took place twenty-five miles west of here near present Trenton. A thousand Sioux warriors surprised and defeated a Pawnee hunting party of 350 men, women and children, killing 69 of them. The Pawnee retreated to this vicinity, where they mourned their dead throughout the night.

One survivor was a severely wounded Pawnee woman, whose child had been killed in the battle. A homesteader found her a few miles upstream and brought her here to Indianola, a frontier settlement established in 1872. The woman was cared for by the settlers until she died a few days later. A crude coffin was prepared, and she was buried on the banks of Coon Creek. Her body was reburied here in 1975 by the community during the American Revolution Bicentennial Year. Representative of the Pawnee Indian Tribe took part in the ceremony.

Bicentennial Ladies Group
Nebraska State Historical Society
Indianola City Park
Red Willow County


McCook Army Air Base, activated April 1, 1943, was one of eleven Army Air Force training bases in Nebraska during World War II. The base was under the command of 2nd Air Force Headquarters, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and provided final training of heavy bomber crews for the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, and B-29 Super Fortress. Some 15,000 servicemen and 500 civilians were stationed here. Among the bomb groups trained at McCook were elements of the 8th, 15th, and 20th Air Forces. These bomb groups saw combat in the European, Mediterranean, and Pacific Theaters.

The 2,100-acre base included three 150 by 7,500-foot concrete runways, five hangars, and barracks for 5,000 men. It operated with three divisions: Base Services (hospital, chapel, theater, band, gymnasium, fire station, post office, photo lab, library, and military police); Maintenance and Supply (air service groups, post engineers, machine shop, warehouses); and Training (celestial navigation, gunnery and bombing, communications, radar, and aircraft maintenance). The base closed December 31, 1945.

Nebraska State Historical Society
McCook Army Air Base Historical Society
7 miles north and 3 miles west of McCook
Red Willow County
Marker 347


In June, 1886, the townsite of Bartley was platted on land owned by the Reverend Allen Bartley, a minister of the Methodist Church. The previous year, Methodist Bishop Mallalieu had proposed this site as the location for a church-affiliated institution of higher education, and in April, 1886, the Reverend Bartley was authorized to establish a University here. By July, some 27 buildings had been erected in the new town.

The University, named for Bishop Mallalieu, was opened in September, 1886, with an enrollment of sixty students. Courses were taught in the liberal arts, music, and business. The first class was graduated in the spring of 1888, and that summer, construction began on the first of the permanent University buildings, Haddock Hall, which was located a short distance north of this point.

The Hall was not completed, however, as drought and adverse economic conditions soon forced the University to close its doors. The school never reopened, and the bricks from Haddock Hall were later used in the construction of the Methodist Church of Bartley, the only reminder of this early attempt to bring higher education to southwest Nebraska.

High Plains Historical Society
Nebraska State Historical Society
US 34, Bartley Town Park
Red Willow County
Marker 135 

Byway 136 information Red Willow County


  1. Arby’s Roast Beef, 900 West B St, McCook, 308-345-7154
  2. Citta’ Deli, 110 West 3rd St, McCook, 308-345-1515
  3. Coppermill Steakhouse, N Hwy 83 & Coppermill St, McCook, 308-345-2296
  4. El Puerto Mexican Restaurant, 311 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-2936
  5. Fuller’s Family Restaurant, 110 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-7464
  6. Loop Brewing Co, 404 West A, McCook, 308-345-5198
  7. Mac’s Drive-In, 809 West B St, McCook, 308-345-2420
  8. McDonald’s, 501 N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-7474
  9. Rocket Inn,  121 N 4th St, Indianola, 308-364-9906
  10. Royal Buffet, 305 West 10th St, McCook, 308-345-4117
  11. Runza Restaurant,  802 N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-3786
  12. Sehnert’s Bakery, Bieroc Café, Tied House, 312 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-6500
  13. Subway Sandwiches and Salads, 216 Westview Plaza (Hwy 83 N), 308-345-2322
  14. Taco John’s, 710 West B St, McCook, 308-345-1980
  15. Pizza Hut, N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-4150
  16. Taste of Texas BBQ, 112 West 11th St, McCook, 308-345-1611
  17. Tequilla’s Mexican Restaurant, 205 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-4036
  18. The Garlic Shop, 102 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-344-9390
  19. Wendy’s Old Fashion Hamburgers, 226 N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-7618
  20. JHcupcakes, 102 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-737-9139
  21. Lighthouse Marina and Grill, Red Willow Reservoir (11 miles north McCook, west of Hwy 83) 308-345-2292


  1. Cedar Inn, 1300 East C St, McCook, 308-345-7091
  2. Chief Motel, 612 West B, McCook, 308-345-3700
  3. Cobblestone Inn & Suites, 1301 N Hwy 83, McCook, 888-693-8262
  4. Days Inn & Suites, 901 N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-7115
  5. Economy 8 Motel, 1103 East B St, McCook, 308-345-1141
  6. Horse Creek Inn, 1 Bison Dr Hwy 83 N, McCook, 308-345-4505
  7. Karrer Park, Hwy 6 & 34 East End of McCook, Has camper hookups and a bathrooms with showers during summer months.
  8. Red Willow Reservoir and Hugh Butler Lake, 11miles N Hwy 83 of McCook, has camping w/ camper hook ups, bathrooms and showers during summer months


  1. McCook National Bank, ATM at 215 West 1st, West 5th and D, Junction of Hwy 6 & 34 and Hwy 83, the main bank is located at 220 Norris Ave, McCook 308-345-4240, 800-595-9286
  2. AmFirst Bank, 602 West B, ATM in drive thru, McCook 308-345-1555
  3. First Central Bank, 904 N Hwy 83, ATM in drive thru McCook 308-345-4994
  4. Wells Fargo, 108 West D, McCook, ATM in drive thru 308-345-1575
  5. Horizon Bank, 312 West 1st, ATM on drive thru, McCook, 308-345-1744
  6. Great Western Bank, 312 West 1st, ATM in the lobby and 1 in the Library at the College, McCook  308-345-5620
  7. Lincoln Federal Savings Bank, 221 Norris Ave, no ATM, McCook 308-345-2454
  8. Adams State Bank, 205 North 4th , ATM in the drive thru, Indianola 308-364-2215
  9. State Bank of Bartley, 402 Commercial St, no ATM, Bartley 308-692-3333

Gas Stations:

McCook has at least 5 all located on Hwy 6 & 34.  Indianola and Bartley each have one.




Arbor Lodge

Arbor Day Farm

Lewis & Clark

Red Willow County Map

Red Willow County Historic Courthouse

Prairie Chicken Dance Tours