Heritage Highway 136

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 accentsetc@accents-etc.com

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 info@aboutmccook.com, Web www.aboutmccook.com

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: visit@gotomccook.com

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

Red Willow County Attractions, Historical Markers and Tourism information.

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
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.
Museum of the High Plains Historical Society, Carnegie Library, Bench and Plaque for KIA Soldiers, 413 Norris Ave, 308-345-3661
McCook Army Air Base, more information below,7 miles north and 3 miles west of McCook
Pawnee Woman’s Grave, Indianola City Park, Indianola. More information below.
Mallalieu University, Bartley Town Park, Bartley More information below.
Bohemian Pioneers monument site where Bohemian Pioneers camped on land owned by Jennings. A flash flood drowned many of them in the night.
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.
Marker near Marion on the Massacre of the Nelson Buck Surveying Party
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
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.
Southwest Nebraska Genealogy Society (Library & Research) 110 West C Suite M2 & D, PO Box 156, McCook 69001 Email swngs@hotmail.com, swings.org, Sherrie Dack 308-350-0126
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.
Sculptor of Ben Nelson with his parents located by his boyhood home, 604 Norris Ave, McCook
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
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)
See List of Cemeteries
See List of Churches
See List of Old Towns
Attractions Non Historical:
Heritage Hills Golf Course, 6000 Club House Dr, McCook 308-345-5032
Skate Board Park, Kelley Park, McCook, 69001
Frisbee Golf Course, Kelley Park, McCook, 69001
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.
Live Music and Theater: Contact the business for Performance Dates and Times and Ticket Info
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
Sehnert’s Bakery and Bieroc Café, 312 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-6500
Loop Brewing Co, 404 West A, McCook, 308-345-5198
The Coppermill Steakhouse, N Hwy 83 & Coppermill St, McCook, Shows Tue. and Sat.308-345-2296
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
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
Antique Shops:
Accents Etc, 307 Norris Ave, McCook 308-345-7480 accents-etc.com
Huegels Hutch, 401 Norris Ave, McCook 345-7564
Lemon Street Antiques, 501 Lemon St, Bartley 308-962-4669
Take Me Home Treasures, 305 Norris Ave, McCook, 785-734-7769
The Painted Ladies, 319 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-340-2623
Mid-Plains Community College, 1205 East 3rd St, McCook 800-658-4348
Parks in Red Willow County
Barnett Park, McCook
Kelley Park, McCook
Norris Park, McCook
City of Indianola Park Indianola
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

Arby’s Roast Beef, 900 West B St, McCook, 308-345-7154
Citta’ Deli, 110 West 3rd St, McCook, 308-345-1515
Coppermill Steakhouse, N Hwy 83 & Coppermill St, McCook, 308-345-2296
El Puerto Mexican Restaurant, 311 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-2936
Fuller’s Family Restaurant, 110 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-7464
Loop Brewing Co, 404 West A, McCook, 308-345-5198
Mac’s Drive-In, 809 West B St, McCook, 308-345-2420
McDonald’s, 501 N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-7474
Rocket Inn, 121 N 4th St, Indianola, 308-364-9906
Royal Buffet, 305 West 10th St, McCook, 308-345-4117
Runza Restaurant, 802 N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-3786
Sehnert’s Bakery, Bieroc Café, Tied House, 312 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-6500
Subway Sandwiches and Salads, 216 Westview Plaza (Hwy 83 N), 308-345-2322
Taco John’s, 710 West B St, McCook, 308-345-1980
Pizza Hut, N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-4150
Taste of Texas BBQ, 112 West 11th St, McCook, 308-345-1611
Tequilla’s Mexican Restaurant, 205 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-345-4036
The Garlic Shop, 102 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-344-9390
Wendy’s Old Fashion Hamburgers, 226 N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-7618
JHcupcakes, 102 Norris Ave, McCook, 308-737-9139
Lighthouse Marina and Grill, Red Willow Reservoir (11 miles north McCook, west of Hwy 83) 308-345-2292
Cedar Inn, 1300 East C St, McCook, 308-345-7091
Chief Motel, 612 West B, McCook, 308-345-3700
Cobblestone Inn & Suites, 1301 N Hwy 83, McCook, 888-693-8262
Days Inn & Suites, 901 N Hwy 83, McCook, 308-345-7115
Economy 8 Motel, 1103 East B St, McCook, 308-345-1141
Horse Creek Inn, 1 Bison Dr Hwy 83 N, McCook, 308-345-4505
Karrer Park, Hwy 6 & 34 East End of McCook, Has camper hookups and a bathrooms with showers during summer months.
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

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
AmFirst Bank, 602 West B, ATM in drive thru, McCook 308-345-1555
First Central Bank, 904 N Hwy 83, ATM in drive thru McCook 308-345-4994
Wells Fargo, 108 West D, McCook, ATM in drive thru 308-345-1575
Horizon Bank, 312 West 1st, ATM on drive thru, McCook, 308-345-1744
Great Western Bank, 312 West 1st, ATM in the lobby and 1 in the Library at the College, McCook 308-345-5620
Lincoln Federal Savings Bank, 221 Norris Ave, no ATM, McCook 308-345-2454
Adams State Bank, 205 North 4th , ATM in the drive thru, Indianola 308-364-2215
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.

Red Willow County Towns

Addenda: Place shown in early county atlas as a community.
Banksville: Peak population (1910) 19. PO established 1886; discontinued 9/30/1907. Named in honor of Edward Banks, former sheriff and father of Mrs. Winfield S. Webster. Included one store owned by Mr. Benjamin.
Bartley: Peak population (1910) 511. PO established 7/29/1886. Named in honor of Rev. Allen Bartley, Methodist Episcopal minister who homesteaded the land on which the town was platted in July 1886. A Methodist school, Mallaliew College was operated here for a few terms before it was abandoned.
Billingsville: A proposed town site located in 1871 by a man named Billings from Cheyenne Wyoming Territory. Never went beyond the platting stage in early county history.
Bondville: Peak population (1890) 12. PO established 3/13/1882; discontinued 12/6/1887. Named in honor of William Bond, first postmaster.
Boxelder: PO established 9/30/1879; discontinued 6/15/1911. Named for the heavy growth of box elder timber in the locality.
Campbell: Formally called Perry
Camp Redwillow: Early army post established during the Indian uprisings in the western part of the state.
Canby: PO established 6/23/1874; discontinued 8/20/1875. Name origin unknown. Dr. Bennett first postmaster.
Coon Creek: Early establishment named for the stream on which it was located. Creek named for the numerous raccoon trapped along its banks.
Danbury: Peak population (1930) 321. PO established 12/24/1873; name changed to Danbury Station 1/13/188; changed back to Danbury 4/16/1888. Suggested name was “Cedarville” for the many Cedar trees on the bluffs to the southwest; however, this name was already approved as a PO in Sanders County. Named in honor of Danbury, CT, the former home town of the first postmaster George Gilbert.
Danbury Station: See note above on Danbury.
Fairview: PO established 7/2/1879; name changed to McCook 6/14/1882. Named in honor of its descriptive location as the river bank on the north side of the stream at this place is quite high and commands a view of the Republican Valley. S. Homer Colvin, postmaster.
Hamburgh: A former PO between Danbury and Lebanon. PO established 11/24/1879; discontinued 1/18/1888. Named in honor of Mr. S.F. McDonald’s wife who came from Hamburg, Germany.
Indianola: Peak population (1930) 815. PO established 6/25/1873. Named in honor of Indianola, Iowa, former town of I.H. Starbuck. First postmaster was Dr. A.J. Shaw in summer of 1873. Platted by the Republican Valley Land Association and surveyed by D.N. Smith in May 1873. Indianola was made county seat on the county’s establishment but lost the title in the election with McCook, April 1896.
Lebanon: Peak population (1930) 262. PO established 9/12/1876. Mr. B.F. Bradbury homesteaded, owned a store there, and was first postmaster. Named in honor of Lebanon, Ohio, Bradbury’s former home town. Mrs. Bradbury suggested two names; that of Lebanon, her husband’s home town, or Honeoye, her home in Pennsylvania. The railroad station was known as Lebanon Station.
Luray: PO established 6/23/1884; discontinued 9/21/1886. Named in honor of Luray, Virginia probably.
Marion: Peak population (1930) 252. PO established 1/15/1902. Named in honor of one Marion Powell who owned a large tract of land and was prominent in the town’s livestock and feed business. Undecided whether to use the name Marion or Powell; however, Powell was proved a town name in Nebraska so the officials of the Burlington and Missouri Railroad chose Marion.
McCook: Peak population (1980) 8404. PO name changed from Fairview 6/14/1882. Name given by the Burlington Railroad in honor of Union general Alexander McDowell McCook, Civil War. City platted by the Lincoln Land Company. Won county seat election against Indianola 4/15/1986. McCook is the chosen division point by Burlington Railroad to establish headquarters for shops, etc. for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroads.
Narcissus: PO established 11/14/1879; discontinued 7/26/1880. Name origin unknown.
Perry: Station on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad named in honor of W.S. Perry, superintendent of bridges on the McCook division. Station was first called Campbell in honor of A. Campbell, first superintendent who originally named it.
Redwillow: Peak population (1890) 105. PO established 4/22/1872; discontinued 8/31/1912. First PO in county. Named in honor of the county and creek of local by the Republican Valley Land Company, Royal Buck, Pres.
Shippee: Peak Population (1890) 14. PO established 2/10/1913; discontinued 1934. Present Orleans-Francis branch if the Burlington Railroad and former town named for Leonard Shippee, first postmaster and early resident. His grandmother Shippee helped to make the first U.S. flag n 1812. She then lived in Catamount Hill, Massachusetts near Shelborn Falls.
Silver Creek: PO established 5/5/1876; discontinued 3/12/1877. Named in honor of creek it was located on.
Stoughton: A former PO between Danbury and Cedar Bluffs, Kansas. PO established 3/24/1880; discontinued 2/5/1886. Named in honor of Rev. Stoughton and early homesteader. Also, Mr. R.S Cooley and early pioneer to his homestead as Stoughton.
Tryone: PO established 5/4/1881; discontinued 5/5/1902. Named in honor of Tryone, PA by Mrs. Sallie Moore, wife of Charles Moore, first postmaster. Was first referred to as “Tyrone Place” but a few months later the PO Department on Washington shortened the name to Tyrone, leaving off Place.
Vailton: PO established 3/29/1881; discontinued 8/14/1900. Origin of name was the fact that it was in a valley of Driftwood Creek. First postmaster R.H. Williams.
Valley Grange: PO established 9/29/1873; discontinued 2/4/1884. The Nat’l Grange, a farmer’s organization, was active in Nebraska during this period and the town was probably named in honor of the “Grange” organization. Located in the valley of the Driftwood near McCook. William Fitch was the first postmaster. William H. Berger was master of the “Grange”, he was killed by lightning in 1875.
Van Wyck: PO established 3/28/1881; discontinued 4/6/1883. Named in honor of Charles H. Van Wyck, U.S. senator.
Whitney: PO established 3/12/1877; moved to Red Willow County on 8/1/1879 from Furnas County; discontinued 12/23/1884. Named on honor of B.F. Whitney, early settler, store owner and county official.
Willow Grove: PO established 6/25/1879; discontinued 5/28/1882. Named for a grove of willow trees near the post office.
Red Willow County Cemeteries

Dry Creek – 2 miles north of Barley, west 1 mile, East side of the road
Hamburg – South on Hwy 83 to Hwy 89, then East to Danbury, first road north 1 ½ miles, east side of road
Ash Creek – Red Willow School, 1 mile East of Hwy 6 & 34, first road South 5 miles, turn west 1 mile, South 1 mile, East side of road
Box Elder – Hwy 6 & 34 to East 11th on McCook, turn north 5 miles , east 1 mile, follow road 2 miles, west side road
Mt Zion Church – Hwy 6 & 34, west to Perry Grain, north 3 miles, gravel road west
Danbury/Marion – South from McCook on Hwy 83 to Hwy 89, East to Marion, 1 mile east, north 1 ½ miles, west side of road
Pleasant Prairie – South McCook on Hwy 83 5 miles, Elmer Lofton Farm, get direction thru farms
Bartley – Hwy 6 & 34 in Bartley, then 1 mile north, east side of road
Indianola – Hwy 6 & 34 in Indianola, then 1 mile north, 1 ½ miles west
St Catherine’s – Same direction as the Indianola Cemetery, south side
Trinity Lutheran – 5 miles south of Bartley, east side of road
Lebanon City – ½ mile west, ½ mile south of Lebanon
Church of Christ – Hwy 6 & 34, 4 miles west of Indianola, at Red Willow School turn north 2 miles , northeast side of road
Tyrone – Soutn of McCook Hwy 83 to Hwy 89, East to Danbury to Lebanon 16 miles, north 1 mile, 1 mile west, north 1 ½ mile, east side of road
Riverview – in McCook Hwy 6 & 34 Junction of N Hwy 83 , north side of road
Memorial Park – in McCook, N Hwy 83 to J St, East to West 14th
Calvary – in McCook, N Hwy 83 to J St, East ½ block, north side of road
Abandoned Cemetery – Stoughton – 2 miles west of Marion
Abandoned Cemetery – Fairview – Southeast of McCook on Hwy 83 5 ½ miles, turn east 1 mile, south 1 mile, west side of road.
Southwest Nebraska genealogy library has a Red Willow County Book, list Alpha order A-Z Surname, Dates of Birth/Death, Cemetery Location

Red Willow County Churches

In phone book:


Catherine’s Catholic Church, 815 D Street, 308-364-2428
John’s Lutheran Church, 39097 Rd 712, 308-364-2706
United Methodist Church, 404 North 5th St, 308-364-9240

Assembly of God, 811 East C, 308-345-5734
Christian Science First Church of Christ Scientist, 601 West 1st, 308-345-2907
Church of Christ, 711 East G, 308-345-2907
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 411 Elisabeth Lane, 308-345-5406
Congregational First Church, 212 East E St, 308-345-3226
Cornerstone Fellowship, 402 West 5th, 308-345-2330
Evangelical Free Church, 602 E 14th , 308-348-1661
First Assembly of God Church, 308-345-6045
Grace Baptist Church, 1010 East 6th , 308-345-3747
Jehovah’s Witnesses, 2010 West J St, 308-345-4364
Lutheran Church of Our Savior’s ELCA, 312 Seminole, 308-345-2363
Lutheran Peace Church – LCMS, 411 East 6th, 308-345-2595
McCook Baptist Church, 329 N Cherokee, 308-345-2724
McCook Christian Church, 507 West B, 507 West B, 308-345-1516
McCook Harvest Church, 207 East 6th, 308-345-4810
Nazarene Church of McCook, 801 West 1st, 308-345-7457
Norris Avenue Chapel,1211 Norris Ave, 308-345-7744
Alban’s Episcopal Church, 509 West 1st, 308-345-4844
Patrick’s Catholic Church, 409 East F St, 308-345-5542
Seventh Day Adventist Church, 212 W 7th. 308-345-3202
Trinity Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod, 1619 West 3rd. 308-345-6558
United Methodist Church of McCook, 105 East E St, 308-345-2445