Walking West with Robert Campbell

Mile 815- Grand Island, Nebras­ka (Mod­ern Day)

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Grand Island, Nebras­ka
Cir­ca 1867

Robert Camp­bell and Com­pa­ny con­tin­ued to make their way north up the Repub­li­can riv­er through­out that tough 1826 win­ter. Pre­sum­ably they made a short cut through the wilder­ness to reach the Plat­te riv­er, because by around April of 1826 the par­ty had reached Grand Island, in mod­ern day Nebras­ka. It must have been a relief for the par­ty when Gen­er­al William Ash­ley reached the par­ty with sup­plies. Ash­ley brought along about 25 men to replace the 25 that had desert­ed dur­ing the tough winter.

Today Grand Island is a city of about 85,000 res­i­dents in the metro area. Sit­u­at­ed in the south­ern half of Nebras­ka this city was found­ed in 1857 when a group of 35 set­tlers from Dav­en­port, Iowa set out to estab­lish a cen­tral Nebraskan city; one that they hoped would one day become the nation’s cap­i­tal. That dream was obvi­ous­ly nev­er real­ized, but the new city’s loca­tion on the Plat­te riv­er along with the lat­er con­struc­tion of a Union Pacif­ic rail­road sta­tion allowed for mod­er­ate suc­cess and growth. By the turn of the cen­tu­ry there were many man­u­fac­tur­ers call­ing Grand Island home.

Union Pacif­ic Eat­ing House
Grand Island, Nebras­ka
Cir­ca 1870