Knox county in Nebraska has a rich and fascinating history that spans many years. Here are seven interesting facts about this unique part of Nebraska's past:
1. Named After an Army Officer
Knox county was named after General Henry Knox who served in the American Revolutionary War. He later became the first United States Secretary of War under President George Washington.
2. Was Home to Multiple Native American Tribes
Long before European settlers arrived in the area, Knox county was inhabited by various indigenous tribes, including the Omaha, Ponca, and Yankton Sioux.
3. Hosted a Major Military Encampment
During the 1870s, Knox county hosted a major military encampment for the U.S. Army. This encampment was established to help provide security for settlers who were moving west along the newly constructed Union Pacific Railroad.
4. Home to Both Cattle and Corn
Knox county became known for its thriving cattle industry during the late 1800s, but it also became a major producer of corn during the early 1900s. At one time, Knox county was the largest corn-producing county in the state of Nebraska.
5. Birthplace of a Famous Aviator
Knox county was the birthplace of John Piccard, an accomplished aviator who became famous for his high-altitude balloon flights in the 1930s and 1940s.
6. Was the Site of a Major Energy Project
During the 1960s and 1970s, Knox county was the site of a major energy project called the Ost Project. This project aimed to harness the power of the Missouri River to generate electricity, but it was halted due to environmental concerns.
7. Has a Fascinating Connection to the Underground Railroad
Knox county also has a connection to the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom in the 19th century. One of the most famous safe houses in Nebraska was located in Knox county and was run by an abolitionist named Benjamin F. Marsh.
As you can see, Knox county has a rich history that is full of interesting facts and stories. Whether you are a history buff, a Nebraska native, or just curious about the area, there is much to explore and discover in this unique part of the state.
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