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Nebraska County Countdown 67: Hitchcock County

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Welcome to Trenton!

massacre canyon monument
The Massacre Canyon Monument is located just off Highway 34 near Trenton, Nebraska.
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Welcome to southwest Nebraska and Hitchcock County. The county is home to 2,908 people and the county seat is Trenton. The other towns within the county borders include Culbertson, Stratton, and Palisade.

hitchcock county nebraska is highlighted in red

The county was founded in 1873 and named after Phineas Hitchcock, a surveyor-general and U.S. Senator. The original inhabitants were the Pawnee Indians who used the area as buffalo hunting grounds. In 1873, nearly 700 Pawnee men, women, and children were massacred by Sioux Indians. The monument to that battle is shown in the cover photo of this article.

From 1869-1884, Hitchcock County was part of the great Texas-Ogallala cattle trail. Most historical accounts of this time period talk about how the cowboys, flush with cash after delivering their herds to the railroad that would take the animals east, partook of every vice available.

As the photo below shows, it wasn’t all saloons and massacres in the early days of the county. The St. Paul’s Methodist Protestant Church, more commonly known as the “Stone Church” was built in 1900 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Stone Church

Another historical marker in Hitchcock County details how German prisoners of war were temporarily released from POW camps to help area farmers with the harvest between 1943 and 1945.

Husker “67” Trivia:

  • Current Husker wearing #67 - Jerald Foster, senior offensive guard from Lincoln.
  • Who wore it best? This one was easier than most to find. Offensive lineman Aaron Taylor is still the only Cornhusker to earn All-America honors at two different positions; center in 1996 and guard in 1997. He also won the Outland trophy in 1997.
  • The 1967 Cornhusker football team posted a 6-4 record; 3-4 in the Big Eight. The team started the season 3-0 and rose as high as #7 in the AP poll before losing to Kansas in the fourth game of the season. Even worse, the Huskers were shut out by the Jayhawks 10-0 and dropped completely out of the polls for the rest of the season. I guess laying an egg against Kansas was enough to completely change your season back then too.

Any other Hitchcock county or “67” Husker trivia I missed? Put them in the comments!