Short History of
Washington County, Nebraska
Washington County is
located in eastern Nebraska on the Missouri River. It was
explored as early as 1739 by Paul and Pierre Malleet, who
were on a trapping expedition to Canada. In 1804, Lewis
and Clark reported the establishment of the new United
States Government to a Council of Indian chiefs near the
present site of Fort Calhoun. As a result of this Council,
Fort Atkinson was established in 1819 and served as a key
midwestern outpost until its abandonment in 1827.
The first permanent
settlement in Washington County was made in 1854. In that
same year, the county was organized as one of the eight
original counties proclaimed by acting Governor Thomas B.
Cuming. The county seat has been located in three
different towns: Fort Calhoun, DeSoto, and finally at
Blair, its present site since 1869.