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Beatrice, Nebraska is the county seat of Gage County. Situated south of Lincoln on the Big Blue River, the city is surrounded by agricultural land. At the time that Gage County was established by the Nebraska Territorial Legislature in 1854, there were no known settlers within the county. In 1857, a steamboat named Hannibal, which was carrying passengers up the Missouri River, ran aground near Kansas City, Missouri. While stranded, a group of thirty-five passengers like the area, and agreed to form the Nebraska Association, which would determine a town site and establish a settlement in the territory. After reaching Nebraska City, the group divided into two parties, one going west, while the other went south, and the latter group came upon the site of Beatrice, situated at the point where the DeRoin Trail crossed the Big Blue River, and the whole group decided to settle there, naming their new community after Julia Beatrice Kinney, the daughter of Judge John F. Kinney, a member of the association. The Territorial Legislature selected Beatrice as the county seat that same year. The passage of the Homestead Act in 1862 brought many more settlers to the area. Pid Purdy, who played in both Major League Baseball and the National Football League, was a native of Beatrice.


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