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Situated in the Great Plains region of Dawes County, Nebraska, the city of Chadron is the county seat and the home of Chadron State College. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Lakota in South Dakota is nearby. After pushing other tribes to the west, the Oglala Lakota and the Cheyenne lived in the area prior to its settlement by European Americans. The city is named for Louis Chadron, a French-Indian fur trapper who operated a trading post on Bordeaux Creek in 1841. The city was established when the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad came through the region, connecting Omaha to Wyoming. Initially, its name was O’Linn, for Fannie O’Linn, who had established a community at the confluence of the White River and Chadron Creek, where the railroad was expected to branch. However, when the railroad came through six miles away, the town moved to the new location. Chadron was the starting point of the 1,000-mile Chadron-Chicago Cowboy Horse Race that was held during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.


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