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Cozad, Nebraska is situated on the 100th Meridian. The city is named for John J. Cozad who, as he was traveling through the Platte Valley on the Union Pacific Railroad in 1872, was impressed by the area, considering it to be a favorable site for a town. Purchasing 40,000 acres of land from the railroad, he organized a campaign to encourage people to move to Cozad. Before long, the railroad constructed a depot at Cozad, and Mr. Cozad erected a hotel and several other buildings. Five or six hundred people were living there by 1876 but, soon afterwards, swarms of grasshoppers decimated everything that was green, prompting all but five families to abandon the town. Nevertheless, the town continued, and its population grew again, even after Mr. Cozad fled the area to avoid being arrested for a shooting that he was involved in, assumed the surname of Henri, and his son became a famous artist and teacher of art in New York City. Cozad is in Dawson County, on the Great Plains of central Nebraska. Cozad is southeast of Gothenburg and northwest of Lexington.


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