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The city of Kearney, Nebraska is the county seat of Buffalo County, and home to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. When the community was first settled, it was located two miles southeast of its current location, and known as Dobytown. The city was later moved to be closer to Fort Kearny, a U.S. Army post along the Oregon Trail, and renamed Kearney, for the fort, which had been named for Colonel Stephen W. Kearny, who was later promoted to general. The extra “e” was probably a clerical error by the post office, but it stuck. Kearney is situated north of the Platte River, southwest of Gibbon. Settlement of the town began in 1871, when the Reverend and Mrs. Collins entered a homestead claim there, and their home became known as Junction House, the site of the town’s first post office, school district, and church service. Prior to that time, settlers passed the area along the Oregon Trail.


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