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Named for Chief Osceola of the Seminole tribe, the city of Osceola is the county seat of Polk County, Nebraska. The area was settled after the Rev. James Query and V.P. Davis came there with their families in 1868, and others arrived soon afterwards. When Polk County was organized in 1870, its county seat was three miles southeast of the current city. In a subsequent 1871 election, a site five miles north of the current city was proposed as the county seat, being at the county’s geographic center. Although tensions were high, the name of the county seat remained the same, Osceola. The town’s post office was moved to the new location, which was the terminus of the overland mail route from Lincoln. The Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad extended its tracks as far as Osceola in 1879, the same year that a college was chartered in Osceola, through the Methodist Episcopal Church, although it was moved to Fullerton in 1881, and then to Lincoln. Osceola was incorporated as a village in 1881. Four governors have come from Osceola, including Albinus Roberts Nance, John Hopwood Mickey, Ashton Shallenberger, and Stanley K. Hathaway, the latter of whom served as governor of Wyoming and US Secretary of the Interior.



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