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Named for Trenton, New Jersey, the village of Trenton, Nebraska is the county seat of Hitchcock County. Before Trenton was established, there was a settlement one-quarter mile west known as Trail City, where people settled at a cattle crossing on the Republican River, on a hillside between Elm and Bush creeks. This is now the neighborhood of Trenton known as the Pow-Wow grounds, as Indians held their dances there from 1923 to 1956. In 1873, Hitchcock County was organized, and Culbertson was named the county seat, as it was the only town other than the small settlement at the cattle crossing. In the summer of 1873, a Pawnee hunting party of seven hundred men, women and children were massacred by the Sioux at what is now known as Massacre Canyon, greatly weakening the Pawnee, who inhabited the region. Homesteaders began coming into the area, and the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad extended its line in 1882, building a depot at Trail City rather than Culbertson. The new town of Trenton was platted, with its center a quarter mile to the west. Trenton was incorporated in 1887, and the county seat was moved from Culbertson to Trenton in 1894. Trenton is west of Culbertson, east of Stratton, and south of Beverly.



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