DescriptionIn 1872 John J. Cozad—in a swallowtail suit offset by a diamond stickpin and gold-headed cane—was seen strolling along the Union Pacific tracks miles from the nearest station. The section boss who had seen this “apparition” stopped and questioned the stranger. Cozad spoke at length about a town he envisioned astride the 100th meridian. Through persistence and at much expense, Cozad built his town, but he never saw it prosper, for less than 10 years later he left town under a murder indictment and was never heard from again.
Only in the mid-1950s was the riddle of Cozad's disappearance solved. After leaving town John and his two sons each assumed different identities. One of his sons, Robert Henry Cozad, became Robert Henri, one of the leading artists and teachers of the early 20th century and founder of the Ash Can School. His original painting, “Mariana of Austria,” is displayed in the Robert Henri Museum, 218 E. 8th St. The town John J. Cozad founded is now a small manufacturing center and a marketplace for the region's farmers.
The 100th Meridian Museum displays local artifacts and the touring coach used by President William Howard Taft on a family visit to Yellowstone National Park; phone (308) 784-1100.
Visitor InfoCozad Area Chamber of Commerce 135 W. 8th St. COZAD, NE 69130. Phone:(308)784-3930
Things to SeeRobert Henri Museum and Historical Walkway