DescriptionLexington evolved in the 1860s from a small settlement called Plum Creek, which consisted of a Pony Express station and the Daniel Freeman trading post on the Oregon Trail south of the Platte River. Also present for a brief time was Fort Plum Creek. In 1864 a group of Cheyenne Indians attacked a wagon train nearby, killing 11 men and capturing Nancy Jane Morton and 12-year-old Daniel Marble. The Plum Creek Massacre site and a pioneer cemetery can be seen 17 miles southeast of town.
The settlement was moved north of the river along the newly constructed Union Pacific Railroad in 1867. Soon afterward, a skirmish between settlers and Native Americans left several railroad workers dead and a train derailed and burned; the conflict just west of Plum Creek became known as the Turkey Leg Raid. In 1889 the settlement changed its name to Lexington and eventually became a prosperous farming and cattle-raising center.
Lexington's historic buildings include its Classical Revival courthouse, an unusual Richardsonian Romanesque bank building and three Queen Anne houses. The Ira W. Olive House, 401 E. 13th St., is one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture in central Nebraska.
Recreational opportunities abound at Lexington's ten public parks, including a water park and a skate park, and, a little farther afield, Johnson Lake and Elwood Reservoir. Sandhill cranes and bald eagles may be seen in large numbers during their migration through the Platte River Valley. Centennial Park includes a memorial to the founders of the community.
InfoOfficeLexington Area Chamber of Commerce 1501 Plum Creek Pkwy. Ste. 2 LEXINGTON, NE 68850. Phone:(308)324-5504
Self-guiding toursThe chamber of commerce and the Dawson County Historical Museum provide maps depicting points of interest along the Oregon Trail, including the Plum Creek Massacre site.
Attraction PlaceHoldersDawson County Historical Museum