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Once part of the hunting grounds of the Omaha, Pawnee and Oto Indians, Red Cloud was founded in 1871 and named for the well-known Oglala Sioux chief. The rich land of the surrounding Republican River Valley attracted settlers, and Webster County was created with Red Cloud as its seat. The town remains the center of a productive farming and ranching area.
Red Cloud is perpetuated in the works of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Willa Cather. During the 6 girlhood years she lived in Red Cloud, Cather absorbed the strong character of the Midwest, which she imprinted indelibly on American literature. Preserving the land as she knew it is the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, a 608-acre tract of native grassland 5 miles south of town on US 281; hiking is permitted.
Starke Round Barn, 4.5 miles east, is purported to be one of the largest of its type in the country. The 1902, three-story, circular frame barn is 130 feet in diameter and was built with no nails, spikes or pegs.
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Current Location: Red Cloud, Nebraska