Places In My Books Dobytown, Nebraska

Fort Kearny was established in 1848 to help accommodate overland commerce and settlements. Kearney City, also known as Dobytown, came about in 1859. Dobytown is a nod to the approximately fifteen adobe structures composing the town. Many historians refer to Dobytown as one of the wildest of towns. Gambling, liquor, and outlaws came and went. It is said that Tecumseh Sherman visited and found the homemade liquor quite horrid. (“tanglefoot”) Besides being notorious, Dobytown was an important outfitting point that side of the Missouri River. The Pony Express had a station here, as well. The demise of Dobytown came about with the Union Pacific Railroad. There was little need for the old fort, leaving Dobytown abandoned in 1871. Today there is a roadside marker at the location of one of the wildest of wild-west towns. Read more about it on Nebraska’s historical places website. Dobytown is a central locale of my book, “Thunder.”