The Last Outfitting Station on the Missouri River, by Erick L. Wadsworth


Between 1864 and 1866, thousands of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints left their homelands in Europe and South Africa for the desolate deserts of Utah Territory, which they hoped would be their Zion. Church leaders had supported gathering to a specific location since 1830. In 1856, Jacob Dawson discovered a beautiful location on the Missouri River, just seven miles north of Nebraska City, where he established a town. Dawson named the town Wyoming. Although determined to promote and build a vibrant settlement on the river, his efforts failed. The village of Wyoming was mobilized as an outfitting station (rest area) for pioneers traveling west during the years 1864 to 1866. Most of these European converts traveled on The Nebraska City Cut-off Trail, which was forged out of the soil of eastern and central Nebraska. This remarkable trail shortened the distance from the Missouri River to Fort Kearny, created an unprecedented opportunity for freight haulers, and saved days of travel time for each person heading west. Read the inspiring stories of these pioneers and freighters, and build a bridge with our past.