On April 22, 1857, on board the steamer Hannibal anchored on the Missouri River, a small group of passengers met to form a settlement organization, which they named “The Nebraska Association.” One of the organization’s first orders of business was to form a “locating committee” charged to “explore Nebraska and select a townsite.” After investigating several sites in southeast Nebraska, the committee assembled in Omaha and recommended a site “near the center of Gage County.” Their report was unanimously adopted, and another committee was named to propose a name for the new town. At a subsequent meeting this committee offered two names for consideration. “Wheatland” received nine votes and “Beatrice” received sixteen. The name, Beatrice, was officially chosen on May 5, 1857.
The Library/Archives Division holds this minute book of the Nebraska Association, which provides a detailed account of the naming of Beatrice. Contact the Library/Archives Division for more information.
-Tom Mooney, Curator of Manuscripts