Our Historical Markers across Nebraska highlight fascinating moments and places in our state’s past.
Today, we’re focusing on the history behind the name of Loup City’s Dead Horse Creek.
Nebraska 58, Loup City, Sherman County, Nebraska
Note: the word Indian is used instead of Native American as it was the norm at the time.
In April 1873, Headquarters, Department of the Platte at Omaha, ordered a military scout of the North and Middle Loup River Valleys. The detachment of soldiers was commanded by Captain John Mix of Company M, of the Second Cavalry, and guided by Conrad “Little Buckshot” Wentworth.
This expedition was sent out in response to a Sioux Indian raid on settlements some thirty-five miles to the northwest. That action resulted in the Battle of Sioux Creek.
The troops had completed the scout and were returning when they were struck by the terrible “Easter Blizzard,” which began on April 13, 1873. For four days, the soldiers were housed by settlers and storekeepers. Their animals were left in a sheltered area alongside this creek. During the storm twenty-five horses and four pack mules were suffocated by snow. The creek has since been known as Dead Horse Creek.
Many similar incidents associated with early pioneer life were commemorated in stream names.