Nebraska is a US state located in the Midwestern part of the country where it spans an area of 77,358 square miles. Archaeological evidence indicated that Native American communities have lived within the borders of Nebraska for thousands of years. Some of the Native American communities that lived in Nebraska are the Ponca, Omaha, and Otoe. The French were the first European community to arrive in Nebraska, and they fought with the Spaniards and the British over control of the region. The three European powers played a significant role in shaping Nebraska's borders. In the modern era, Nebraska shares its borders with six states, which include Iowa, Colorado, South Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, and Missouri.
The boundary that separates Iowa and Nebraska is located on the eastern part of Nebraska. The Missouri River forms a significant portion of the boundary between the two states. There are several major towns situated on the Iowa side of the border such as Onawa, Glenwood, and Council Bluffs. Omaha, Nebraska City and Blair are some of the major cities located on the Nebraska side of the border. Onawa is a major city in Iowa as it is the administrative center of Monona County. The town was established during the mid 19th century and was named after a character in a poem by Henry Longfellow. Onawa is famous because its main street is the widest in the US. During the Second World War Onawa was the site of a camp where captured German soldiers were kept. It is believed that the camp never housed more than 50 prisoners of war at a time. Omaha is Nebraska's largest city and it covers an area of about 142 square miles. In 2018, it was estimated that the city was home to about 466,061 people. Omaha was established during the mid-19th century after the land was purchased from the Omaha tribe.
Colorado and Nebraska are separated by a boundary located on the southwestern portion of Nebraska. Several rivers cross the border between Colorado and Nebraska such as the Lodgepole Creek and the South Platte River. Lodgepole Creek is a significant river because it has been used as a transport route for more than 100 years. The waters of the Lodgepole Creek are also used for irrigation. The South Platte River flows for about 493 miles and drains a significant portion of the American Midwest. The river has been referred to by many names such as Niinéniiniicíihéhe by the local Native American communities and Rio Chato by the Spaniards. There are several dams on the South Platte River constructed for irrigation. Some of the cities located on the Nebraska side of the border include Sidney, Chappell, and Grant. Julesburg, Holyoke, and Wray are some of the major towns located on the Colorado side of the border. Sidney is an important city in Nebraska because it is the seat of Cheyenne County. The city was established in 1867 and named after Sidney Dillon, the president of the company which founded the town. Julesburg is one of Colorado's important cities and it is the seat of Sedgwick County.
Nebraska shares its entire northern border with South Dakota. The boundary between South Dakota and Nebraska is a relatively straight line except the section formed by the Missouri River which meanders following the path of the river. Several rivers cross the border between South Dakota and Nebraska such as the White River and the Keya Paha River. The White River flows for about 580 miles and drains an area of 10,200 square miles. The White River is one of the Missouri River's most important tributaries. There are several major towns located on the South Dakota side of the border such as Lemmon, McLaughlin, and Buffalo. Some of the towns located on the Nebraska side of the border include Chadron, Valentine, and Rushville.
The border that separates Kansas and Nebraska is located on the southern edge of Nebraska. Several rivers cross the boundary between Kansas and Nebraska such as the Republican River and the Little Blue River. In 1942, Nebraska and Kansas signed an agreement on how to share the waters of the Republican River; however, during the 1980s, the two states disagreed on how to use river's waters. The leaders of Kansas believed that Nebraska was violating the arguments by allowing the development of groundwater projects. On the other hand, the leaders of Nebraska believed that they were within their rights and were not violating the terms of the compact. The case was presented to the Supreme Court which appointed a special master to resolve the issue. In 2008, the issue was once again presented to the Supreme Court and the leaders of Kansas claim that Nebraska had used more water than it should. The Supreme Court ruled in Kansas' favor and decided that Nebraska had to pay $5.5 million in damages.
Wyoming and Nebraska are separated by a border located in the western part of Nebraska. There are several major towns located on the Nebraska side of the border such as Kimball and Harrisburg. Some of the towns located on the Wyoming side of the border include Pine Bluffs, Torrington, and Lusk. Kimball is one of Nebraska's most important cities as it is the seat of Kimball County. In 2017, it was estimated that the city was home to 2,361 people. Pine Bluffs is a relatively small city in Wyoming and it covers an area of 3.22 square miles.
The border that separates Nebraska and Missouri is Nebraska’s shortest boundary and is located on the southeastern part of Nebraska. The Missouri River forms the border between the two states. Auburn is one of the major towns located on the Nebraska side of the border and it is the administrative center of Nemaha County. The city was in founded in 1882 after two towns were combined. The major town located on the Missouri side of the border is Rock Port which is the seat of Atchison County. The town covers an area of about 2.8 square miles and was home to 1,227 people in 2016.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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