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Webster County, NE

Webster CountyRich in history, Webster County and Red Cloud have responded appropriately to the responsibility and challenge of preserving, protecting and honoring the treasures of yesterday for the generations of tomorrow.

Here on the Divide between the Republican and Little Blue lived some of the most courageous people of the frontier, still traversed by Indians while on their tribal hunts. Within a very few years, however, those times were gone, and with the arrival of the railroad in 1879, Webster County was rapidly settled by thousands of homesteaders, ending the frontier era.

Dedicated today as Catherland, these settlers' fortunes and their loves live again in the writings of Willa Cather, daughter of the plains and interpreter of man's growth in these fields and in the valleys beyond.

On this beautiful, ever-changing land, man fought to establish a home. In her vision of the plow against the sun, symbol of the beauty and importance of work, Willa Cather caught the eternal blending of earth and sky.

Willa Cather wrote from her heart the wonderful tales she heard and the vital drama she saw in her growing years. In her books those she knew and admired live forever. My Antonia, earth mother of the plains, grew to maturity, loved, worked, and died within a few miles of this spot, yet she is known and cherished all over the world.

"The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman." The history of this land began in the heart of Willa Cather.

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The Auld Public Library

The Auld Public Library, 1917-1918, is a gift of William Thomas Auld, uncle of Jessica Cather Auld's husband, J. W. (Bill) Auld. Jessica was one of Willa's younger sisters. He gave the city of Red Cloud $20,000 in early April, 1917. On April 9

Red Cloud, NE Historic Buildings

Red Cloud Golf Course

Red Cloud is proud of its professionally designed nine-hole golf course with watered greens, fairways and tee boxes. The course was designed by Harry Obitz, Golf Magazine'

Red Cloud, NE Golf Courses

The State Bank Building

The State Bank Building, 1883, with its entrance on the diagonal, is made of native brick and was one of the first brick buildings in Red Cloud.

Red Cloud, NE Historic Buildings

Willa Cather State Historic Site

The Farmers' and Merchants' Bank building, 1889, was erected by Silas Garber, the founder of Red Cloud (1871), the fourth governor of Nebraska (1875-1879), and the prototype for Captain Forrester in A Lost Lady.

Red Cloud, NE Historic Sites

Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial

The Art Gallery and Bookstore, located two doors south of the Cather Historical Center on main street, carries the country's most complete selection of Willa Cather's novels, short stories, biographies, and critical works about her.

Red Cloud, NE Memorials

The Methodist Church

[The Methodist Church] The Methodist Church building described in My Antonia , now serves as a Masonic Lodge. Cather tells how, during the winter, the children were starved for color and how they stood in the cold and looked at the stained glass windows: "

Red Cloud, NE Historic Churches

Willa Cather's Childhood Home

World Famous author, Willa Sibert Cather (1873-1947), moved with her family from Virginia to the Red Cloud area in 1883. Nebraska became what Cather later described as "the happiness and the curse of my life". The state'

Red Cloud, NE Famous Homes

Willa Cather Historic SitesTour

The Willa Cather Foundation proudly hosts town and country tours where visitors can view the childhood home of Willa Cather as well as experience other historic buildings related to her life and writing.

Red Cloud, NE Tours

Red Cloud City Park

The Red Cloud City Park offers a variety of activities for persons of all ages. Facilities include outdoor fireplaces, tables, a shelter house, restrooms, playground equipment, swimming pool, and tennis courts. Restaurants and electrical hookups for campers are nearby.

Red Cloud, NE Parks

Grace Episcopal Church

Built in 1884 on the corner of Second and Walnut, the Grace Protestant Episcopal Church was moved to its present location in 1891. The brick veneer was added sometime after 1922. Grace Episcopal Church is the church in which Willa Cather and her parents were confirmed on December 27, 1922

Red Cloud, NE Historic Churches

Chief Red Cloud

Red Cloud, the English name of Makhpiya Luta, the Oglala Sioux chief, and his followers were prominent participants in the Powder River War of 1865 and other subsequent battles. The chief himself was a significant player in the failure of the army's 1865

Red Cloud, NE Famous People

The Red Cloud Opera House

The Red Cloud Opera House, 1885, stood for many years as the jewel in Main Street's crown. Here Blind Boone played, William Jennings Bryan spoke, and it was from this stage that Willa Cather graduated in 1890 and delivered her eloquent oration, "Superstition vs. Investigation"

Red Cloud, NE Historic Buildings

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