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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.

Explore Webster County

Webster County Historical Museum

Housed in a beautiful classical revival style mansion, the Museum located on West Highway 136, depicts the rich heritage of the early settlers of the county during the late 1800's and into the early 1900's. This 21-room, stately home built in 1907

Red Cloud, NE Museums

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

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

Starke Round Barn

Nebraska's largest round barn and one of the nation's largest, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1972, and is still in use today. It was built in 1902-3

Red Cloud, NE Historic Buildings

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

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

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

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

Burlington Depot

Built in 1897, the main section of Red Cloud's Burlington Depot contained sleeping quarters on the 2

Red Cloud, NE Railroad History

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

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

Red Cloud Post Office Murals

One of only twelve public buildings in the state of Nebraska which commissioned murals for its lobby, Red Cloud Post Office houses three works by the western artist, Archie Musick, 1941.

Red Cloud, NE Arts

Explore Webster County