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
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, 1922Red Cloud, NE Historic Churches
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
Built in 1914, the Webster County Courthouse is a recent addition to sites already listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building as distinctive ornamentation and is of the second Renaissance Rival stylistic influence. Located on the Courthouse Square is the 1887Red Cloud, NE Historic Courthouses
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 9Red Cloud, NE Historic Buildings