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Trip Planner USA  /  Nebraska  /  Fairbury


National Parks · Playgrounds · Parks
Fairbury is a city and county seat of Jefferson County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 3,942 at the 2010 census.Fairbury has been closely connected with railroading for much of its history. It was founded on the projected route of a railway, and grew as a shipping center. For nearly 80 years, it was the location of the Western Division headquarters of the Rock Island Railroad. Fairbury prospered with the Rock Island, and lost business and residents as the railroad declined.History19th centuryIn 1868, James B. Mattingly, a freighter originally from Kentucky, established a sawmill on the banks of the Little Blue River. Shortly thereafter, Woodford G. McDowell, a capitalist from Fairbury, Illinois, came to Nebraska to plat a town along the route of the St. Joseph and Denver City Railroad, which was to follow the Little Blue. In 1869, Mattingly and McDowell each contributed for a new townsite, which they named after McDowell's hometown.The new town grew rapidly, even before the railroad's arrival. In 1870, a population of 370 was reported; in that year, the Fairbury Gazette was established. A year later, Fairbury was chosen as the county seat; in early 1872, the city was incorporated. By this time, its businesses included three hotels and five blacksmith shops.In 1872, the St. Joseph and Denver City reached Jefferson County. (The railroad was subsequently acquired by the Union Pacific and operated as the St. Joseph and Grand Island branch.) Fairbury became a shipping center: in the first half of 1873, it shipped 255 cars of grain and received 143 of lumber. By 1874, there were 600 residents; 44 businesses operated in the city.
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Popular things to do in Fairbury

Rock Creek Station State Historical Park
National Park
Rock Creek Station State Historical Park
Duration: 8 hours
Fairbury City Park ©
Fairbury City Park
Duration: 2 hours
Crystal Springs Park
Crystal Springs Park
Duration: 2 hours
Rock Island Depot Railroad Museum ©
Specialty Museum
Rock Island Depot Railroad Museum
Duration: 2 hours

Side trips from Fairbury

Homestead National Monument of America ©
Historic Site
Homestead National Monument of America Beatrice
Duration: 2 hours
National Orphan Train Complex ©
Specialty Museum
National Orphan Train Complex Concordia
Duration: 2 hours
Indian Cave State Park ©
State Park
Indian Cave State Park Shubert
Duration: 2 hours

Places to visit with Fairbury

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