The Lewis and Clark expedition visited the area in 1804, and the U.S. Army built Ft. Atkinson nearby in 1819. Pierre Cabanne established a fur-trading post at the site in 1825. The first Mormon migrants wintered there in 1846–1847 on their way to Utah. The city grew rapidly as the most northerly supply point for overland wagons to the Far West.
The city was officially founded in 1854 after the Nebraska Territory was opened for settlement. It was named for the Omaha Indians living nearby (whose tribal name means “those who go upstream or against the current”). Omaha was incorporated as a city in 1857 and was the capital of the Nebraska Territory from 1855 to 1867. The city continued to thrive as a point of entry and a major transportation center when the Union Pacific transcontinental railroad arrived in 1869.
Omaha is a major market for grain and livestock, food processing, telecommunications, and insurance. Other important industries include electrical equipment and finance as well as printing and publishing. It continues to be a major railroad hub.
See also Encyclopedia: Omaha .
Selected famous natives and residents: