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Keywords: gordon | nebraska | sheridan county |
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image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 August 2010
The flag of the City of Gordon, Nebraska, consists of three horizontal positioned fields of blue, white and green, and yellow symbol in the middle. Here is the official meaning of the design:
"The blue symbolizes the vast horizon of blue sky, the Niobrara River and the lakes and the streams of the area. The white symbolizes the pure untapped human and natural resources of the community. The green symbolizes the natural beauty of the sandhills and crops of the farmers fields. The symbol represents the entire county and credits each community for the support of the largest city. It also symbolizes the willow tree, the wagon wheel of the pioneer, windmills, yucca plants and the picturesque sunrises and sunsets."The county is Sheridan, and the communities are Whiteclay, Hay Springs, Rushville, Clinton, Gordon, Bingham, Ellsworth, Lakeside and Antioch. The flag was adopted in 1992.
History of the city:
Gordon had its beginning when the Reverend John Scamahorn, a Methodist minister and Civil War veteran, led a colony of 104 settlers by railroad from Indiana to Valentine, Nebraska, and then on by covered wagon to Gordon. On May 12, 1884, he conducted the first religious service, mounting the tongue of his wagon for a pulpit near "the lone willow tree," a landmark of the empty plains. The lone willow tree, just east of Gordon, was a landmark for government scouts, Indians, cowboys, and settlers. In fact, Gordon celebrates this landmark with the Willow Tree Festival, a community event held each year since 1984.
The name Gordon was chosen because of an incident that had occurred nearby. John Gordon's wagon train, bound for the forbidden gold fields in the Black Hills, was burned by soldiers from Camp Sheridan in 1875. The village of Gordon was incorporated on November 19, 1885. The fertile farmlands and rich sandhill grasslands proved an ideal location for the growth of a hardy town. The coming of the Chicago and North Western Railroad in 1886 brought new settlers. In 1888 the streets were extended and widened, livestock was prohibited from running at large, and a Fourth of July celebration was staged. In 1889 more road and street improvements were accomplished. Sidewalks were laid and trees were planted. Newman's Ranch was the first of the huge ranches in the region, followed by an open-range ranch established by Dave and Bob Hunter. Both ranches ran from 30,000 to 50,000 head of cattle on land that was mostly public domain. "Doc" Middleton, an early character of many questionable talents, operated a saloon for a time in Gordon. When he was made county deputy sheriff, the rate of horse stealing declined markedly. Gordon was the home of the late Mari Sandoz, famous author of early historical novels depicting life in the days of the early settlers and plains Indians. Among her many successful books are Old Jules (the biography of her pioneer father), Crazy Horse, Cheyenne Autumn, Battle of the Little Big Horn, and many others. Mari is buried south of town overlooking one of the beautiful sandhill valleys of the original family homestead ranch. A small museum in Gordon contains many of the personal items belonging to Mari. Her books are available for sale and tours can be arranged. Other notable residents of Gordon are Val Fitch, 1980 Nobel Prize winner in the field of physics and Dwight Griswold, past Governor of Nebraska and Ambassador. Gordon serves a large portion of the sandhills and is a shopping center for the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations.
Official city website: http://www.ci.gordon.ne.us
Valentin Poposki, 28 November 2009
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