Beatrice, the largest city in Gage County, is also the county seat.
The town of Beatrice was founded in 1857 by a group of pioneers from St. Louis, traveling by the steamer "Hannibal" up the Missouri River to the new territory of Nebraska. While aboard the steamer they organized an association and selected a committee to "explore Nebraska for the purpose of selecting a town site." This committee left the boat at Nebraska City, divided themselves into two groups and set out to find a suitable location for the town site. One group proceeded directly west from Nebraska City. The other group traveled in a southwesterly direction and made camp one night on the banks of Indian Creek at its junction with the Big Blue River. This site was selected and the first building built, known as Pap Towle's cabin, in about the same location as the Gage County Museum.
The city was named in honor of the eldest daughter of Judge J.F. Kinney, first president of the Nebraska Association. The town's name is pronounced Be-a-trice instead of the common pronunciation.
Beatrice's main street, was known as the DeRoin Trail in the 1840's through 1860's. The trail crossed the Big Blue River at Beatrice and continued west until it joined the Oregon Trail. The rock bottom ford can be seen looking south from the Court Street bridge.
Reference: Gage County Historical Society
2nd & Court Streets
Beatrice, Nebraska 68310