LINCOLN — Decades ago, Pawnee Indian scouts patrolled the Plains, guarding against warring parties seeking to invade the Pawnee villages along the Platte and Loup Rivers.
Earlier this month, a portion of Nebraska Highway 22, between Genoa and Fullerton, was designated to commemorate the work of the Native American warriors.
Two signs were dedicated June 12 marking the roadway as the “Pawnee Scouts Memorial Highway.”
The signs commemorate the scouts who protected Pawnee villages that were located in that area and later worked as scouts for Union Pacific Railroad crews and the U.S. Army.
The designation was promoted by the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation and supported by the Pawnee Nation, the City of Genoa and the Nance County Board. The Nebraska Highway Commission approved the designation unanimously in December.
“This is truly a part of our history that should not be forgotten but remembered,” State Highway Commissioner James Kindig said at the dedication in Genoa. “What better location but this beautiful valley where the site of the Pawnee Reservation Village was from 1857 to 1875.”
Several Pawnee were located in the Genoa area going back to the 1600s. Nance County had served as the Pawnee Reservation in Nebraska. The Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation operates a museum at the site of the boarding school in Genoa that operated from 1884 to 1934.