The West produced many fighting men and ranking high among them are Frank and Luther North of Columbus, leaders of the legendary Pawnee Scouts. The Pawnee, located at their nearby reservation, were eager to cooperate with the Army in fighting their hereditary enemies the Sioux and Cheyenne. Organized as a fighting unit in 1864, they participated in the Powder River Campaigns of 1865 and 1876-1877 and the Republican River Campaign of 1869. They also guarded the builders of the first transcontinental railroad, 1867-1869. William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill," later Frank North's ranching partner, first became associated with him in the campaign which culminated with the battle of Summit Springs, 1869.
Frank North was the commander of the Scouts and one of the West's most successful Indian fighters. The Pawnee revered him and knew him as Pani Leshar or Pawnee Chief. He was assisted on most of the campaigns by his brother Luther. The two brothers spoke Pawnee and a mutual respect and affection existed between them and the Indian soldiers. A number of other Columbus men, including Lt. Gustavus G. Becher, served as officers of the Scouts.
The Pawnee moved to Oklahoma in 1875. The North Brothers lived in Columbus the remainder of their lives after having contributed a colorful chapter to the story of the West.
Nebraska State Historical Society
U.S. 81, adjacent to Chamber of Commerce in Columbus