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The first settlers of Hall County, Nebraska, nearly all of whom were German immigrants, arrived on July 5, 1857. They platted Grand Island City and established farms. The O.K. Store of Henry A. Koenig and Fred Wiebe, located near the Mormon Trail, was opened near this site in 1862. It was the first store in the settlement and it also served as the first telegraph station.

During the Indian uprising of 1864 and 1865 many Platte Valley settlers fled but the Grand Island settlers remained. They fortified the O.K. Store with a sod stockade which sheltered 68 men and 100 women. To give shelter to 35 more persons, William Stolley built "Fort Independence" about two miles west.

On August 22, 1865, General S. R. Curtis and his troops visited "Fort O.K." Impressed by the settlers' preparations for defense Curtis left a six-pounder cannon, which is still preserved in Hall County. Because of the fortifications "Fort O.K." and Grand Island escaped Indian attacks.

In 1858, a short distance northeast of this marker, the first post office for Grand Island was located in John D. Schuller's cabin, which now stands on the county museum grounds.

Hall County Historical Society
Historical Land Mark Council
Fonner Park, Grand Island
Hall County
Marker 54


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Last updated 4 June 2004

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