Historical Attractions

Emmanuel Lutheran Church

Dakota City is home to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, which is the first Lutheran Church building built in Nebraska. The church is a Greek Revival style structure built in 1860. Since 1969 it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The first pastor was the Reverend Henry W. Kuhns, who was a missionary sent by the Allegheny Synod to the Nebraska Territory. Rev. Kuhns first preached in the front room of Bates House, a hotel, in November of 1850. The church was formally organized on July 22, 1859.

Plans for a church building originally consisted of a store from the abandoned town of Pacific City; however, this plan came to an end when a prairie fire destroyed the building as it was being moved to Dakota City. The church structure then was designed and built by Augustus T. Haase, a local carpenter and member of the Emmanuel Lutheran congregation, for a total cost of $2,000. The building also served periodically as the Territorial Courthouse. The church stands today as a proud monument to the tenacity and strength of purpose of the early Dakota County settlers.

Train Depot

The former Dakota City Chicago and Northwestern (C&NW) Railroad Depot was constructed in 1922. This one-story, brick depot building is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Known as a “Class B Depot” this facility was a key link in the Omaha to Minnesota rail corridor from 1922 until 1957 when it was abandoned. Passengers would travel to Norfolk where they could connect for travel west or to Omaha for service east. The rails and ties are still located immediately north of the building.