As one of Nebraska’s oldest communities, Dakota City has a storied and rich history. The site of Dakota City was first visited by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which reached the mouth of Omaha Creek on August 16, 1804. A town was not advanced until the location was designated as a county seat shortly after Dakota County was established in 1855.
The Dakota City Land Company was organized in 1856 by Augustus Kountze to promote the growth and development of Dakota City. The founder of Dakota City was J. D. M. Crockwell, who, as an agent of the Dakota City Land Company, filed a plat of the town for record on September 20, 1856. The name “Dakota City” was given in honor of the Dakota (Sioux) people.
The original plat called for a town two-miles wide from east to west with its eastern end abutting the Missouri River. Broadway, the town’s main street, was to be 150 feet wide with plans for the construction of a “center canal” which could bring barges directly into town. Showing remarkable growth, Dakota City was incorporated on April 5, 1858.
Though the town grew quickly, the Missouri River expanded into the town site not long after Dakota City’s establishment. In the early 1900s, the river took one-third of the original town. In fact, the Sioux Gateway Airport now sits on the original Dakota City plat.