The Dawson County Historical Society is a non-profit educational institution whose mission is to promote a greater understanding of the history of Dawson County and south-central Nebraska. Founded in 1958 and fully incorporated in 1963, the DCHS has developed into a multifaceted historical and cultural organization. Thanks to the generosity of the Harley Kirkpatrick family, land for a museum was donated in 1964 and our original museum opened three years later.
Since then, the DCHS has expanded its museum campus to include several historic buildings, including the Willow Island Union Pacific Train Depot and one-room Reed Schoolhouse. We have also become the home for a 1903 Baldwin locomotive.
Our museum is largely funded through the generous efforts of our friends, members, and patrons. To pursue our mission, the DCHS works to preserve the past while making it avalible to the general public through our research library/archive and exhibits.