1948 3¢ Fort Kearny Issue
Issue Date: September 22, 1948
City: Minden, Nebraska
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
U.S. #970 commemorates the 100th anniversary of the founding of Fort Kearny, Nebraska. It was an important trade center in the middle of the 1800s.
Fort Kearny – The First Fort Built on the Oregon Trail
Fort Kearny was the first of many forts built to protect the large numbers of settlers traveling on the Oregon Trail, the longest of the overland routes to the West. Established in 1848, it was originally called Fort Childs, but renamed. Soldiers transferring from the original Fort Kearny on the Platte River renamed the fort in honor of General Stephen Watts Kearny. Kearny was a U.S. Army commander in the frontier West, and the commander of the forces conquering New Mexico and California in the Mexican-American War.
Settlers traveling the Oregon Trail usually gathered in Independence, Missouri. As they traveled west, Fort Kearny was the first stop where new provisions could be purchased. As the number of travelers grew, so did the fort and its store of supplies. Fort Kearny also had a post office, so emigrants could send reports of their progress to family and friends. Although there was a large population of American Indians in the area, relations were quite peaceful, and the fort was never attacked.