Nebraska History Hub

OAK, Neb.- For a small town, Oak has a large amount of history surrounding it.

"This town is unique," volunteer Tom Jensen said. "The Oregon Trail and Pony Express Trail crossed through this town, just a little north of main street. And in 1864, there were a lot of Indian raids through Nebraska and Colorado, and we happen to be in an area where several of those Indian raids took place," Jensen said.

What is the town of Oak like today? "This town at the turn of the 20th Century had almost 300 people, it had three newspapers, a hotel, and two or three grocery stores," Jensen said. "One of the first radio stations west of the Mississippi was in the bank building. That was KFEQ radio. That radio station is now in St. Joe, Missouri."

The town continued to thrive until the Depression era, and then it slowly began to shrink. "Now we are down to probably 40 people if I'm generous," Jensen said. "But the town is still alive, because people like myself. I grew up around here. I don't live here any longer, I live in Nelson about 11 miles away. But, there are just so many people in this area that have a fondness in their heart for this town. They just keep it going," Jensen said.

Be sure to remember to check out the 1864 Indian raids re-enactments in the community of Oak on Saturday, August 11th.