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Bellevue Population: 50,137*


Historic Bellevueans

   J. S. Allen
   S. D. Bangs
   Maj. Barrow
   Hiram Bennett
   Isaiah N. Bennett
   Francis Burt
   F. Calkins
   H. T. Clarke
   Col.  Stephen Decatur
   Mr. Dunbar
   Mr. Ellis
   William R. English
   John Finney
   C. D. Keller
   George Nepner
   William R. English
   A. C. Ford
   James M. Galewood
   William Gilmer
   James Gow
   Esquire Griffin
   Rev.  Mr. Hamilton
   A. W. Hollister
   L. B. Kinney
   Manuel Lesa
   Col. R. Lovejoy
   Walter Lowrie
   M. S. Martyn
   Rev.  Edward McKinney
   P. J. McMahon
   Julius (J.) Sterling Morton
   George Nepner
   D. E. Reed
   Gen. Peter A. Sarpy
   C. E. Smith
   S. A. Strickland
   J. A. Thompson
   George T. Turner
   Dr. Upjohn
   Watson brothers
   W. W. Wiley


NE Neighbors

•    Nebraska
•    Iowa
•    Missouri
•    Kansas
•    Colorado
•    Wyoming
•    South Dakota


The History

Bellevue is the oldest United States settlement west of the Missouri River.*  The American Fur Company established a fur trading post in the present day Bellevue area in 1810 and placed Francis Deroin there to head the post.  Mr. Deroin was succeeded by Joseph Roubideaux, commonly known as "Old Joe," who in turn moved on to form St. Joseph, Missouri.  John Cabanné* took over in 1816 and continued until 1823/1824 when General Peter A. Sarpy took over the post.  Of course, Mr. Sarpy is where the county got its name.

All of Sarpy County was once the lower half of Douglas County.  On February 1st, 1857, Douglas County was divided to form Sarpy County.

In 1823, the Indian agency that had previously been established at Ft. Calhoun* was moved to Bellevue and known in Government reports as the "Council Bluffs Indian Agency at Bellevue"  The agency on the Iowa side being the Council Bluffs Sub-Agency.*

In April 1846, the initial Mormon exodus arrived on the Iowa side of the Missouri north of the Bellevue area (Grand Encampment) led by Brigham Young.  Finding the only ferry to be to the south near Bellevue, church leaders met with the owner Peter Sarpy and discussed the need for a larger ferry.  Together, they agreed to jointly build a new ferry near where the Mormons were camped.*

In 1849, Bellevue opened its first school.

In 1852, a town company was organized at Bellevue but nothing more developed at the time (no officers were elected).

The first newspaper printed in Nebraska, the Nebraska Palladium and Platte Valley Advocate, was printed in Bellevue In 1854.

In 1864, the Bellevue Town Company was organized with P. A. Sarpy, Stephen Decatur, Hiram P. Bennett, George Hapner, James M. Gatewood, George F. Turner, P.J. McMahon, A. W. Hollister and A. C. Ford as proprietors.  A town was born.

The First Wedding.  Back to the top of this page.

As reported by the History of Nebraska, Volume I (1882): The first wedding in Bellevue was recorded in 1849 between Lewis Saunsausee, a half breed, and a Mormon woman.  The Rev. Mr. Kinney* for some reason refused to tie the nuptials, and Orson Hyde, then Elder of the Mormon church at Kanesville, was applied to and promised to perform the ceremony.  For some reason, he failed to appear and another Mormon, named Smith living on the Iowa side was substituted.  This marriage could hardly have been registered in Heaven, for, in 1857, Saunsaunsee* was living in the Blackbird Hills, and his fair Rebecca had become one of Brigham Young's numerous wives.

I find this piece very interesting including the dates. The book was written in 1882, however, as much as that sounds like a short time after the history took place, I am sure there could be inaccuracies as the information was gathered from others that remembered the details. For this particular situation, I would like to see confirmation of the marriage year 1849. By that time, Orsen Hyde may have already traveled on to Salt Lake City (I need to confirm exactly when he left). In a listing of Brigham Young's wives, the 6th of 29 wives was named Rebecca. Her name was Rebecca Greenleaf Holman. Her parent's last name were Holman. She died in 1849, and is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The reference I found indicated she was married to Brigham Young in Nauvoo, Illinois on 26 Jan 1846. Therefore, she could not be the same. I am not aware of any other Rebecca in the listing of Brigham's wives. I do believe there is a great possibility the Bellevue wedding took place, only that the lady's name might not have been Rebecca, or she could have been married to a different person later.

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