Cities, Towns, Villages
Alvo, Avoca, Cedar Creek, Eagle, Elmwood, Greenwood, Louisville, Manley, Murdock, Murray, Nehawka, Plattsmouth, South Bend, Union, Weeping Water
Long before Cass County was organized, the rolling hills and lush valleys of this area were inhabited by Native Americans. Abundant water from both the Missouri and Platte Rivers and a wealth of fresh game made this area popular with both the Pawnee and Otoe tribes. Early history records indicate that this popularity also led to conflicts. In fact, one of the West's largest battles ever fought between Indian tribes is said to have occurred between the Omahas and the Otoes along the banks of Weeping Water Creek.
Early explorations of the area have been traced back to those of the French in the 1730s. Following a series of explorations in the early 1800s, trappers began to frequent the area in the 1820s and 1830s. Sometime around 1848 a Mormon named Libeas Coon established a ferry across the Missouri River for the convenience of the Mormons who were moving west. This resulted in a trail along the south side of the Platte River, but no permanent settlements.
The first federal government permit to settle in the area was issued to Samuel Martin, who in 1853 built a log house and trading post known as the "Old Barracks" near the confluence of the Platte and Missouri Rivers. In addition to trading furs with the Native Americans, Martin operated a ferry between Glenwood, Iowa, and Platteview, now known as Plattsmouth.
When the boundaries were officially adopted by the Legislature in 1855, the county was named in honor of Gen. Lewis Cass, an American statesman and patriot. In that same legislative act, Plattsmouth was designated as the county seat. The county's boundaries were redefined to their present dimensions the following year.
Despite three petition and special election attempts to move the county seat, the last coming in 1880, the courthouse has always remained in Plattsmouth. The original frame building was used until it was outgrown in 1891, at which time bonds were approved and the present courthouse was constructed.