Bow Creek

Farm field with hill in the background

Quick Facts

Bow Creek is a High Potential Historic Site on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

On August 26, 1804, the expedition camped on a sand bar (in present-day South Dakota) across the Mis-souri from the mouth of Bow Creek (in present-day Nebraska). Here Patrick Gass was formally promoted to the rank of sergeant, filling the position formerly held by the late Sergeant Floyd. Clark identified Bow Creek as the general location of an abandoned Omaha village, writing, “above the mouth of this Creek a Chief of the Maha nataton displeased with the Conduct of Black bird the main Chief came to this place and built a Town which was called by his name Petite Arch (or Little Bow) this Town was at the foot of a Hill in a handsom Plain fronting the river and Contained about 100 huts & 200 men, the remains of this tribe Since the Death of Petite arch has joined the remaining part of the nation”. 

Circa 1720, the Omaha Tribe established a village near the mouth of Bow Creek known as “Bad Village”, apparently due to a schism that split the tribe. Bad Village was likely occupied until circa 1750, when the factions reunited at a village site near present-day Dakota City, Nebraska. Following the rise of Blackbird, Little Bow and his followers left the Omaha Big Village and resettled in the Bow Creek area circa 1780-1790. Accounts vary, but the Omaha factions reunited following the death of either Blackbird or Little Bow, some¬time prior to 1804. The exact location of the Little Bow Village is currently unknown, but there are numer¬ous archeological sites throughout the area, which is primarily used for agricultural cultivation.

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Last updated: February 28, 2018