Decades later: Historic Pony Express medallion remade following theft

Historic Pony Express medallion

Missing forty years and two years in the remaking, the Plum Creek Cemetery Pony Express medallion has finally been replaced in the 1930 granite marker.

"We're glad to have this historic medallion back," said Phelps County Historical Society board secretary, Patti Simpson. "I know it's not metal but it sure looks like it."

A resin replica now sits where a bronze medallion was once placed back in the 1930s by the National Historic Memorial Board.

"They wanted to commemorate The Pony Express," said Simpson. "It had been 70 years since The Pony Express and the Oregon Trail had started back in 1860."

At the time, Plum Creek was a natural stop for the pony express, according the Phelps County Historical Society.

"The Plum Creek Post that was here in the 1860s," said Phelps County Historical Society, Nebraska Prairie Museum library director, Sandra Slater. "It had the Plum Creek Station and that was here since probably the 1850s and people were coming across here, you know, probably in the 1840s."

In the 1860s, it was the location of the Plum Creek Massacre.

"This was the very first place that they attacked and 11 men were killed," said Slater.

Sixty medallions were created to commemorate this era along the trail. Phelps County received two and purchased granite markers to hold them.

"You know the depression was going on, that took a lot of money to purchase two granite markers when they don't even have enough money probably to gravel the roads," said Simpson.

Years later, one of the medallions went missing.

"The first one was stolen some time between, before 1972," said Simpson. "We don't know when but we have pictures showing when it was there last and when it wasn't there last."

Decades later, the Phelps County Historical Society sought help from Gibbon-based company, Icon Poly.

"They are very gracious and they donated the mold and everything to us and out of the blue it showed up this week," said Simpson. "They've been working on it and I'm so happy that they did this and it is really great that we have this now to represent it."

The recreated medallion and the Plum Creek Cemetery can be found at the intersection of 748 Road and B Road in Bertrand.

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